The Population Therapeutics Research Group (PTRG), a not-for-profit team within Memorial's Faculty of Medicine, supports and carries out genetic research in the province's population. The PTRG's research aims to determine genetic association to disease and undesirable drug reactions to ensure drug effectiveness, optimize drug dosage decisions, and enhance drug therapy. The Group is led by Dr. Proton Rahman, an internationally renowned rheumatologist and genetic epidemiologist.
The population of Newfoundland and Labrador largely descends from thousands of Irish and English immigrants, making it relatively homogeneous. This "founder population" is internationally recognized as an ideal resource for genetic studies on the identification of genes implicated in common diseases and research on drug effectiveness and adverse reactions. Findings from studies carried out in Newfoundland can be generalized to the Caucasian population worldwide.
Through this AIF project, the PTRG will develop the Newfoundland Genealogical Toolkit - a state-of-the-art information technology platform able to generate large sample groups (family trees) to conduct world-class studies on the genetic contribution to disease, drug efficacy and adverse events. The system will link a detailed, existing Newfoundland Genealogical database to information regarding family structure, disease status, drug exposure and clinical outcomes. The toolkit will provide support for new gene discoveries linked to diseases, genetic causes for adverse drug reactions (ADRs), pharmacogenetic (drug-genetic interactions) studies, and personalized medicine.