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Investing in building blocks for Canada’s natural resources and human health

Research scientist Xiaohang Wang performs a global metabolomics analysis using an ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography mass spectrometer.
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Technology development platforms are part of our core infrastructure

Recently Genome Canada, and partners, including the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI)’s Major Science Initiative (MSI) 2023-29 competition invested over $6.9 million in four technology platforms. The platforms will support genomics technology infrastructure at facilities and networks across Canada and continue to provide researchers access to leading-edge genomics technologies.

The infrastructure provided by these facilities span metabolomics to biodiversity and were part of a larger funding envelope—over $41 million—announced in May 2024. The platforms include:

  • The Centre for Biodiversity Genomics (CBG) led by Paul Hebert (University of Guelph). The CBG currently delivers two key analytical services (informatics, sequencing) to the biodiversity science community. This investment of just over $1 million, will allow the CBG’s Innovation Unit to expand its efforts to develop the laboratory protocols and informatics systems required to capitalize on the capabilities enabled by the thumb-sized DNA sequencers developed by Oxford Nanopore Technologies.
  • CGEn is Canada’s national platform for genome sequencing and analysis with nodes at The Hospital for Sick Children where it is led by Stephen W. Scherer and Lisa Strug, Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre in Vancouver where it is led by Steven Jones, and McGill University where it is headed by Ioannis Ragoussis. Founded in 2015, CGen’s development has been driven by demand from the scientific community and aligned with CGEn’s key existing and emerging service growth areas. This funding, nearly $3.4 million, will continue that growth, including (i) Long-read sequencing and associated analysis and interpretation of data, (ii) Single cell genomics to produce data on individual cells from a cell population (iii) Spatial transcriptomics to understand intracellular biology with integrated information, ultimately leading to highly accurate tissue specific cell maps, and (iv) Short-read sequencing focusing on the assessment and validation of new technologies.
  • The Metabolomics Innovation Centre (TMIC) is Canada’s national metabolomics research and service facility with nine nodes in four different provinces. David Wishart and Liang Li lead the Western nodes out of the University of Alberta and Christoph Borchers is based at McGill University. Now armed with nearly $1.5 million, TMIC will continue to develop a variety of new metabolomics tools, including ISO-compliant assays for human and animal health, expanded assays to measure environmental and dietary chemical exposures, novel assays to assess exposure to a wide variety of mycotoxins, and techniques to measure metabolites in low cell-count or even single-cell settings.
  • GlycoNet Integrated Services (GIS) is led by Warren Wakarchuk at the University of Alberta and received over $1 million towards their ongoing work to mobilize Canadian glycomics tools and expertise to equip glycomics researchers and partners with the synthetic, analytical and high-throughput screening tools to undertake transformative glycomics research and innovation.

Technology Development platforms are part of the core infrastructure behind the success of genomics-focused projects across Canada. Consistent, and ongoing investments are critical to maintain competitiveness on a global scale.

Learn more about our ongoing investment in technology development.

 

Research scientist Xiaohang Wang performs a global metabolomics analysis using an ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography mass spectrometer.
Research scientist Xiaohang Wang performs a global metabolomics analysis using an ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography mass spectrometer.

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Media contact

Nicola Katz
Director, Communications
Genome Canada
Cell: 613-297-0267
nkatz@genomecanada.ca

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