Prenatal and Childhood Origins of Disease program gives blueprint for research at the Glen
Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - 16:55
Every child deserves the best possible chance to grow into a healthy adult. Detecting disease early is the best way to prevent or decrease lifelong illness and suffering, and this is the strategy for building research strengths at The Montreal Children’s Hospital (MCH), according to Dr. Jacquetta Trasler, Scientific Director for Child Health Research at MUHC. “To deliver better health care,” she says, “we must first discover and better understand the causes of birth defects, developmental disorders and diseases in children.”
Strengths in these areas are the backbone of the Prenatal and Childhood Origins of Disease program, a blueprint for child health research as the MUHC research community regroups for the move to new facilities within a few years. A concentration of expertise is emerging around each of the three themes in this program, shown below.
“The Prenatal and Childhood Origins of Disease program is one of the great strengths of the Research Institute of the MUHC and McGill,” says Gretta Chambers, Chair of the Advisory Group on Research to the Council for Services to Children and Adolescents. “And MCH investigators excel in each of the three main research themes. All have direct bearing on lifelong health care.”
MCH investigators’ advances in these key areas are in step with new research priorities identified by the federal and provincial governments, Dr. Trasler notes, and also with priorities of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Moreover, the Prenatal and Childhood Origins of Disease program is enriched by its placement on the continuum of Translational Research and Intervention Across the Lifespan, a concept that won the Research Institute of the MUHC the $100 million grant from the Canada Foundation for Innovation to build a cutting-edge research centre on the Glen Campus.
In the next stretch of the road to the Glen, adds Dr. Trasler, “we will be strengthening our themes through targeted recruitment and funding applications for our research teams.”
Themes of the Prenatal and Childhood Origins of Disease program
1. Genetics and Genomics of Rare Disease, Common Disease and CancerSome studies in progress at MCH: research into birth defects, diabetes, brain tumours
2. Prenatal and Childhood Environmental Origins of Disease
Some studies in progress at MCH: research in the fields of reproductive/perinatal epidemiology, environmental contaminants, childhood asthma and allergies, assisted reproduction, effects of prescription drugs, high-risk children
3. Brain, Behaviour and DevelopmentSome studies in progress at MCH: studies in autism, prenatal asphyxia, attention deficit disorder