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Maritime Human Genetics Research Centre

The Maritime Provinces are well known for their unique population structure and wealth of opportunities for human genetics and genomics research. The burden of hereditary diseases in this area is recognized worldwide. For affected children, women and families, direct benefits of discoveries through such research include heightened diagnostic capacity, better treatments and outcomes through enhanced knowledge of mechanisms of hereditary diseases and improved targeting of screening for complications of disease. As most research in this field requires multidisciplinary expertise and interdisciplinary efforts, the concept of a programmatic environment that allows researchers to work individually while fostering group interactions is essential in creating a competitive, world-class research program while enhancing our ability to attract and retain highly qualified researchers with complementary skills. 

Human genetics research at the IWK Health Centre and Dalhousie University has an established tradition of highly successful achievements and excellent post-graduate teaching made possible through the interdisciplinary, collaborative efforts of committed members from several Departments. The Maritime Human Genetics Research Centre (MHGRC) links all parties as one team to facilitate and further promote internal and external collaborations. This IWK-based Centre was recently established and aims to enhance the academic health science complex by drawing upon resources from the IWK Health Centre, Dalhousie University and CDHA. The members of the Centre contribute a variety of research expertise including clinical genetics, psychological impacts of genetics, molecular genetics, genomics, and zebrafish modeling of genetic disease. Clinicians, clinician-scientists and basic-research scientists work together towards common goals, sharing grants and access to research space. Examples of research conducted by members of the Centre include the identification of human disease causing genes, mechanisms and models of hereditary diseases and phenotype-genotype correlation studies. The MHGRC will focus primarily on human genetics and genomics research, recognizing the fact that significant overlap necessarily exists with research in non-human genetics/genomics, and may therefore not be restricted to human genetics, provided that there is a link to human hereditary diseases.

Interactions across disciplines can become an advantage for innovative research and become a local strength. The Centre aims to advocate for quality of care and highest level of research in human genetics and genomics, while enhancing research and teaching capacity.

The IWK Health Centre is respected for its world-class research into disorders and diseases affecting women, children, youth and families and is home to many leading research centres. 

Learn more about our research centres by visiting one of the links below.