Imagine a child facing life with a long-term complex orthopaedic condition. Now imagine having the ability through genetics research to pinpoint the exact cause of the problem, and treat it accordingly and immediately, easing or ending the potential for a lifetime of medical care and personal struggle. With its new Genomics Institute, Shriners Hospitals for Children is taking the steps to one day make this a reality.
What is genomics?
Genomics is the science of generating highly accurate genetic data (DNA or genome) from each person that allows the identification of disease-related variations or gene alterations. The availability of individual genetic data can further lead to better ways to diagnose and treat a condition, lessen a disorder’s impact on a child and create better treatments. Genomics research can bring hope to countless children the world over – opening the door to lives full of promise and possibilities.
Shriners Hospitals paves the way
The research programs department at Shriners Hospitals for Children has a long history of supporting scientists who make discoveries that ultimately change lives. For example, the efforts of our scientists have led to improved therapies, allowing people with severe burn injuries to have a better chance of survival. Studies of children and families with rare bone diseases have led to the development of new medications for children with these disorders. Our new Genomics Institute takes our research to an even more personalized, patient-centric level that will lead to more individualized treatment options and improved outcomes for patients.
This genetics-based approach to medical care, known as precision medicine, is more than a hope or a dream. It is becoming a reality, and one day it could even be the norm. With the establishment of its Genomics Institute in Tampa, Florida, Shriners Hospitals for Children is moving closer to the goal of understanding the specific – and individual – genetic causes of orthopaedic conditions and disabilities, such as clubfoot, scoliosis and osteogenesis imperfecta, also known as brittle bone disease.
Through sophisticated, next-generation sequencing of DNA samples from our patient population, Shriners Hospitals hopes to gain the understanding needed to create more targeted, efficient and personalized treatments and therapies.
We are proud to be at the forefront of this next major step toward bringing new hope and healing to children and families the world over.
TO LEARN MORE, including how to participate, please call our research department at 813-281-0500.