Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Getting Personal: Omics of the Heart

Jan 24, 2018

Transcript for January 2018 Podcast

Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine



Jane Ferguson:                 Hi, everyone. Happy New Year. You are listening to "Getting Personable: Omics of the Heart". I'm Jane Ferguson and this is episode twelve from January 2018. 

                                                This month I have some exciting announcements to make. The journal formerly known as "Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics" has a new name. As of this month, the podcast is brought to you by "Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine". We're still publishing papers focused on cardiovascular genetics but as genomics and other omics have expanded our scope has grown to so much more than just genetics.

                                                The new name, "Genomic and Precision Medicine" signifies the journals focus not only on genetics, but also genomics and all the other omic technologies and the feel of precision medicine. Along with the new name we have a new editing team. Dr. Kiran Musunuru, an associate professor of cardiovascular medicine and genetics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has officially taken over as editor-in-chief. He has already been implementing new initiatives to allow the journal to serve authors and readers even better.

                                                Along with create original research articles you can find accompanying editorials, videos and interviews with authors, including the interview we're featuring in this month's podcast.

                                                Finally, while "Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics" was published every two months, "Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine" will now be published monthly. So, you can look forward to a new issue every month and even less time waiting for the newest research to be published. Check out the latest issue and all of the new material at and follow us on Twitter at Circ_Gen.

                                                Now, along with the name change for the journal, we have another name change in the pipeline. Our AHA Council, Functional Genomics and Translational Biology, is also being renamed to "The Council on Genomic and Precision Medicine". As with the journal name change this better reflects the evolution in our scope and focus. This name change will be formalized in the coming months. So, if you are one of the many people who could never remember what the acronym FGTB stood for or what order all those letters came in, your struggles will soon be over.

                                                We have a number of interesting papers published this month, including an article by George Hindy and colleagues on how smoking modifies the relationship between a genetic risk score and coronary heart disease; a mendelian randomization study from Jie Zhao and  Mary Schooling on coagulation factors and ischemic heart disease; an exome wide association study of QT interfolds from Nathan Bihlmeyer and colleagues; a study on genetic testing of cardiac ion-channelopathies and still births from Patricia Munroe and colleagues; and a genetic study of cardiac disfunction in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy from Tetsushi Yamamoto and colleagues.

                                                You can also catch up on the genetic cardi-oncology literature with a review by Marijke Linschoten and colleagues on chemotherapy related cardiac disfunction. And read a clinical case on left-ventricular non-compaction by Vi Tang and colleagues.

                                                Finally, we also have a scientific statement on the use of induced pluripotent stem cells for cardiovascular disease modeling in precision medicine by Kiran Musunuru and colleagues.

                                                Moving on to our feature article, Andrew Landstrom, an early career member of the Genomic and Precision Medicine Council, formerly FGTB, talk to Guillaume Paré and Sébastien Thériault about their article published this month entitled, "Polygenic Contribution in Individuals with Early Onset Coronary Artery Disease". In this paper, Dr. Thériault and colleagues report the use of the genetic risk score which improves on our ability to predict very early onset CAD. Listen on to the authors talk more about the background to this study and what they learned along the way.

Andrew:              Welcome. My name is Andrew Landstrom, an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Section of Cardiology at Baylor College of Medicine. I am a member of the early career committee of the American Heart Association Council on Genomic and Precision Medicine, previously the Council Functional Genomics and Translational Biology. I'm joined today by Sebastien Theriault, assistant professor in the Department of Molecular Biology Medical Biochemistry and Pathology at Laval University, and Guillaume Pare, the Canada Research Chair in genetic and molecular epidemiology, assistant professor in integrative health bio-systems and associate professor of medicine at McMaster University.

Guillaume:          Hi. Good morning.

Andrew:              Well, I'm wondering if we could just start by introducing ourselves maybe a little bit more thoroughly than I just did and talking a bit about your research paper and what brought you to this as a research question.

Guillaume:          Absolutely. So, this … [inaudible] and thank you for having us.

                                My name is Guillaume Pare, and as stated, I'm an associate professor at McMaster University, and I would say like my longstanding clinical interest is about individuals and families with very early coronary artery disease and heart disease. And this really was the basis for this project and to try to understand why do some people in family are afflicted by this disease when we cannot find any of the conventional risk factors. And as Sebastien came to join me and this endeavor, and spent two years with us here at McMaster and was instrumental in getting this project off the ground.

