Genome British Columbia

Genome British Columbia

June 03, 2013 10:00 ET

Genome BC: BC Science & Technology Platforms Attract $14.7 Million in Federal Funding

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - June 3, 2013) - Genome British Columbia supported research and technology platforms will receive renewed funding from the federal government through Genome Canada's 2012 Science & Technology Innovation Centre Operations Support Competition. The platforms that will receive funding are:

  • BC Cancer Agency's Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre (GSC), led by Dr. Marco Marra, which will receive close to $8.7-million;
  • UVic - Genome BC Proteomics Centre led by Dr. Christoph Borchers, which will receive almost $4.3-million;
  • Metabolomics Innovation Centre co-led by Dr. Christoph Borchers and Alberta's Dr. David Wishart will receive over $1.7-million.

These world renowned technology platforms provide local, national and international researchers access to cutting edge high-throughput genomics and proteomics technologies, such as DNA sequencing, protein identification and quantitation, as well as data analysis and bioinformatics. The platforms also work with scientists in the planning and execution of research plans and help determine which technology fits best with their project.

"Re-funding for these three platforms is key to continuing the genomics enterprise across Canada," says Dr. Alan Winter, President and CEO of Genome BC. "Genomics research is continuing to produce huge amounts of information for analysis and without the support of technology platforms it would be impossible to maximize the research productivity into tangible outcomes."

With this funding the BC Cancer Agency's GSC will continue to enable ground-breaking large-scale genomics research in BC; sustain and expand IT capacity and capabilities to meet the growing requirements of the field; and develop methods and technologies to address specific challenges of the field, such as handling and analysis of biopsy materials for research.

"The GSC is proud to continue its role as a centre for innovation, supporting large scale genomics and bioinformatics work funded by Genome Canada and Genome BC since 2001," says Dr. Marco Marra, director of the BC Cancer Agency's GSC. "This funding helps sustain our position as one of the largest genome research centres in the world and allows us to support large-scale initiatives."

The UVic-Genome BC Proteomics Centre, led by Dr. Christoph Borchers, will continue to offer expertise in quantitative proteomics, structural proteomics, "top-down" and "bottom-up" proteomics for protein characterization, metabolomics and technology development. The addition of bioinformatics as a technology development area will help to ensure the Proteomics Centre remains cutting-edge and will allow the Centre to feed new bioinformatics resources back to the research community. Funding for new equipment will also ensure that they will be able to meet the demand for services and deliver quick turnaround times for client projects.

"Re-funding of the UVic-Genome BC Proteomics Centre is certainly an acknowledgement of the achievements of the Centre over the past two years and our contribution to, and engagement in, the research community," says Dr. Borchers. "As a service provider we can now maintain the excellent quality of our research in three key technology development areas -structural proteomics, quantitative proteomics and protein characterization - for the betterment of the entire research community."

The Metabolomics Innovation Centre (TMIC) is operated jointly by the University of Alberta and the University of Victoria. This emerging field will now be able to carry-on work in the advancing and important field of metabolomics which will enable understanding of many important biological processes.

"Metabolomics is proving to be a foundational tool in molecular biology," says Dr. Borchers, co-leader of TMIC. "Renewed funding means that we can meet the growing need within Canada, and around the world, to perform large numbers of rapid, accurate and robust metabolomic assays."

About Genome British Columbia:

Genome British Columbia is a catalyst for the life sciences cluster on Canada's West Coast, and manages a cumulative portfolio of over $625M in research projects and science and technology platforms. Working with governments, academia and industry across sectors such as forestry, fisheries, agriculture, environment, bioenergy, mining and human health, the goal of the organization is to generate social and economic benefits for British Columbia and Canada (www.genomebc.ca).

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