Dr. Maziar Rahmani
Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre
A fortunate minority of Canadians live beyond the age of 85 without developing serious age-associated diseases like cardiovascular disease. Dr. Maziar Rahmani, a post-doctoral fellow at Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre, plans to study these ‘super seniors.’
Dr. Rahmani is looking for genetic differences between these exceptional disease-free seniors and others who have developed aortic valve stenosis (AVS) – a cardiovascular disorder in which the heart’s main artery is narrowed and restricts blood flow, placing a strain on the heart. Working with some 2,200 people in various states of health, he is using an innovative laboratory technique to examine more than one million subtle variations in the chemical structure of their genes.
By sifting through this genetic information, Dr. Rahmani expects to identify factors that influence our resistance or susceptibility to heart problems such as AVS. Many of these factors could provide the foundation for long-term good health. The understanding of this role could open the way for personalized disease prevention strategies and optimized health care based on a patient’s genetic profile.
Besides highlighting vulnerabilities to disease that could be prevented, this research also raises the prospect of new treatments based on promoting the activity of these critical genetic factors.
Dr. Rahmani is supervised by Dr. Angela Brooks-Wilson.
Supported by Pfizer Canada