Sebastien:           Yes, exactly. So, I was a physician trained in Quebec City and I went to McMaster University as a research and clinical fellowship. And that's where I did some cardiovascular clinics with Dr. Pare and that's when we noted that some patients with early coronary artery disease didn't have much explanation for their disease. So, that's how this project stem, that we wanted to understand what was going on and we thought that really genetic factors could be involved.

Andrew:              And speaking of these genetic factors, in fact, you established a genetic risk score as sort of a way of aggregating a large number of genetic variants into a single prognostic risk indicator. How did you come up with the score, and where did these genetic variants that you aggregated come from?

Sebastien:           So, the results of many of our studies looking at the association between common genetic variants and coronary artery disease have recently been released. For this study, we use the variants identified in the latest CARDIoGRAM for C4D consortium meter analysis, which includes more than 60000 individuals with coronary artery disease and 120000 individuals without coronary artery disease from a total of 48 studies. Most of the participants in these studies were European. And so we decided to use the independent variants that were associated with the disease in that very study and look if we could predict early coronary artery disease in some patients.

Guillaume:          Andrew, maybe I'll backtrack a little bit. The initial idea about the gene score, first of all came from the observation that a lot of the patients who we're seeing do not have any traditional risk factor. The second observation is that we already knew that genetic risk scores are predictive of coronary artery disease. But the key question is, is it possible that there are people at the extreme of severity of a cardiovascular or genetic risk score that could be at much, much higher risk of having the disease. And this is what the hypotheses really that we wanted to test is whether these genes scores they could identify people that clearly have outlying risk, outlying genetic risk of having the disease.

                                And to explain, the patients that we were seeing a deflation in the clinic will clearly have an outlying risk of disease because they have a First Earth attack or multi vessel disease in their 30s or 40s, and we thought that this cannot be just like bad luck, there had to be some ... and this something is really most likely genetics. We cannot put a finger on it because all the known mutations that we know could cause this, well, we're just not finding them.

Andrew:              Sure, sure. And there's certainly having a large number of genome association studies, which have implicated a number of common variants and not so common variants in coronary artery disease. So, is this where some of this idea behind the genetic risk or was initially thought of?

Guillaume:          Absolutely. And I think you know ... and this is where Sebastian really came in and to really like look at this literature, to feel like the variants that went in into the score.

Andrew:              And certainly to go to your earlier point, it seemed like you were saying early on that coronary artery disease would be a great phenotypic model to explore this question in, mainly because it would seem that at that age, with that severe disease, that it must be something innate to that person, and genetics would certainly play a role.

Guillaume:          Absolutely. And to me, it's more than simply scientific because we see these patients at our clinic and we've got a lot of ref roles for these patients, and we really feel for them because they're really young people, and I think like when we think about genomic and like preventative medicine having an impact, I cannot see a greater impact than preventing a first heart attack in the 30s or early 40s. So, this is a ... it's a very vulnerable patient population. It's also a patient population that has a lot of questions about why this might be happening to them, and often what we see is that, I think everyone feels that clearly there's a genetic component, and one, a loved one has first attack in his or her 30s, this raises questions for the whole family really, and it clearly sends a shock wave in the family, and everyone, I think rightfully, is quite scared of having the disease and the fact that there is no answer for these people, to me is a huge unmet clinical need. And it's just for the sake of providing people with answers.

Andrew:              Yeah. Absolutely, I think it's certainly a clinically relevant question that you attempted to answer. And to try to get to this a little bit, and you utilized a large UK-based biobank as your primary study population to establish this risk score. Can you tell me more about this biobank and what sort of data you were able to obtain from it?

Sebastien:           Sure, I can speak a bit about it. So, the UK biobank is a large prospective cohort of about 500000 individuals between the age of 40 and 69, with an average of 58 years, and they were recruited from 2006 to 2010 in several centers in the United Kingdom, and the general objective is to study the effect on the environment and genetics on health. And what's interesting is that the data is made available to the research community worldwide following registration process. And the data in that includes a very vast amount of information, from questionnaires, specific evaluations, such as height, and weight, and aging data, and the diagnosis from the participants, medical charts, in addition to the genetic data of course.

