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Canadian Program on Genomics and Global Health

Status: 
Past
Competition: 
Competition I
Sector: 
Health
Genome Centre(s):
Ontario Genomics
Project Leader(s):
Peter Singer (University of Toronto), Abdallah Daar (University of Toronto)
Fiscal Year Project Launched: 
2001-2002
Project Description: 

This is a stand-alone GE3LS project.

In industrialized countries life expectancy is 80 years and rising, but in a number of developing countries, it is at 40 years and falling. While genomics/biotechnology can help address health challenges currently facing both the developed and developing world, there are growing knowledge gaps in the global community. The Canadian Program on Genomics and Global Health (CPGGH) was developed to help close some of those gaps.

Our world-leading program on genomics and global health has influenced federal and foreign policy decisions, increased the opportunity for Canadian genomics and biotechnology companies to internationalize in emerging and developing markets, and increased public awareness on the uses and misuses of genomics to address global health challenges.

Highlights include:

  • “Health Biotechnology Innovation in Developing Countries”: an in-depth look into biotechnology in seven developing countries, this special Nature Biotechnology report is helping non-industrialized countries develop a biotechnology sector.
  • “Top 10 Biotechnologies for Improving Health in Developing Countries”:extensively cited in journal articles and presentations by officials from the developing world, this special Nature Genetics report helped shape the Grand Challenges in Global Health program by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • Genomics and Nanotechnology Working Group – UN Millennium Project: members of our team were invited by the United Nations Science, Technology and Innovation Task Force to form a working group to address the role of genomics and nanotechnology in addressing the UN Millenium Development Goals.
  • Regulation of Genomics Research: the conference “New Biomedical Research: Regulation, Conflict of Interest and Liability” and resulting book exposed several of the weaknesses of the current regulatory review and provided arguments for a more systematic oversight.
Outcomes: 
  • Reports “Health Biotechnology Innovation in Developing Countries” and “Top Ten Biotechnologies for Improving Health in Developing Countries” have become highly influential with federal and foreign policy makers.
  • Number of research personnel employed by the project: 85
  • Number of peer reviewed publications published: 60 papers, 22 books and monographs, 17 book chapters and contributions to collective work, and 166 invited presentations.