Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario announced Tuesday they will be using new technology to research genetic diseases affecting kids.
Dr. Kym Boycott will use new genomics technology — a product developed in Canada that allows sequencing of genetic material — to study at least 70 genetic disorders affecting children.
"Every gene that we discover as part of this initiative will allow us to study ... the pathways about how this gene interacts in the body," Boycott said.
Once researchers better understand how troublesome genes work, she said, they will "hopefully then be able to find ways to change those pathways to improve the health of the children who are affected."
While Boycott is based in Ottawa, her research will be conducted by teams across Canada. About 25 patients and their families in the Ottawa area are set to be part of her study.
"Many of the families within our study do not have a diagnosis and that's something that's very upsetting to many families," Boycott said.
"They want to know exactly what's going on with their children and why it's happened."
The federal government and Genome Canada are providing around $5 million in funding for Boycott's genetic research and a similar B.C.-based study.Boycott said she hopes to have the first of her research results available to the medical community by the end of April.