Ontario Institute for Cancer Research Receives $12.5 million in CFI Funding to Support 28 Researchers



    TORONTO, June 18 /CNW/ - Today, Dr. Tom Hudson, President and Scientific
Director of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) welcomed the
Canada Foundation for Innovation's (CFI) investment through the New
Initiatives Fund of $12.5 million to support the Pancreatic Cancer Genome
Project and the Data Coordination Centre for the International Cancer Genome
Consortium (ICGC). Dr. Hudson is a member of the ICGC's Executive Committee
and was instrumental in the creation of the Consortium.
    "The CFI's support of cutting-edge research infrastructure has
transformed Canada's research landscape and increased the country's
international competitiveness," said Dr. Eliot Phillipson, President and CEO
of the CFI. "Investments like these have allowed the Ontario Institute for
Cancer Research to become a destination of choice for some of the world's top
research talent."
    OICR is a founding member of the ICGC, which is the largest biomedical
research project since the Human Genome Project. Scientists around the world
are contributing to the ICGC's goal of characterizing the genetics of cancer
by studying 50 different types of cancer. Their work will provide a foundation
for personalized medicine and its promise to refine diagnosis, guide optimum
treatment and avoid unnecessary side effects.
    "The funds awarded to OICR by the Canada Foundation for Innovation will
help improve infrastructure for genomics research in Canada," said Dr. Hudson.
"It will allow OICR researchers to play a significant role in the ICGC and
increase Canada's profile worldwide as a centre for genomics research."
    The new CFI funding will be used to support OICR's current contributions
to the ICGC. The funds will be used to purchase next-generation sequencers and
other technology platforms that will help find the genetic origins of
pancreatic cancer. Dr. John McPherson, OICR's Platform Leader, Genomics and
High-throughput Screening, will head the Pancreatic Cancer Genome Project.
    Funds will also be used to build the data centre for the analyses and
storage of the data produced at OICR as well as datasets generated by other
members of the ICGC. Dr. Lincoln Stein, OICR's Platform Leader, Informatics
and Bio-computing, will be responsible for the ICGC Data Coordination Centre
(DCC), housed at OICR. All the data generated by the ICGC will be stored in
the DCC. Dr. Stein and his team will compile, organize and disseminate the
data.
    The award is matched by $18.3 million in funds previously awarded to OICR
by the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation for cancer genome research
and $500,000 of in-kind contributions of equipment from Agilent, Applied
Biosystems, Beckman, Biotage Illumina, DataDirect, and Perkin Elmer.
    Funding for this project is part of a major $666,128,376 investment
announced today by the CFI to support 133 projects at 41 institutions across
the country. $247,664,977 was awarded under the Leading Edge Fund (LEF),
designed to enable institutions to build on and enhance already successful and
productive initiatives supported by past CFI investment. Another $264,741,466
million was awarded under the New Initiatives Fund (NIF), designed to enhance
Canada's capacity in promising new areas of research and technology
development. Finally, $153,721,933 was awarded under the Infrastructure
Operating Fund, which assists institutions with the incremental operating and
maintenance costs associated with the new infrastructure.
    A complete list of projects funded today by the CFI can be found at:
www.innovation.ca.

    The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is an independent corporation
created by the Government of Canada to fund research infrastructure. The CFI's
mandate is to strengthen the capacity of Canadian universities, colleges,
research hospitals, and non-profit research institutions to carry out
world-class research and technology development that benefits Canadians.

    The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research is a new research institute,
moving Ontario to the forefront of discovery and innovation. It is dedicated
to research in prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
OICR is a not-for-profit corporation funded by the Government of Ontario
through the Ministry of Research and Innovation. For more information, please
visit the website at www.oicr.on.ca.





For further information:

For further information: Rhea Cohen, Director of Communications, Email:
rhea.cohen@oicr.on.ca, Telephone: (416) 673-6642, Mobile: (416) 671-2846; Yves
Melanson, Coordinator, Media Relations, Canada Foundation for Innovation,
(613) 996-3160


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