                                And for this study we used the first release of the genetic data, which included information on about 40 million variants in about 150000 individuals, and selected the individuals who had a diagnosis of early coronary artery disease, so aged 40 or less for men, 45 or less for women, and then it underwent a reversed relation procedure in order to identify patients with obstruction in coronary artery disease, and we used all the other participants as controls. And that's basically leveraging this huge amount of data that we were able to confirm the fact that patients with early coronary artery disease, some of them very high and pathogenic components of their disease.

Andrew:              That certainly sounds like a really amazing, both biobank and cohort of information that could be utilized. Such a huge sample population with so many clinical variables as well as genetic variables and collected prospectively. What a great resource.

Sebastien:           Yes indeed.

Guillaume:          It's a fantastic resource and to me, this type of initiative it's a game changer to accelerate research, because with these data being made available, then it's really up to testing new bold ideas to try to improve our understanding of this disease. So, I think you know we have to say kudos to United Kingdom for financing this this great cohort and making it available to researcher worldwide.

Andrew:              And you didn't just stop there. You also utilized a local cohort as a foundation cohort for your study. Could you speak a little more about that?

Guillaume:          So, that's interesting because this cohort really stems from the patients that we've seen at the clinic. And essentially, we felt this was this huge unmet clinical need. To better address causes of disease, and these roles that's barely a disease. And then we said, well, if we were to do this, let's do this formal, and let's do this properly and collect the information and samples and everything, and we had a very enthusiastic response from our cardiologist, and international cardiologist colleagues that really helped us identify these early cases and send them to us and in our study. And so these are local patients. These are people that we care deeply about, and that's really want to make a difference. And again, you know, when Sebastian was with us at McMaster, we were seeing these patients together, and maybe he can add some of the details there if you want.

Sebastien:           Yeah. Just to specify again, these were patients at the very early coronary artery disease, for age 40 or less for men, and age 45 or less for women. And these were patients without the clear secondary cause of their disease. Most of them were clueless about what were the factors that caused the disease outside a few risk factors such as smoking or hypertension, there wasn't clear explanation as to why they had such early disease, and we could see that it was a struggle to try to understand and then see if there is a risk for their family also. So yeah, it was really interesting to find an explanation for some of them, and we did report the findings to a few of them who seemed to have polygenic contribution to their disease, and it did make a difference. They were quite happy to at least have some kind of an explanation to what was happening to them.

Guillaume:          And I think that one thing that I think was striking to me when doing this is that when we started to formally collect family history in these individuals, we just realized that and in many, if not most of them, the family history is really striking. And these are folks that clearly has a very severe individual disease, but when we start asking about their brothers, and sisters, and parents, and uncles, you just realized that coronary artery disease was just all over the place and was very aggressive and early. And I think to us, this gave us purpose in this project to say that, 'Yes, we have to do something about this,' but also, I think it also reassures us that our primary hypothesis was right in thinking that there has to be a genetic component that goes beyond just having bad luck, and this genetic component was expressing itself by the family history that we saw.

                                And a further clue that I think we might be on the right track is that the pattern of inheritance didn't shift one of the single mutations that aggregates in a family and that can explain the disease. So, the disease was more diffuse and oftentimes it was both from the paternal and maternal branch of the family without a clear genetic pattern that would be more in line with the so-called mendelian disease, where a single gene mutation causes the disease. And I think really that puts to us in the mind that we might be looking at the different modes of inheritance, and this is partly how we came with this idea of looking at gene scores in these individuals and families.

Andrew:              So certainly a close clinical connection to the patients and their families that you're trying to risk stratify and certainly, it sounds like clinical suggestion that you were dealing with something genetic and inheritable, but not necessarily mendelian, where one gene defect leads to say an autosomal balanoid express disease, more of a polygenic family history exactly.

Guillaume:          Exactly.

Andrew:              And so with these two scores and this genetic risk score, what exactly did you all find?

Sebastien:           So first we found that participants from the UK biobank who had this early coronary artery disease had a very significantly higher number of common genetic risk variants. So the score was very significantly higher in these patients. And what was interesting too is that the increase in risk that was associated with the score was independent from traditional risk factors such as smoking and high blood pressure. And when we looked in the local cohort with early coronary artery disease, out of 30 participants that were involved, we found seven with a significant polygenic contribution, which we define as, a two-fold increase in risk, and one of the participants actually more than six-fold estimated increase in risk. So we really did identify an explanation for some of these participants with the early coronary artery disease.

