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Gnome Qubec Spearheads C$4 Million Plan to Drive Bioinformatics in Province

NEW YORK, May 1 - Génome Québec and three partners will spend C$4 million, or around $2.8 million, to create a consortium to teach bioinformatics at a number of universities in the province, the center said yesterday.


Valorisation Recherche Québec, Fonds de recherche en santé du Québec, and Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la nature et les technologies will help Génome Québec in its goal of creating "inter-institutional partnerships" in the hopes of lifting to "international standards" the competency of Québécois bioinformatics.


The idea goes back to 2001, when the Québec Science and Technology Council designated Génome Québec as a prime player in Québec's role in genomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics. "To achieve that, Québec has created a discussion forum that guarantees the active participation of vice-rectors in Québec university research and that of its partners ... to prioritize research efforts," said Paul L'Archevêque, president and CEO of Génome Québec.


L'Archevêque added that Génome Québec has worked with bioinformatics specialists and a "selection committee" to choose specific projects. "Getting this research project off the ground would have been impossible without the help of all concerned," he said.

Two projects have been approved so far. One is directed by Robert Nadon at McGill University, and the other is directed by Hervé Philippe of the Université de Montréal, which will address one part of Génome Québec's strategy: to train bioinformatics specialists. More than 40 graduate and post-doctoral students will have to be trained to complete the development of the projects, Génome Québec said.

"Forming inter-institutional partnerships will enable Québec universities to deliver bioinformatics training in compliance with international standards," said Alain Caillé, vice-rector of research at Université de Montréal. "Consequently, Université de Montréal is very pleased with these decisions and is associating with them the three bioinformatics seminars it has been offering since 2002."

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