Infection & Immunity

The SDR Project: Understanding Genetic Diseases

The SDR Project: Understanding Genetic Diseases


2021 May

<p><strong></strong>Help us uncover the mysteries behind genetic diseases<em></em></p>

Help us uncover the mysteries behind genetic diseases

Imagine being sick all your life, but never knowing why. This is the reality for many people living with genetic diseases, including Shawnea Roberts. After years of uncertainty, Shawnea met genetic disease expert Dr. Donald Vinh. He enrolled her in genetic testing and vowed to get to the bottom of the illnesses that plagued her throughout her life.


Money raised to date

$ 0

$ 1,900,000
$ 3,100,000



Building a Centre of Excellence for Genetic Research in Infection and Immunity.

Shawnea and the Roberts-Hindley family created the SDR Project to raise $3.1 million, including $1.8 million for equipment, to support Dr. Vinh’s work and create the Centre of Excellence for Genetic Research in Infection and Immunity. This centre will help the thousands of people living with undiagnosed genetic diseases.



One family’s commitment to improving the lives of people with genetic diseases.

When Shawnea Roberts met Dr. Vinh, she knew she would finally get answers. Dr. Vinh analyzes his patients’ genetics and immune system to understand why their immune system isn’t doing its job. He then proposes solutions to tune the immune system so the patient fights and defeats the disease on their own.

  1. Cutting-edge equipment

    Tiny differences in the genes can have a big impact on health. To understand a genetic disease, Dr. Vinh must dive into each patient’s genome. With the right equipment, he can analyze 25,000 genes.

  2. Recruiting expert personnel

    Genome research requires specialized expertise. The new Centre for Excellence will be a hub of knowledge for little-known diseases.

  3. Provide compassionate care

    Shawnea Roberts knew Dr. Vinh could help her as soon as she met him. That’s why the Hindley-Roberts family, along with our entire community, are determined to help everyone struggling with undiagnosed genetic diseases get well.

“In one instant, cancer can take it all away from you. In that first meeting, I knew Dr. Vinh would do anything to give it all back and explain why it happened in the first place. He listened to me, but more importantly he heard me.”

Shawnea Roberts

Patient & Founder of the SDR Project


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