Adapting medications to genetic and genomic profiles, and early detection and prevention of disease
Research relevance: This research will lead to the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic tools.
Research involves: Study of genetic and genomic markers that determine a patient’s predisposition to a given disease—such as cancer, or to drug response with the purpose of optimizing efficacy and safety
The focal point of the Pharmacogenomics Research Chair program is to generate new knowledge and translate it into clinical applications that enhance pharmacological treatment and early detection and prevention of diseases.
Dr. Guillemette’s program has three major long-term objectives:
The first one is to determine if germline variation in candidate genes is related to individual differences in clinical outcome (response and toxicity) and to study tumor genomics in relation to treatment response.
The second area is to develop biomarkers for early diagnosis and to identify patients at risk of developing cancer. The candidate biomarkers are of two natures, either genetic or biomolecules that can be detected in circulation.
The third objective is also to understand the functional and mechanistic effects of genetic and genomic variations and to serve as a connection from the bench to the bedside through involvement in clinical translational pharmacogenomic studies.
This involves the use of clinical and genomics approaches as well as mass spectrometry–based analytical approaches. Throughout these studies, a primary focus is set on the pharmacogenomic studies of a family of proteins called UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) enzymes involved as a major phase II drug metabolism system, in protection against harmful chemicals and maintenance of the homeostasis of numerous endogenous molecules.
With this research, Dr. Guillemette will make an important contribution to the development of optimal treatments for cancer that are based on an individual’s genetic profile or genomic characteristics of disease, thus minimizing side effects while optimizing treatment. Her research will also help improve prevention and screening strategies used for cancers such as colorectal and breast cancers, and cancer of the endometrium.
- Canada Research Chairs program (Canada Research Chair in Pharmacogenomics)
- Canada’s Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
- Canadian Innovation Foundation (FCI)
- National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)