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Genome Québec Dishes $27.4M in New Grants

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Genome Québec has awarded $C27.5 million ($27.4 million) in new grants to fund genomics and genetics-based research aimed at advancing medical research and promoting biotechnology in Québec, the Montréal-based non-profit organization announced on Tuesday.

The 19 projects, including human health competition awards, translational stream grants and six smaller pilot project awards, will be funded with half of the funds, around $C13.8 million, from the Government of Québec and the remaining money from a varied group of public and private investors.

The projects funded by the competition, which was opened in 2009 specifically to boost genomics research, support a range of efforts aimed at improving cancer screening, diagnostic and treatment procedures, and research into how the environment impacts genes that are related to diseases.

“Genomics is one of the niches of excellence in which Québec excels, at both national and international levels, as a result of its innovative projects and the quality of its research,” Québec’s Minister of Economic Development, Innovation, and Export Trade, Clément Gignac said in a statement.

“The life sciences sector, a key strategic factor in Québec’s future prosperity, calls for a high level of expertise, which our research and development initiatives give us access to,” Gignac continued.

“Our vision entails transforming genomics into a driving force critical to Québec’s future,” Genome Québec’s President and CEO Jean-Marc Proulx stated.

The new funding awards include: C$4 million to the University of Montréal for development of new markers for prognosis and treatment of acute myeloid leukemia; C$2.9 million to McGill University to develop personalized breast treatment tools; C$2 million to the Central University Hospital Sainte-Justine at the University of Montréal to use genomics tools to improve management care of diabetic patients; C$1.2 million to McGill for research into intestinal microbes in an effort to develop treatments for infectious diseases and digestive disorders; C$3.5 million to the Central University Hospital of Montréal to develop new ways to diagnose and treat bipolar disorder, among others.