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Monday, April 13 2015

Media Advisory – International meeting in Montreal – The future of Canada’s big health data banks

In Montreal on April 16 and 17, scientists, decision-makers and the business community from across Canada will gather for the first time, along with regional and international experts, to discuss the challenges facing Canada’s large health data banks. 


Thanks to significant public investment, many large population cohorts were created around the world in recent years, including five in Canada: the Ontario Health Study, Quebec’s CARTaGENE, BC’s Generations Project, Alberta’s Tomorrow Project and the Atlantic’s Path Study. As many as 300,000 Canadians have contributed detailed health information and biological samples. Today, these big health data banks are increasingly confronted with important challenges relating to the management, storage, analysis, integration and interpretation of their data, the sharing of data with other banks around the world and promoting their use by researchers.


Many world-renowned experts from the United States, Britain and across the country will come together to propose solutions, including: 

  • Daniel Levy, Director of the Framingham Heart Study. The Framingham Heart Study is ongoing for the last 70 years and its results have transformed modern medicine
  • Rex Chisholm, Director of the eMerge project in the U.S., which combines genetic data and patient health records 
  • Emily Drabant Conley of 23andMe, a company offering personal genetic tests, which has ties to Google 

A special session will also be held on April 17 to formulate 10 recommendations for the future of Canada’s big health data banks to be addressed to decision makers and the scientific community.


“Cohorts, big data and personalized medicine: challenges and solutions”April 16-17, Windsor Hotel, 1170 Peel Street, Montréal

Program: symposium.cartagene.qc.ca

The event is open to the media in its entirety. Please confirm your attendance in advance at 514-923-3564. Phone interviews before, during or after the meeting are also possible, including with Philip Awadalla, CARTaGENE’s scientific director and the meeting’s initiator.

Information, interviews and confirmation:
Eloi Courchesne

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Updated on 4/13/2015
Created on 4/13/2015
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