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Childhood asthma and the microbiome – precision health for life: The Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) study

January 23, 2018
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The Genome Canada’s 2017 Large-Scale Applied Research Project (LSARP) Competition will support six innovative projects led or co-led by investigators at BC Children’s Hospital, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority, including: 

Childhood asthma and the microbiome – precision health for life: The Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) study

 “We’re using powerful genomics technologies to study the connection between the presence of certain gut microbes early in life and the risk of developing asthma in childhood. Our goal is to find a way to identify babies at risk for asthma and treat them so they never develop the condition.” –Dr. Stuart Turvey, Investigator and Director, Clinical Research, BC Children's; and Aubrey J. Tingle Professor of Pediatric Immunology, UBC.

Asthma is the most common chronic disease of childhood, affecting one in seven Canadian children and costing the health care system more than $2-billion per year. Current treatments can manage the symptoms of asthma, but there is no effective way to prevent or cure this dangerous, chronic condition. Previous research from Dr. Stuart Turvey and the CHILD study team found that children who are missing four types of gut bacteria at three months of age are more likely to develop asthma. With this new funding, the team will further this research by using genomic technology to analyze stool samples from infants. The goal is reduce the burden of asthma by creating new diagnostic tools that will identify babies who are likely to develop the condition and develop new treatments that will replace missing gut bacteria to stop asthma before it starts.

Dr. Turvey leads this project with co-leads Dr. Michael Kobor, BC Children’s and UBC; Dr. Sara Mostafavi, BC Children’s and UBC; Dr. Brett Finlay, UBC; and Dr. Padmaja Subbarao, SickKids and McMaster University. This project is based at BC Children’s, BC Women’s and UBC.