Researchers discover gene linked to high blood pressure, improving treatments
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Treating people with high blood pressure first requires identifying the genes that drive the normal formation of the heart. Although researchers have begun that process, they haven’t yet captured all the “ingredients” – the different genes – that could help repair specific areas of the heart, such as valves. Former University of Ottawa Vice-President, Research, Mona Nemer (now Canada’s Chief Science Advisor) accelerated our understanding of those ingredients. Working with researchers at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and networks in Montreal, England and Australia, she identified a gene called GATA5 that interferes with blood pressure regulation by causing defects in small blood vessels.

Her discovery promises to improve personalized treatments for heart patients.

“This is the kind of incremental knowledge that we are collecting. Once you have a key, you can unlock other things. We are extremely well placed to continue making discoveries, but just as importantly, to translate them into better patient care.”
Mona Nemer
Former University of Ottawa Vice-President, Research and current Chief Science Advisor of Canada
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