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About Peter Ainsworth

Dr. Peter Ainsworth is a clinical biochemist researching the genetic and non-genetic determinants of breast cancer and ovarian cancer, to better assess risk factors in women with specific genetic mutations.

Asset Map Keywords: Breast Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, and Genetics --> (see more)
Children's Health Collaborators: Bekim Sadikovic, Victoria Mok Siu, and Tony Rupar

Keywords: molecular diagnostics, hereditary cancer predisposition syndromes
Description of clinical activities: I oversee the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory, and also work as a consultant in the Cancer Genetics Clinic.
Keywords: breast cancer, ovarian cancer

I am closely involved in two major studies related to the Hereditary Breast and Ovarian cancer predisposition genes:
° Risk Factor Analysis of Hereditary Breast/Ovarian Cancer Genetic and Non-Genetic Determinants of breast Cancer Risk in BRCA1 and BRCA2 Mutation Carriers. in collaboration with with Dr. Steven Narod, Women's College Hospital Toronto;
° Detection of mutations and gene variants of uncertain significance in inherited breast and ovarian cancer,
in collaboration with Dr. Peter Rogan UWO, Dr. Muriel Brackstone LHSC and Dr. Joan Knoll LHSC/UWO. (funded by CBCF).

The recent explosive growth of the field of molecular genetics has created opportunities for the development of a wide range of both diagnostic and therapeutic medical applications unimaginable just a few years ago, and promises to have a major impact on the practice of medicine into the next century.

Applications of diagnostic molecular biological techniques in medical genetics make it possible not only to identify carriers of mutations associated with the more classical, clinically identified, inherited diseases such as Cystic Fibrosis, but also to potentially identify specific gene mutations in otherwise well individuals, who may then be considered to be at a higher than average risk of developing disease. This latter development of Predictive Genetics arguably represents the greatest potential area of growth in modern genetics, and will allow the identification of predisposition to a wide variety of mainstream medical conditions, including various cancers, cardiomyopathies, complex metabolic disorders such as diabetes mellitus, disorders of lipid metabolism, as well as a variety of neurologic and psychiatric disorders.

The earliest examples of pre-symptomatic testing are currently seen in the field of Cancer Genetics, specifically the diagnosis of a predisposition to Hereditary Breast or Ovarian Cancer (HBOC), Hereditary Non Polyposis Colorectal Cancer (HNPCC), or Hereditary Endocrine malignancies (MEN 2), which already account for more than 50% of the workload of the LHSC MDxL.

Research Interest Area: Cancer
Research Overview: Structure and function of tumour supressor genes in health & disease neurofibromatosis type I


Present Adjunct Professor, Western University Department of Biochemistry
Present Adjunct Professor, Western University Department of Oncology
Present Adjunct Professor, Western University Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Present Associate Scientist, Lawson Health Research Institute ‐ Children's Health Research Institute (CHRI)


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Recent Works (7)