Guillaume:          And I think this was maybe a bit of a eureka moment to see that some of these individuals actually had a much, much increased risk of disease based on the polygenic risk score, and this really was the primary hypothesis that when looking at extreme of disease, which is what we're looking at, we might find extreme of genetic predisposition. But the one thing I thought that's quite striking is then we went back to think all that. And to try to put this in perspective with what we would usually do in these patients that we've done already, and to look for mutations that cause familial hypercholesterolemia.

                                Familial hypercholesterolemia is a disease of cholesterol metabolism that leads to a much increased concentration of cholesterol and early coronary artery disease, and a discovery that led to a Nobel Prize for Goldstein and Brown, back in the day, and really like, up to this point, when we see people with early disease clinically, this is what we will be looking for. And certainly, there's a lot of these individuals that have very high cholesterol and a lot of them is due to familial hypercholesterolemia. But it's a minority of patients really. It looks like we're having an association and this gene score concept is really panning out. But I wouldn't compare to familial hypercholesterolemia, and I guess that the results were kind of surprising to us and I think we had to take a step back and think about the implications. And I don't know, Sebastien do you want to describe these results or ...

Sebastien:           Yeah, sure of course. So we've looked at how frequent this polygenic contribution to coronary artery disease could be. So we look at the prevalence of high genetic risk or that would cause a risk similar to familial hypercholesterolemia see the ratio about 3.7, and we realized that one in 53 individuals had an increasing risk that was similar. So that's almost 2% of the population, and that is way more frequent than the actual prevalence of familial hypercholesterolemia, which is one in 250. So in other words, the polygenic contribution could be almost five times more frequent than familial hypercholesterolemia.

Andrew:              But yet not all of those individuals manifest as disease, which sort of hits as something that's a common thread in genetic association studies where we're trying to describe sort of multifactorial disease en points with finite genetic and a whole spectrum of acquired disease, required lifestyle modifications and things. So no model is 100% perfect, and so where do you think that additional variation lies, either in the reduced penetrance of some of these disease phenotypes, or are there other genetic loci, or are these all secondary to acquired changes that happen, or where does some of that variation lie?

Guillaume:          Well, to me I think there's two parts to this question. The first one is that I see the cells study as in some sense, proof of concept, to look for the concept of very high burden of polygenic risk as a mendelian equivalent really. But the fact is that, especially with the new discoveries and the genetics of coronary artery disease, the gene scores that we've been using for this study could be much improved. And I think the concept is there, but the gene score could be improved, and I think they will be improved and I think in three, four, five, ten, years from now, they're going to be even better because we will have many more variants that we know are preceded with coronary artery disease and that might be upwards to 1000 variance, for example will have much better gene score I think we'll have much more predictive gene scores.

                                So I think the concept is there, but I think it's going to improve, with the years is only going to get better. And I think part of this missing risk, if I may, is due to the fact that we're missing a lot of genetic variants associated with coronary artery disease, and I'm very confident that the community will find them in the years to come.

                                I think the second part of the study is that, that being said, I think genetic risk is obviously important but we shouldn't neglect also classical risk factors. And a lot of [inaudible] … they did have the classic risk factors and that was a fairly high proportion of smokers, and a few cases of diabetes, and I think that individually, this risk factor wouldn't be enough to explain the aggressiveness of this disease. But I think the fact that we do find an enrichment for these factors also give us ... I think it feeds the idea that it's not only genetics and that even in these individuals classic risk factors do matter and trying our best to decrease the burden of these risk factors on a community and its role family level is probably also very important.

Sebastien:           I'd also want to know that there's an environmental part that's involved even in these individuals with high genetic risk. And as he just mentioned, we did notice a high proportion of traditional risk factors in patients with early coronary artery disease even in some of them with high polygenic score, some of the environmental factors seem to be also involved in their disease.

Guillaume:          And to some extent I think that's going to be an interesting research question, in these individuals with very high polygenic burden, do traditional risk factor, do they at the time, are they stronger or weaker, is there a synergistic effect between, for example, smoking and being at this extreme of the polygenic risk? And these are kind of open questions that we couldn't address in the current study but I think will be interesting to see in the years to come.

