Northwestern Medicine, University of Calgary partner for precision medicine study

Chicago-based Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Canada-based University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine are collaborating to conduct a five-year clinical study focused on developing a personalized medicine approach to treating bicuspid aortic valve, a common congenital heart defect.

The study, funded by a $3.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, will allow researchers to use the latest in imaging techniques and tissue analysis to develop personalized treatment pathways for bicuspid aortic valve patients. The condition affects more than 7 million people in North America.

The study will include a group of 450 patients.

"Not all BAV patients are the same, yet they are currently treated the same when it comes to timing and extent of surgery," said Dr. Paul Fedak, professor in University of Calgary medical school's cardiac sciences and surgery departments as well as a member of the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta. "Through this study we can give clinicians and surgeons the tools they need to create precise, individualized treatment plans for patients."

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