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Canadian Government Gives Genome Canada C$76M

NEW YORK, Apr. 3 - The Canadian government gave C$76 million, or roughly $47.8 million, to genomics projects across the country, boosting research in agricultural genomics, haplotype-mapping efforts, and gene-expression studies.


Genome Canada, a non-for-profit organization charged with developing the country's national research strategy in genomics, announced $30 million in awards for research in the country's prairie region on Tuesday and $46 million in grants in Quebec today. The grants are part of the organization's second round of funding.


In Quebec, projects include:


·        $7.6 million for hap-map research, conducted by the Montreal Genome Centre in partnership with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the Whitehead Institute.


·        $7.5 million to probe the genomics of the immune system, focusing on HIV, Hepatitis C, inflammatory disease and graft rejection. This project's partners include Molecular Mining Solutions, MDS Proteomics and Becton Dickinson.


·        $5.5 million for a wide-ranging gene-expression project that involves four universities, four hospitals, two research institutes, and the Canadian companies SignalGene, Phenogene Therapeutics, and Geneka Biotechnology.


·        $4.3 million for disease research using phenotypic and expression analysis of recombinant congenic mouse strains, with McGill University Health Center and Vancouver-based Xenon.


·        $4 million to SignalGene for a women's health program to study the interrelated disease mechanisms of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and osteoporosis.                        


·        $2.8 million for functional genomics studies using modified nucleic acids at the Université de Sherbrooke and McGill University, in conjunction with the Karolinska Institute and University of Stockholm.


Genome Prairie grants include:


·        $13.5 million to study mucosal immunity in livestock, with the goal of improving resistance to infectious diseases. This effort is co-lead by teams at the Veterinary Infectious Diseases Organization at the University of Saskatchewan, and the University of British Columbia, with researchers from Simon Fraser University, the British Columbia Cancer Agency, Inimex and Chicago-based agricultural bioinformatics firm AniGenics.


·        $9 million for a project to improve sample handling, automation, and high-performance mass spectrometry. The grant goes to researchers at MDS Sciex, the University of Alberta, the University of Manitoba, Laval University, and Queen's University.


·        $5 million for a bioinformatics platform to link all Genome Canada centers.


Genome Canada's mission is to distribute $300 million from the Canadian government in order foster genomics research. Last year, in its first round of grants, the organization distributed $135 million among 22 projects.


A third set of awards slated for British Columbian genomics projects will be announced later today.

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