Andrew:              Absolutely. I think there's definitely a road ahead of us but this is definitely a step in the right direction. What are some of the practical applications of this genetic risk scores, either from your study or from others in the identification of individuals? Is it something that could be used for primary production? I mean, in theory, this could be done at birth. You could be screened for these genetic variants and the risks will be calculated within the first days of life. What do you think are the practical applications of this and where is this fit into a rapidly expanding world of clinical genetics?

Guillaume:          Well, I think you know what you've just described is exactly how I see the future, and I think that if we want to be consistent, and we consider folks with a familial [inaudible] mutation to be at higher risk, I think that someone with a predicted polygenic risk of twofold, threefold, or fourfold increase risk of coronary artery disease should definitely be put in a higher risk category when it comes to primary prevention irrespective of other risk factors, or maybe like in combination with these other risk factors, and I think should be treated accordingly. And as we see, these are people are very aggressively affected by the disease, and I think the sooner we could identify these individuals at high risk and try to intervene to lessen as much as possible this risk, I think we will do these individuals and families a great service.

                                So I think it's definitely a case for primary prevention and especially in a world where genomics is more clinically prevalent and used, also we see a role for this and the role that's already affected. And to me personally, I see great value in providing people with answer on why they've had an event and probably providing an answer not only to them, but also to their families.

Andrew:              And so if something like this were to be able to be applied broadly in the clinical arena, what sort of steps do you think need to happen from this point forward to make this sort of testing ready for prime time?

Guillaume:          This is a great question and I have to say that my passion I would say is to bring genomics to the clinic. I think there's a long road ahead to make this happen. But I think there's two main obstacles. The first one is that I think there's a knowledge gap between people that do this 24/7 like me, and I think you know the rest of the community and that there's been so much rapid progress in the field of genomics in the last few years that I think there's a lot of education to be done for people to catch up and just the concept of polygenic risk.

                                I think only a minority of clinicians will know about this and very rightfully, because right now it's in the realm of research papers. So I think to make this happen, there's a huge role in education and awareness. I also think that our hospitals ... or maybe it's a Canadian thing, are not prepared just for the flow of information and how to derive the routines commercially, and probably how to handle these highly multi-dimensional data and to be able to take the right information out of them and I think in this world, I would think that probably the best way to do it is to do it in a way that these gene scores can be updated, the science progress. But we're so far away.

                                Sometimes I feel that our hospital system is struggling to provide [inaudible] time to clinicians. And I'm just thinking without the prevention or how to handle something as complex as polygenic score, in this case we barely had like all the plugs in 200 variants, but you could clearly imagine like genetic risk scores being done with hundreds of thousands, if not millions of variants and will bring a whole new set of challenges.

Andrew:              And Sebastian, do you have a perspective on this?

Sebastien:           Yeah. I would just add that this knowledge is in the research community but to really put that into the clinic there's old setting, you have first to interpret the results and also to disclose the results to patients in a way that they can understand and that wouldn't create unnecessary anxiety, but more give them informed and an informed view of their health. So there's this also translation to the patient that needs to be evaluated and developed for it to be used to mainstream I would say.

Guillaume:          And I think the classic tools like publications also presentations and meeting and even reaching out to the cardiology community to start discussing these concepts will be important. And clearly it's a big shift from just classic genetics and even familial hypercholesterolemia, I think there isn't a lot of awareness, I don't think there's enough awareness as far as I'm concerned. And then we're bringing new concepts that might be even further remote from what people have been taught about genetics and score, it's going to be a huge challenge, but we have to. And I think the great thing about the medical community as far as I'm concerned, is that every time that there's been something that was worthwhile to do clinically, the community has always come around and making sure that these things are implemented and made available and everything. So I'm also very confident, but I think there's a great challenge ahead as well.

Andrew:              It sounds like the challenge has a potential for great benefit and if proper partnerships between the clinicians, and the geneticists, the scientists, and the patients and their families can all sort of come together to establish a path forward for this type of information to be applied clinically.

Guillaume:          Yeah, absolutely. And I really like that to add there that you've put the clinicians, geneticists, and patients as well. I think it's very important, patient advocates are a very important part of the equation here.

Andrew:              Going forward, are other disease processes besides early onset coronary artery disease that you all feel might benefit from a similar polygenic risk?

Sebastien:           The recent studies show that a lot of complex traits seem to have polygenic origin. So traits like hypertension, diabetes, obesity, atrial fibrillation, for example, they show a similar genetic architecture where there seem to be combinations of a very large number of common variants that explain the genetic risk. So it's a big number of variants with smaller effects that seem to be responsible for the appearance of these complex traits. So this concept could potentially be applied to a lot of different diseases.

