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Genome Canada, Partners Award $42.6M in Genomics, Informatics Research Funding

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Genome Canada announced today that it has partnered with the Canadian federal government and various provincial governments, businesses, and research groups to provide C$56 million ($42.6 million) in funding for a number of projects applying bioinformatics and genomics to human health, agriculture, and the environment.

"Genomics research is driving innovation across many sectors: including health, forestry, agriculture, fisheries, mining, energy, and the environment," Canada's Minister of Science and Sport Kirsty Duncan said in a statement. "These exceptional projects we are investing in today encourage strong research partnerships and will help our economy and communities thrive."

The money is being provided to 37 winners of three of Genome Canada's funding competitions, including the organization's Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (B/CB) competition. Winners include a team from the University of Waterloo and the Hospital for Sick Children that won C$925,987 to develop software for peptide identification and quantification using large mass spec data; a group from the University of Toronto and the University of Minnesota, which was awarded C$990,910 to advance a computational platform for discovering genetic interactions underlying human disease; and scientists from the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Hospital for Sick Children who received C$1 million to develop a scalable and standardized set of novel algorithmic methods, tools, and a data portal for comparing cancerous and healthy cells using single-cell genomic data. All those receiving funding under the B/CB competition were winners of an earlier Genome Canada funding initiative

Newly announced winners of Genome Canada's Disruptive Innovations in Genomics (DIG) competition include a Hospital for Sick Children team that was awarded C$3 million to develop transcriptome-based diagnostics for rare diseases and cancer; University of Ottawa researchers who won C$2.9 million to develop a technology for rapidly assessing the effects of drugs or other compounds on individual microbiomes; and a Sinai Health Systems group that received C$3 million to develop a digital microfluidic platform for the non-invasive collection of fetal cells for prenatal diagnosis. DIG competition winners had previously been selected for funding under a similar program in late 2016.

The winners of the tenth round of Genome Canada's Genomic Applications Partnership Program — which first launched in mid-2013 — include a group led by University of Guelph scientists who have been awarded C$2.6 million to test out a sequencing-based technique called DNA metabarcoding for species identification; and a University of Guelph team that won C$1.6 million to refine a genomic technology for identifying livestock with superior immunity.