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Guillaume Paré: Conquering Complex Chronic Diseases

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Title: Assistant professor, McMaster University
Education: MD, University of Montreal, 2002
Recommended by: Thomas Hudson, The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research

Guillaume Paré is juggling multiple research projects in an effort to find the underlying genetic causes of complex chronic diseases, including hypertension, coronary artery disease, and cerebrovascular disease. Paré is using thousands of DNA samples from clinical trials that are stored at McMaster University to look at genetic determinants of drug responses. He is also interested in stroke genetics and is currently the leader of the genetic component of the Canadian Stroke Network's Interstroke project. "We don't have any results yet, but we're going to start genotyping sometime this fall and hopefully are going to get some interesting results there," Paré says.

He's also interested in lipoprotein A as a potential biomarker for myocardial infarction risk. Paré is using data from the Canadian Population Health Institute's Interheart study to describe lipoprotein A genotypes and heart attack risks among various ethnicities. The Paré lab is also looking to develop novel statistical methods to analyze genetic data sets and detect evidence of gene-environment interaction.

Looking ahead

In the not-so-distant future, Paré would like to have access to data that clearly shows how to use genetic information to better identify people at risk for stroke or myocardial infarction. "The way to do that is to build databases of genetic [information] stemming from large clinical trials of heart disease prevention and treatment and to connect that to the wealth of functional data whereby we are not only looking at associations but we can actually better understand what is actually going on from a pathological point of view," he says.

Publications of note

Paré co-authored a New England Journal of Medicine paper published in October that describes a large-scale genotyping study demonstrating how the drug clopidogrel, better known as Plavix, reduces the rate of cardiovascular events among patients with acute coronary syndromes. Paré and his colleagues found that the effectiveness of clopidogrel is consistent in patients with acute coronary syndromes or atrial fibrillation, regardless of their genetically determined metabolizer phenotype, known as CYP2C19 loss-of-function carrier status.

And the Nobel goes to ...

If he receives a call from Sweden one day, Paré says he "would like to better the health of people by using genetic information." He adds that "if any discovery makes it to clinical practice and helps people, that's priceless."

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