BC Bioinformatics Researchers win large percentage of federal funding

Vancouver, BC – Researchers from our province fared very well in a recent federal competition. A total of $4 million has been invested into next-generation tools and methodologies to deal with the influx of large amounts of data produced by modern genomics technologies: Genome BC-funded researchers will receive 36.8% of all available funds.

Earlier this week Genome Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), announced that 16 projects have been selected for funding in the 2015 Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Competition.

Out of 16 approved project applications, Genome British Columbia supported scientists were successful in six projects. The projects include:
• Inanc Birol (BC Cancer Agency): New bioinformatics for new sequencing technologies: Genome characterization and variation detection using long reads ($250,000).

• Ryan Brinkman (BC Cancer Agency), Cedric Chauve (Simon Fraser University), Sara Mostafavi (University of British Columbia): Automated analysis of big flow cytometry data ($249,994).

• Leonid Chindelevitch (Simon Fraser University), William Hsiao (University of British Columbia) and Cedric Chauve (Simon Fraser University): PathOGiST: Calibrated multi-criterion genomic analysis for public health microbiology ($250,000).

• William Hsiao (University of British Columbia), Andrew McArthur (McMaster University) and Fiona Brinkman (Simon Fraser University): Genomic Epidemiology Application Ontology (GenEpiO) ($250,000).

• Art Poon (formerly University of British Columbia now Western University): Kamphir: a versatile framework to fit models to phylogenetic tree shapes ($205,365).

• Wyeth Wasserman (University of British Columbia): OnTarget: Big Data Informed Software for the Design of cis-Regulatory Regions Controlling Human Gene Expression ($250,000).

“These projects will strengthen the development of new tools to help provide maximum value from research investments in genomics and related fields – areas that produce a massive and ongoing influx of data,” says Dr. Pascal Spothelfer, President and CEO, Genome BC. “This substantial federal investment into BC’s bioinformatics researchers is a testament to the research excellence in our province and will help to increase capacity and expertise in this sector.”

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About Genome British Columbia:
Genome British Columbia leads genomics innovation on Canada’s West Coast and facilitates the integration of genomics into society. A recognized catalyst for government and industry, Genome BC invests in research, entrepreneurship and commercialization in life sciences to address challenges in key sectors such as health, forestry, fisheries, aquaculture, agri-food, energy, mining and environment. Genome BC partners with many national and international public and private funding organizations to drive BC’s bioeconomy. In addition to research, entrepreneurship and commercialization programs, Genome BC is committed to fostering an understanding and appreciation of the life sciences among teachers, students and the general public. www.genomebc.ca

Contact:
Jennifer Boon
Communications Manager, Sectors
Genome BC Mobile: 778-327-8374
Email: jboon@genomebc.ca
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