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Genomics enables life-altering support for transplant patients

Lab technicians Vince Benedicto, Brendan McKenzie and Edlyn Dunlop by the Oxford Nanopore GridIon.

Matching donors and recipients for better outcomes

With a new investment of nearly $6 million, A national prospective epitope-compatibility matching program for Canadian renal transplant patients has outlined a world-first epitope based program that aims to reduce patients’ risk of organ rejection, minimize toxic immune suppression, and eliminate the need for lifelong immunosuppressive therapy.

Led by Paul Keown from the University of British Columbia (UBC), this project partners with Canadian Blood Services to fulfill this visionary genomics-based solution for better matching donors and recipients for kidney transplants.

The project will be tested in BC and builds on decades of previous Genome Canada-funded work. It was part of a larger $41 million investment made in May 2024.

Scientists Jenny Tran, Logan Tate and Franz Fenninger examine test results.
Scientists Jenny Tran, Logan Tate and Franz Fenninger examine test results. Photo credit: Sari Nobell


The Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP) supports industry-facing partnered research projects that address real-world challenges. Designed to accelerate the social and economic impact of genomics, GAPP provides the space for research, innovation and application to thrive collaboratively. GAPP projects address real-world challenges and opportunities through greater collaboration between genomics scientists and the users of genomics research. They aim to stimulate public- and private-sector investment in Canadian genomics technologies, advancing technology uptake in receptors and moving technologies across readiness levels. 

Quick facts

  • Genome Canada’s Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP) is a flagship initiative that recently marked its 10th year and 100th funded project.
    • GAPP leverages world-leading expertise and diversified public-private partnerships to accelerate the adoption of genomics solutions to generate broad economic and societal benefits for Canada
  • Budget 2021 provided $400 million over six years, starting in 2021–22, to support the creation of the Canadian Genomics Strategy to drive further innovation in genomics through commercialization and adoption. This funding included $136.7 million over two years, starting in 2022–23, for programming delivered by Genome Canada to kick-start the new strategy and complement existing genomics research and innovation programming.
  • Since 2000, Genome Canada has leveraged $1.6 billion in federal investment into a total investment of $3.9 billion in R&D including co-funding, supported over 13,784 talented research trainees, and spun-out more than 120 new Canadian companies.

Media contact

Nicola Katz
Director, Communications
Genome Canada
Cell: 613-297-0267