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Genome SpecTRA Project

The Genome SpecTRA project is a 4-year, $9.6 million dollar research contract, hosted and co-funded by Island Health and sponsored by Genome BC and Genome Canada. Island Health is collaborating with more than 10 organizations on the project, including the University of Victoria, the University of Calgary, the BC Centre for Disease Control, Stroke Services BC, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

The SpecTRA project has two primary goals:

  1. To develop a quick and inexpensive multi-protein blood test for diagnosing acute cerebrovascular syndrome (ACVS); and
  2. To create a clinical decision support tool for calculating the risk profiles of patients who present to Emergency Departments with stroke-like symptoms.

SpecTRA will help clinicians diagnose potential stroke patients in the Emergency Department, and provide guidelines for appropriate and timely medical imaging.  SpecTRA is about precision medicine; it aims to provide the right care at the right time to the right patient, and to reduce the burden of stroke by catching undiagnosed strokes and identifying high-risk patients earlier.

To date, the project has enrolled over 1,200 participants through Emergency departments in Victoria, Nanaimo, and Calgary, and holds one of the largest TIA plasma biobanks in the world. The SpecTRA project is a partner in the International Stroke Biomarker Network, and preliminary TIA biomarker results are expected to be available in fall of 2016.

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