Minister Hehr highlights $22.7 million for genomics research in Alberta, bringing new hope for Canadians fighting infectious diseases.
CALGARY, Jan. 23, 2018 /CNW/ - Precision health promises to transform the way Canadians receive medical care. In the near future, doctors may be able to precisely diagnose symptoms based on a patient's unique genetic makeup and offer them tailor-made treatments that can save their life.
To help make that possibility a reality, the Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, on behalf of the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, announced today at the University of Calgary two new major genomics research investments in Alberta. The total investment of $22.7 million comes from the federal and provincial governments, research institutions and private sector partners.
The Minister of Science made the national announcement today in Toronto, where she highlighted a $255-million investment in genomics research in Canada. This includes a $162-million investment in 15 genomics and precision health projects across Canada through Genome Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and co-funding partners.
On a national level, projects support a targeted initiative to address health challenges facing Indigenous populations, improving diagnostic outcomes for Indigenous children that have genetic diseases. In Alberta, researchers are leading an international team of experts to develop new approaches to treating infectious diseases to help improve health care and save lives.
The government also announced a second major investment to support advanced genomics technology platforms across the country. These technology platforms support the development of improved technologies that underpin research advances in health, agriculture and natural resources. A total of $93 million is being invested in 10 platforms nationwide, with one in Alberta. The platforms are receiving $45 million in federal funding through Genome Canada and an additional $48 million from other sources.
These combined investments will provide researchers with access to cutting-edge tools, technologies and services while furthering the Government of Canada's goal of strengthening and supporting the country's scientific community.
"It is an honour to support some of Canada's leading genomics and precision health researchers through investments that will allow them to further their discoveries and innovations. Their incredible work brings hope to Canadians living with chronic illnesses, such as cancer, arthritis and cystic fibrosis, while strengthening Canada's health care system."
– The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science
"All Canadians stand to benefit from the innovative and collaborative research projects being announced today. The platforms, tools, technologies and services that will be developed through this funding will improve our understanding of many illnesses, particularly those that affect the most vulnerable patients, including children and Indigenous peoples."
– The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health
"Our government is proud to support researchers in Alberta who are reducing the global burden of infectious diseases and helping to improve health care in our country. Genomics research has been instrumental in breakthroughs related to cancer and autism, and it continues to improve health outcomes for Canadians."
– The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities
"What's exciting about these genomics and precision health projects is how clinically oriented they are. Most are led by clinical scientists who deal with patients on a day-to-day basis and are well positioned to apply the research to health care settings. Further, they are not just about new therapies to treat diseases but also about early diagnosis and intervention to better curb or manage diseases at their onset."
– Marc LePage, President and CEO, Genome Canada
"Our understanding of the human genome and epigenetics is advancing at an unprecedented pace. As a result, today we are creating knowledge that will improve health and health care delivery in ways that were unimaginable only years ago. CIHR is proud to partner with Genome Canada on this important initiative and to support the outstanding scientists who are at the forefront of this rapidly growing field of research."
– Dr. Roderick R. McInnes, Acting President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research
- The precision health project teams represent the successful applicants to Genome Canada's 2017 Large-Scale Applied Research Project Competition: Genomics and Precision Health, a partnership with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).
- The investments in genomics technology platforms are the result of Genome Canada's 2016 Genomics Technology Platforms – Operations Support and Technology Development Funds competition.
- Research that examines the science from the perspective of social sciences and humanities is a key component of every Large-Scale Applied Research Program project. This essential research element is designed to support the development and application of genomics research that maximizes benefits for patients and minimizes risks.
SOURCE Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
For further information: Ann Marie Paquet, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Science, 613-404-2733, [email protected]; Andrea Matyas, Director, Communications, Genome Canada, 613-790-0106, [email protected]; Annabelle Archambault, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, 613-941-4563, 819-934-1122 / TTY: 1-866-702-6967, [email protected]; Media Relations, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, [email protected]