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Genome Canada’s international presence

International leadership

Genome Canada collaborates in international efforts to tackle global challenges with genomic solutions and maintains close relations with its counterparts around the world to share ideas and identify avenues for partnership. Genome Canada supports several important international initiatives: 

  • The International Rare Disease Research Consortium (IRDiRC) unites national and international governmental, non-profit, for-profit, patient advocacy, and scientific research organizations to promote international collaboration and advance rare diseases research worldwide.
  • The Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) represents 500+ member organizations from 71 countries focused on improving human health through global genomics and clinical data sharing.
  • DivSeek is an international collaboration that enables researchers and breeders to mobilize the genetic variation from the world’s gene banks for crop breeding. DivSeek aims to enhance the productivity, sustainability and resilience of crop varieties to challenges such as climate change.

Examples of international collaborations

Genome Canada-funded research may include co-leaders and/or co-applicants affiliated with international organizations, the private sector, or federal government departments or agencies. Genome Canada funding competitions have proved valuable vehicles for international research collaborations in its key domains of health, agriculture and the environment. Examples include:

  • Personalized risk assessment for prevention and early detection of breast cancer: Researchers from Université Laval, the University of Toronto and the University of Cambridge (UK) are working together to apply advances in precision health to the early detection of breast cancer. Together, the researchers are enabling improved treatment options for the significant number of women who may be facing a breast cancer diagnosis.
  • Genomics of abiotic stress resistance in wild and cultivated sunflowers: Canadian researchers from The University of British Columbia have partnered with researchers at the University of Georgia (USA) to examine why wild plants are more resistant than domesticated crops to environmental stresses such as drought, flooding, salt and low nutrient levels. Sunflower production is an important economic contribution on both sides of the border, with an estimated contribution of up to US$230 million to the Canadian economy alone.
  • Mine wastewater solutions — next generation biological treatment through functional genomics: Researchers from the University of Toronto and the University of California, Berkeley are looking at ways to help the mining sector develop more sustainable approaches, especially in the use of freshwater resources. The researchers are combining genomics, geochemistry and modeling to develop cutting-edge biological monitoring, management and treatment tools.
  • Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC): Headquartered in Toronto, SGC is a global leader in the discovery of new medicines through open access research and public-private partnerships. Genome Canada has been a core supporter of SGC research activities since its inception in 2004 and has contributed to the nearly $400 million in investments from made from numerous partners.

How to get involved

  • As a project participant: Genome Canada’s funding model is premised on partnership and leverages its investments in research through co-funding arrangements. International researchers are welcome to participate in projects by establishing partnerships with Canadian counterparts.
  • As a peer reviewer: Genome Canada actively benefits from the expertise of researchers world-wide. The evaluation of its funding competitions is carried out by a team of international peer reviewers.

For more information on opportunities with Genome Canada, international researchers are invited to contact one of our six regional centres:

Genome Atlantic Genome Quebec Genome Canada Ontario Genomics Genome Prairie Genome Alberta Genome British Columbia