Gene Control in Pediatric Diseases
Genes play a fundamental role, as they contain information that helps make each of us who we are—what we look like, how we act, even what our talents might be. However, genes also cause many diseases and may play a role in cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Researchers are investigating how alterations or errors in fundamental processes can lead to genetic diseases in humans.
New DNA sequencing technologies and advanced computational programs are being used to improve understanding of the structure and function of human genes and the genome. DNA regions that control genes are being identified and, growing fields—such as epigenetics, bioinformatics and comparative genomics—are allowing scientists to investigate complex biological phenomena on a scale that was previously impossible.
Dr. Michael Wilson, Canada Research Chair in Comparative Genomics, is working at the intersections of these promising fields in order to investigate the role that regulatory mutations play in cardiovascular and other diseases. Wilson is building comparative maps of human gene regulation. These will then be used to target specific regions of the human genome for genotyping and functional testing.
Wilson’s research may lead to significant new diagnostic tools to treat pediatric and other diseases in which regulatory mutations play a role.