A message from CMMT Co-Directors, Drs. Dan Goldowitz and Wyeth Wasserman

A message from CMMT Co-Directors, Drs. Dan Goldowitz and Wyeth Wasserman

The Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics (CMMT) is a community of researchers dedicated to understanding how changes in genes cause disease. An underlying goal for CMMT has been to bring outstanding researchers from different fields, to work together with appropriate support and technology to establish an effective environment for excellence in research and training.

Genetics profoundly influences the function of every cell in our bodies. Discovering the genetic basis of disease allows the development of therapeutics that can treat causes and produce cures rather than just manage symptoms.

One discovery can also lead to many unexpected findings that offer new promise for disease treatment. Our discovery of the gene responsible for a lipid abnormality in children that leads to the abnormal development of big livers and spleens led to the finding that the same gene influences susceptibility to coronary artery disease and diabetes, the most common causes of premature death in the developing world.

That discovery was one of many from CMMT that unravelled mechanisms of disease and led to new therapeutic approaches. Our researchers have continually contributed to the advancement of biomedical knowledge by publishing over 500 scientific papers since the Centre was established in 1995.

CMMT is a highly successful synergistic group of driven investigators and the key to our success is our partnerships. CMMT scientists collaborate across various disciplines, sharing a sense of commitment and accountability to solve the many questions surrounding human illness. Researchers at the Centre also work with industrial partners to translate discoveries into new therapies and improvements in the care of patients both in Canada and worldwide.

Partnerships with patients teach us profound lessons into patterns of illness and new approaches to treatment. These include patients who have donated tissues and samples so we can unravel the secrets of their diseases. It has been inspiring and humbling to see the courage and sacrifices patients have made so that progress may be relevant not only for themselves, but for all suffering from these illnesses around the world.

There is urgency to what we do at CMMT. We recognize that delayed progress now will translate to a denial of health care in the future. Together with our partners at the Child and Family Research Institute, the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation and the University of British Columbia, we will continue to move research forward as quickly as we can.

We have a deep optimism that with creativity, luck, intuition, and hard work we will develop treatments and new approaches to prevention that can overcome the causes of illness.