In February, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) and The Banff Centre announced they were entering into a new partnership aimed at strengthening Canada’s capacity in creativity and innovation and establishing a productive relationship between scientists and artists. For this Inspired we wanted to hear about creativity at work in the research CIFAR is actively pursuing.
In the world of medicine, the causes of autism have long been one of the great mysteries, and without knowing cause, doctors are hampered in their ability to treat this devastating condition. But a Canadian team of researchers, led by Dr. Stephen Scherer, a renowned geneticist, has made significant progress in cracking open the mystery.
Scherer, who participated recently at a CIFAR gathering at The Banff Centre, is director of the University of Toronto McLaughlin Centre and the Centre for Applied Genomics at the Hospital for Sick Children, as well as a member of CIFAR’s Genetic Networks program. His team was among the first to discover that people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) don’t typically have identical gene mutations, but that they almost always have individual genomic anomalies, leading to individual forms of ASD. Scherer’s most recent research proposed that there could be between 200 and 300 genes involved. The team is now analyzing the genomes of more than 10,000 families affected by autism. Continue Reading →