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$2.4M Gift Supports McMaster's Population Genomics Program

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario will use a C$2.5 million (US$2.4 million) donation to establish a chair position focused on the genetics of chronic diseases, population genomics, biostatistics, and related research areas, McMaster said yesterday.

The gift from the Marjorie Cameron Foucar estate will establish the John D. Cameron Chair in Genetic Determinants of Chronic Diseases, which will enable biostatisticians with genomics expertise to work with other researchers to make discoveries in population genomics at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine.

John Kelton, dean and VP of McMaster's Faculty of Health Sciences, said that the gift will enable a new initiative of a Population Genomics Program that will "allow us to bring together major components of the university including its power of supercomputing and links to expert mathematicians, biostatisticians, and physicians.

"The focus will be to analyze and ultimately influence the effect of our genes and how environmental factors impact on the development of disease," he said.

"My research focuses on developing statistical methods for an integrative analysis of genomic, clinical, and environmental data," added Joseph Beyene, associate professor in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, who is the inaugural holder of the new chair position.

"Along with developing methods of computational tools, my research group is committed to building capacity in methods for statistical bioinformatics and integrative genomics through educational and training activities," Beyene added.

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