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Genome Canada, Partners Commit C$19M to Genomic Research Projects

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Genome Canada and collaborators announced today that they will commit C$19 million ($14.4 million) to fund six genomics-based research projects addressing challenges facing Canada's forestry, healthcare, agricultural, and aquacultural industries.

Genome Canada will provide C$6 million of the funding as part of its Genomic Applications Partnership Programs — which promotes collaboration between academic researchers and technology users in the private and public sectors — with the remaining C$13 million coming from Canadian provinces and project partners.

Among the funding recipients are the University of British Columbia and British Columbia’s  Ministry of Forest, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations, which have been awarded C$2.1 million to use genomic selection to develop faster trait breeding strategies for the Western Redcedar, a tree important to Canada's forestry industry; and the University of Montreal and Thermo Fisher Scientific, which will receive C$1.7 million to continue their collaboration on a new form of ion-mobility spectrometry-mass spectrometry for use in identifying tumor-specific mutations in cancer patients.

The University of Laval, along with collaborators at HyLife, Olymel, and Swine Improvement, were awarded C$6.5 million to apply genomic technologies to pig breeding; and Ottawa Hospital, the University of Ottawa, and the Eastern Ontario Regional Laboratory association will receive C$2 million to develop an assay that can detect genetic mutations in small lung cancer biopsy samples.

Lastly, The Hospital for Sick Children and NanoString Technologies have been awarded C$1.9 million to develop genomics-based diagnostics for pediatric cancers for which no comprehensive tests exist including low-grade glioma, leukemia, and soft-tissue carcinoma; and Memorial University of Newfoundland and Cargill subsidiary EWOS Canada have been granted C$4.5 million to use genomics to identify co-infection biomarkers for salmon that can be used to develop therapeutic diets that reduce disease and mortality in the fish.

"This important work will advance the use of genomics to enhance the health of Canadians," Canadian Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan said in a statement. "It will also strengthen the resilience of our environment to threats posed by climate change while supporting our industrial and agricultural sectors."

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