Dr. Rachel Tyndale

Head of Pharmacogenetics in the Neuroscience Department at CAMH and Endowed Chair, Addictions, University of Toronto Department of Psychiatry

“The really exciting part of my research is the possibility of using genetic information, for the first time, to individualize treatment to help smokers quit this highly addictive drug."

Nicorette, the patch or just cold turkey --- why do some people smoke more than others, and why do some find it easier to quit?

To answer this vital question, Dr. Rachel Tyndale and her team study cellular activity close up in order to identify the biological mechanisms of smoking addiction and understand how the body responds to particular stop-smoking medications. For example, Dr. Tyndale discovered the genetic variation (biomarker) that plays a key role in determining whether a person will become addicted to smoking, how much they might smoke, and how well different treatments will work with them.

Currently Dr. Tyndale is leading a $12-million (U.S.) backed project along with Professor Caryn Lerman at the University of Pennsylvania that will translate her earlier genetic discovery into more effective, personalized treatments that help people quit smoking for good.

“This marker has the potential to help clinicians choose the best medication for people trying to quit, based on their genetics, and thus improve cessation response”.

Learn more about our vision for research.


Endowed Chair in Addictions

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Foundation

Charitable Number:

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Toronto, ON M6J 1H4

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