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Applied Genomics Center Opens at the Hospital For Sick Children

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TORONTO--The Hospital for Sick Children here announced the creation of the Centre for Applied Genomics to "focus on activities that will allow Canada to benefit from the biological information being generated by the Human Genome Project."

"Since the early 1950's the Hospital for Sick Children has been the Canadian leader in genetic research, in terms of size, scope and results," said Lap-Chee Tsui, the center's new director, head of the genetics and genomic biology research program in the hospital's Research Institute, and a professor of Medical Genetics and Microbiology at the University of Toronto. "The Centre for Applied Genomics will accelerate our activities by providing additional resources to expand our research efforts in DNA sequencing and chromosome mapping, disease gene discovery, and the emerging science of bioinformatics."

The 1989 discovery by Tsui and colleagues of the cystic fibrosis gene drew international attention to Canadian genome research. To date, hospital scientists have identified 12 disease genes, including those for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Tay-Sachs disease, and colon cancer.

The Centre for Applied Genomics will initially cost $1.2 million per year to operate and is funded by grants obtained from the Medical Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Genetics Diseases Network, as well as individual investigators and the Hospital for Sick Children Foundation.

The 6,000-square-foot center contains facilities for DNA sequencing and synthesis, gene and chromosome mapping, and gene identification, as well as bioinformatics. Core facilities will be available to other Canadian scientists.

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