The speaker series is a regularly scheduled public event designed to tell the story of women’s participation in science and engineering.
We encourage interdisciplinary and intergenerational discussion and learning, and the series is an ideal opportunity to gather, share and learn.


Wednesday November 18th, 2015 from 7:15 PM to 8:30 PM NDT


The Fluvarium 
5 Nagle’s Place
St. John's, NL A1B 2Z2


Vesna Kerezi, Speaker Series Coordinator 
864-2484 or 727-7883 

Our current understanding of young sudden cardiac death in Newfoundland and Labrador: the story of a multidisciplinary team of researchers, clinicians and families 

A core team of scientists and clinicians has been working together since 1996 on genetic causes of young sudden cardiac death in Newfoundland and Labrador. The team has been extremely successful, finding a hitherto unknown gene and mutation causing early death, and has clearly shown that the use of the mutation to define affected status prior to any cardiac symptomology followed by treatment in the form of the Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator has led to an additional 31 years of life for a sub-group of high risk males. A dedicated genetics cardiology clinic has been created and numerous families with a variety of genetic mutations have been effectively treated. In addition significant ethical issues have arisen and new paradigms of thought and practice have occurred as a result.

 Two of the principal investigators with this team are Kathy Hodgkinson, genetic counselor and clinical epidemiologist (who started the project in 1998) and the molecular geneticist Dr. Terry Young who was recruited to the team in 2004. The presentation will describe the work of this team, with special reference to the women involved over the years, paying particular attention to the families who have been the most important members of the research team. 

The talk will be held in conjunction with the WISE NL Annual General Meeting which starts at 6:00pm. Members are encouraged to attend the AGM.


Dr. Kathy Hodgkinson, Ph.D

Assistant Professor
Clinical Epidemiology/Genetics
Memorial University

Dr.  Hodgkinson works at the unit of clinical epidemiology in the faculty of medicine, and is cross appointed to genetics and pediatrics.  She received her undergraduate degree in Genetics and Cell biology with first class honours from Manchester University, her M.Sc. in genetic counselling from McGill University with the help of Rotary and Commonwealth scholarships, and her Ph.D with distinction at Memorial University where her thesis was entitled ‘The Clinical and Genetic Epidemiology of Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy in Newfoundland’. Dr. Hodgkinson has made important contributions in ARVC research to the understanding of the natural history, efficacy of diagnostic testing, prognosis, penetrance,  the effectiveness of treatment with the implantable cardioverter defibrillator, the complex relationship between genetic research and clinical care of patients, and the ethics surrounding a possible duty to warn within genetics. Dr. Hodgkinson is continuing her research into cardiomyopathies that cause sudden cardiac death.

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