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Major investment in genomics research will improve the health and wellbeing of Canadians

Monday, March 2, 2020

Montreal, QC

Nearly $15 million in federal funding to support genomics research in health, agriculture and environment

Canada is a world leader in genomics research, producing dramatic breakthroughs in science, and transforming our understanding of the world around us. The results of this research are being used to tackle important challenges and develop innovative solutions, not just in human health, but across diverse sectors of the economy.

Today, on behalf of Minister Navdeep Bains, William Amos, Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry (Science), announced $14.7 million to support 11 genomics research projects awarded through Genome Canada. In addition, provincial governments, businesses and research partners are investing $29.7 million for a total of $44.4 million in support of these projects in the areas of health, agriculture and the environment.

This investment will support researchers at McGill University including Dr. Lucy Gilbert, who is working on DOvEEgene a new genomics tool for early detection of ovarian and endometrial cancers. Dr. Gilbert has partnered with Dr. Guy Rouleau and his team at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) on a genomic uterine pap test to screen for these cancers while they are at the early stages and still curable. This could save thousands of women’s lives and reduce healthcare costs by up to $250 million from the more than $1 billion that is currently spent each year on treatment for the 10,000 Canadian women who are diagnosed with these cancers.

Genomics research collaborations have real, positive impacts on the health and well-being of Canadians.

These networks of partnerships between the research sector and post-secondary institutions support the responsible uptake of new technology, and targeted investments in initiatives with economic and many other benefits to Canada.

Quotes

“Genomics research is driving innovation across sectors including health, forestry, agriculture, fisheries, mining, energy and the environment. This exciting science is creating new market opportunities for businesses and high-quality jobs for Canadians.”

– William Amos, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry (Science)

“Genomics research plays an integral role in improving the lives of all Canadians. Today’s investment will help researchers promote and further their discoveries, tackling some of the world’s most important health and environmental challenges. Congratulations to all of the funding recipients, and thank you for your work to keep Canada on the forefront of this important science.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry

“It is exciting to see genomics research positively impacting our everyday lives. This can only be achieved through strong, responsible partnerships between researchers and those who will ultimately use genomics to create health, environmental and economic benefits for Canada. Genome Canada is proud to have a hand in making this happen.”

– Dr. Cindy Bell, Executive Vice-President, Corporate Development, Genome Canada

“Through these collaborative investments, we are enabling the development of genomics-based healthcare solutions that improve longevity and quality of life for Quebecers, while also building an innovation ecosystem that spans from discovery research to commercial application.”

– Dr. Serge Marchand, Vice President, Scientific Affairs, Genome Québec 

“Dr. Gilbert saved my life, and I am honoured to serve as Co-Chair of the fundraising campaign that will send the DovEEgene test to clinical trial and ultimately save the lives of women across the country. The support of Genome Canada and Genome Quebec is a major milestone in the success of our campaign, and shines a light both on the devastation of these cancers and Dr. Gilbert’s dedication to fighting them.”

– Joanne Photiades ovarian cancer survivor and Co-Chair of the MUHC Foundation’s DovEEgene fundraising campaign

“The MUHC and Research Institute of the MUHC are truly grateful for programs such as the GAPP, which accelerate the translation of research discoveries into transformative healthcare solutions. That Genome Canada, Genome Québec and the MUHC Foundation have partnered to channel over $6 million into DOvEEgene is a testament to the value of Dr. Gilbert and her team’s ground-breaking research and its potential to continue moving the dial towards better prevention and cure rates.”    

– Dr. Pierre Gfeller, MUHC President and Executive Director

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