Guillaume:          I think I would maybe just go even one step further, but I really have the feeling that most late onset disease actually has a polygenic architecture, which means that similar polygenic risk score could be done targeting the extreme of distribution to look into this. I mean obviously, I think metabolic traits, diabetes, hypertension as Sebastien mentioned, but probably why not some cancers, or [inaudible] or any of the large number of disease where a polygenic inheritance either has been proven or is highly suspected.

                                So I think that we will hear a lot of polygenic risk score in the future, and I might be biased here, but I think it might become a staple of clinical practice that people will be looking at polygenic risk for a number of disease. And I think the great thing is that now that we've got genome-wide genotyping that is really affordable and we can type with statistical imputation and tens of millions of variants, then I think one concept is that we only have to genotype once and then we can derive these polygenic risk scores for ... why not a dozen diseases that are important and are actionable and really like turbo charge primary prevention by using this information. I might be getting ahead of myself, but I really think that this is something that we might see and that for us, we should see.

Andrew:              And certainly that seems to be the way that at least the literature is trending, definitely towards more, and more data and more, and more exploration into a number of diseases that may have mendelian inheritance pattern but may also have a significant component that's polygenic, particularly like you were saying in those individuals that present at the extremes of severity. So I think it's certainly where we're heading.

                                Is there anything else that either of you would like to share about the study that you feel be important?

Guillaume:          I think we've covered a lot of ground here, but perhaps the one thing is just to reiterate that this is a proof of concept, but I really think that the act of polygenic risk score will continue to improve for quite a while, and as it improves, it will only get better. So we can only move forward with this in terms of the accuracy of the prediction, and I think that that's a great thing and hopefully with this we'll be able to better predict risk. And the other thing as well is that, I would say that at this point we can identify people at risk. And I think it's great because it provides answers, we can target known risk factors.

                                But I think a big part that's still open is, can we use this risk to derive like more individualized treatment, or to actually choose what should be the best way to prevent events in these individuals. And again, I don't think we're there yet but this is something that I think it's worthwhile investigating in the future and maybe trying to dissect this polygenic risk and to see maybe it falls in one or two categories or maybe it's a global risk, and these are all open questions that I think are important, but that are still very much of a mystery right now.

Andrew:              Sebastian?

Sebastien:           I think we've covered a lot of ground like you said and I don't have too much to add. Otherwise, I think we'll see a lot of these polygenic risk scores in the future and for risk improvement even to understand better the physiology of disease. These are very important concepts.

Guillaume:          And I think you know the common approach of physiology is good because these gene scores they don't seem to be associated with classical risk factor. In our study, rather weak association with blood pressure and families history. Now, family history is kind of logical. Blood pressure suggests that perhaps there's an overlap between the two pathways, but clearly adjusting for blood pressure like that only slightly attenuated the predictiveness.

                                So basically what this is telling us is that this polygenic risk score seems to be acting through pathways that we don't know of, that we're not measuring clinically, and I think that’s a big part of the future would be to say, 'well, what are these pathways, and can we actually assess them? Are there other cholesterols out there?' Cholesterol is great because it's causal, we've got synthetic pharmachemicals, you've got tools to decrease it, and we've got fantastic evidence that decreasing cholesterol decrease risk. Is it possible that there's other pathways that are there and that we could do to sign, and I think all of this gives us great clues that this might be so.

                                I think as happens quite often in science, we start with an hypothesis and we try to address it the best we can, and at the end of the day, here I guess we've been lucky because it kind of panned out, but it also opens so many more questions about; So what are these other pathways that these genetic risk scores are capturing that we're not capturing clinically right now. And how could this lead to better treatment, and how to implement this and everything, and I think this is really what's so exciting about doing research, and as far as I'm concerned, doing research that has an impact on people's lives and trying to improve people and provide answers to people.

Andrew:              Sounds like a great summary of the rationale for doing this. Thank you very much for joining me and for sharing your work.

Guillaume:          My pleasure.

Sebastien:           Thanks.


Jane Ferguson:                 Thanks for listening to "Getting Personal: Omics of the Heart." You can subscribe on iTunes to get each new episode delivered straight to you. And we'll be back with more next month.