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​​Picture of people talking and smilingThe Dalglish Family 22q Clinic is the world’s first comprehensive, interdisciplinary clinic devoted to adults with 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome(22q11.2DS) and their families.

It’s estimated that 15,000 to 30,000 Canadians have the genetic deletion but many don’t know this- as patients often go undiagnosed.

“Because 22q11.2DS can affect nearly every part of the body, patients and their families often need to visit multiple hospitals to see several specialists,” says Dr. Bassett, who holds The Dalglish Family Chair in 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome. “We’ll be a one-stop-shop for patients with 22q11.2DS and their families – providing them the specialized, collaborative and multidisciplinary care that meets their unique needs, all under one roof.”

The Dalglish Family 22q Clinic was made possible by The W. Garfield Weston Foundation’s generous $4-million donation.

The Dalglish Family 22q Clinic offers expert integrated care with an in-house clinical team – including a nurse, dietitian, social worker, and doctors from multiple specialties including psychiatry, cardiology, endocrinology, neurology and genetics. Dr. Alan Fung, Co-Director, and Sarah Flogen, Nurse Manager, will join Dr. Bassett to form the clinic’s leadership team.

“We’ll also collaborate with the Hospital for Sick Children to improve the care of youth with 22q11.2DS as they transition from paediatric to adult health care,” says Dr. Fung, who is also an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. “Our goal is for the clinic to serve as a model of integrated care not just for 22q11.2DS but also for other complex conditions”

Along with their clinical focus, The Dalglish 22q Clinic’s staff will embrace research and education. Researchers will explore the range of clinical challenges that 22q11.2DS presents, particularly in psychiatric, cardiac and neurological specialties, and translate cutting-edge findings to directly benefit patients and families in the clinic and influence global health care practices.

Support of The W. Garfield Weston Foundation will advance the clinic’s research platform by contributing to the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre Biobank and database and enabling world-leading research. Banking tissue samples may allow researchers to identify potential molecular therapies for patients with 22q11.2DS.

"By having the vision to invest in leading research, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation provides us with the resources to sequence all of the genes in hundreds of patients with 22q11.2DS,” says Dr. Barry Rubin, Program Medical Director of the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre and Professor of Surgery, University of Toronto. “This may give us insights into why some patients are born with heart defects, while others go on to develop psychiatric disorders, like schizophrenia."

“Along with supporting psychiatric and cardiac genetic research, this innovative gift will also support The Dalglish Family Fellowship in 22q11.2DS, allowing clinicians or scientists to pursue advanced research training in 22q11.2DS,” says Dr. Sidney Kennedy, Psychiatrist-in-Chief, UHN and Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto.


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