Innovative genetic research for cardiac care

Dr. Jason Roberts


Personalized Treatment for Arrhythmogenic Cardiomyopathy (ACM)

ACM is a terminal heart disease characterized by anomalies within the heart that can potentially lead to sudden cardiac death.

Treatment options are limited – until now, there was little known about this genetic condition. But new research at LHSC is creating hope for those with ACM.

LHSC Cardiologist Dr. Jason Roberts is leading a study that involves targeting receptors within the cells of mice, which has the potential to prevent and partially reverse the disease. Dr. Roberts is collaborating with 35 centres from across Canada, the U.S. and Europe to research ways of applying this same method to treat patients. Donor support is helping to advance this crucial research that could change the lives of people genetically predisposed to ACM.

Genetic Editing to Change the Course of Heart Disease

Another study supported by donors involves an exciting collaboration with the University of Calgary. Using state-of-the-art technology for genomic editing, called CRISPR, Dr. Roberts and his collaborators hope to cure an inherited arrhythmia syndrome associated with a high risk of fainting and potential sudden death, called Catecholaminergic Polymorphic Ventricular Tachycardia (CPVT).

CRISPR technology (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) is a new innovation within the field of microbiology that holds tremendous promise to cure many diseases and has been featured widely in mainstream media. 


CPVT is a classic example of a disease caused by a single genetic mutation and is therefore ideally suited for treatment via CRISPR. Though the technology is still in its infancy, Dr. Roberts believes it can cure CPVT because it can recognize the abnormal mutation present and then cut out that specific gene, thereby eliminating the disease. Dr. Roberts is collaborating with a world expert in the field, Dr. Wayne Chen, who will conduct the experiments in his laboratory in Calgary.