Dawn of a new era for children: Introducing Canada's first integrated
clinical genomic centre in pediatrics
MONTREAL, Oct. 21, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Dr. Fabrice Brunet, Chief
Executive Officer at Sainte-Justine UHC, and Marc LePage, President and
CEO of Génome Québec, are extremely proud to announce the launch of
Canada's first integrated clinical genomic centre in pediatrics, an
initiative currently at the forefront of global efforts in this area.
"We are honoured to have the opportunity to make this partnership a
reality in the presence of the Québec Premier, Pauline Marois, and Dr.
Réjean Hébert, Minister of Health and Social Services and Minister
responsible for Seniors," said Messrs. Brunet and LePage at the
This highly innovative genomic centre in pediatrics located at
Sainte-Justine UHC, the largest mother-child university hospital centre
in Canada, will contribute to the development of new solutions to
diagnostic challenges in children with genetic diseases. The initiative
will transform the quality of care made available to young patients and
improve prevention efforts from early childhood. This Canadian first
represents a tremendous source of hope for sick children and their
"Over 80 percent of genetic diseases are diagnosed in childhood or
adolescence," explained Dr. Jacques L. Michaud, a doctor and geneticist
at Sainte-Justine UHC. "In more than half of these children, doctors
are unable to arrive at a diagnosis, and many years go by before the
cause of the disease is identified. With this new technology, we can
sequence all the genes of a child's genome, develop a genetic profile
in a timely manner, establish a diagnosis and deliver the treatment, if
one is available at the time or becomes available in the future. A
parent's worst nightmare is not knowing," he added.
Sainte-Justine UHC, whose laboratory is a point of reference in Canada
for genetic analyses in children, has developed a unique partnership
with Génome Québec, a leading expert in the management of technology
platforms for the last 10 years.
As part of this initiative, the team at Sainte-Justine UHC will be in
charge of developing the results interpretation strategy, producing
reports and validating clinical data.
"Our mission is to improve the health of mothers and children in Québec,
and with this genomic centre, we can offer them better diagnostic
approaches and therapies to do just that," explained Dr. Fabrice
Brunet, CEO at Sainte-Justine UHC. "We will be able to take treatment
of pediatric diseases to the next level, whether we are talking about
acute illnesses, such as cancer, chronic diseases, such as diabetes or
neuro-developmental disorders. The technology will help us diagnose
diseases more quickly in a larger number of children and at a lower
Génome Québec, for its part, will spearhead the operation of the
platform, including sequencing and bioinformatics analyses. "This is
the moment we have been waiting for: genomic technology has now reached
the point where, in the very near future, it will be used to treat
patients living with genetic diseases, not to mention prevent and
screen for diseases to improve public health," explained Marc LePage.
He added: "Today's partnership signals an important shift toward
personalized health care. It is a stepping stone that will pave the way
for future initiatives in other areas, for example, complex diseases."
"Genomic science is growing by leaps and bounds; it is poised to
revolutionize health care," explained Dr. Guy Breton, Rector at
Université de Montréal (UdeM). Together, Sainte-Justine UHC and UdeM
are making sure Québec is part of this revolution. Our genomic
expertise is recognized worldwide and carries hope for better patient
care in the very near future."
This Sainte-Justine-Génome Québec partnership falls in line with major
investments made by the Government of Québec in the field of
personalized health care.
In addition to serving needs in Québec, the genomic centre will also
offer services to Canadian and international markets. This exposure is
critical to developing Québec global leadership in the area of clinical
genomics in the area of pediatrics and personalized health care.
About Sainte-Justine UHC
Sainte-Justine UHC is the leading mother-child hospital centre in Canada
and the second largest pediatric centre in North America. It is also a
member of Université de Montréal's extensive network of excellence in
health (RUIS). It has a team of 5,153 employees, including 1,392 nurses
and auxiliary nurses; 1,036 health care professionals; 520 physicians,
dentists and pharmacists; 822 residents and over 250 researchers, 300
volunteers, 3,400 interns and students of all disciplines. The hospital
has 484 beds, including 35 at the Marie Enfant Rehabilitation Centre,
the only facility in Québec dedicated exclusively to pediatric
rehabilitation. Sainte-Justine UHC has been accredited by the World
Health Organization as a Health Promoting Hospital. For more details: www.hsj.qc.ca
About Génome Québec
Since May 2000, Génome Québec has been the driving force behind the
development of genomics in Québec. By supporting over 80 projects and
800 researchers and managing the operations of the McGill University
and Génome Québec Innovation Centre, Génome Québec is helping to
accelerate the discovery of new applications for genomics in strategic
areas, such as human health, forestry, sustainable development and
The funds invested by Génome Québec are provided by the Ministry of
Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, the Government of
Canada, through Genome Canada, and private partners. For more
information, visit www.genomequebec.com.
SOURCE: Génome Québec
For further information:
514 398-0668, ext. 206
Lead Advisor, Media Relations