Note to editors:
Dr. Hendrick Milting, a molecular genetics researcher, will visit Memorial University on Monday, April 29, and Tuesday, April 30, to discuss and share information regarding a recent discovery of a genetic link between German, Danish and Newfoundland families.
Dr. Milting will be available for media interviews during his visit.
In 2008 researchers at Memorial University discovered a gene mutation which causes ARVC (arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy). ARVC is a form of heart disease that usually appears in early adulthood and causes sudden cardiac death. To date, researchers in the Faculty of Medicine have found 24 large families in the province affected by the gene mutation. The largest family has been identified as approximately 1,200 people across 10 generations, dating back to 1799. Dr. Milting has identified the same gene mutation in families in Germany illustrating a direct DNA link between Newfoundlanders and Germany.
Currently, Drs. Kathy Hodgkinson, Terry Young and Sean Connors, with other researchers in the Faculty of Medicine, are looking to enrol 100 people in a pilot study to determine if they have the genetic change that leads to ARVC.