Industry Canada

Industry Canada

October 09, 2009 13:45 ET

Minister of State Goodyear Congratulates Canadian Scientists on Landmark Achievement: Team of B.C. Researchers Decodes Breast Cancer Genome

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 9, 2009) - The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), acknowledged the landmark achievement of Canadian scientists involved in the first-ever decoding of the metastatic breast cancer genome.

The findings represent a breakthrough in the understanding of how cancer develops. They were made by a team at the BC Cancer Agency and published today in the journal Nature.

"I congratulate the team of researchers at the BC Cancer Agency," said Minister of State Goodyear. "All Canadians should be proud of this achievement. It exemplifies this country's strong and dynamic research community."

The British Columbia team decoded the metastatic breast cancer genome, which contains all of the genetic information of a cancer. Never before have scientists identified all of the mutations in a cancerous tumour. The findings are shedding light on how tumours develop and may offer new ways to fight the disease.

Minister of State Goodyear drew attention to the federal government's supportive role in creating the environment for the major discovery. One of the leaders of the research team, Dr. Samuel Aparicio, holds the Canada Research Chair in Molecular Oncology at the University of British Columbia and is a recipient of Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) infrastructure support in this capacity.

The CFI has directly awarded $27.8 million toward infrastructure at the BC Cancer Agency. Moreover, Genome Canada, the not-for-profit organization funded by the federal government, has awarded $21.5 million for the genomics platform at Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre, which supplied the pioneering researchers with technical expertise.

"This year alone, the government provided more than $5 billion in new investments in science and technology," said Minister of State Goodyear. "The Canada Research Chairs program invests $300 million per year to attract and retain some of the world's most accomplished and promising minds."

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
    Minister of State (Science and Technology)
    Minister of State (Federal Economic Development Agency for
    Southern Ontario)
    Gary Toft - Director of Communications
    613-943-7599
    or
    Industry Canada
    Media Relations
    613-943-2502