Lifelabs invests $2 million to Support Research Chair in Genetic
Diagnostics Named for BC Founder
VANCOUVER, Feb. 18 /CNW/ - LifeLabs today announced that it is investing
$2 million to help endow a research Chair in human health genetic diagnostics
in British Columbia. LifeLabs has formed a partnership with Genome BC to
assist it in establishing this high profile research position.
Genome BC, which will contribute an additional $250,000 to the Chair
through its Research Leadership Awards program, will administer the LifeLabs
endowment under the auspices of the Genome BC Foundation. Founded in 2000,
Genome BC is a research organization that invests in and manages large-scale
genomics and proteomic research projects.
The Chair in Genetic Diagnostics will be named for Dr. Donald B. Rix to
honour one of the founders and former owners of MDS Metro Laboratory Services
(recently renamed LifeLabs), the largest community medical laboratory in BC.
Among his many business and community service interests, Dr. Rix is a founding
director of Genome BC and served as its board chair for four years.
"We are delighted to name this research chair for Don in recognition of
his many years of exemplary and entrepreneurial leadership in British
Columbia's biotechnology and medical research sectors," commented Sue Paish,
vice chair of the BC Board of LifeLabs. Dr. Rix is chair of the BC Board of
"This research Chair will inspire British Columbia's global leadership in
human health genetic research," said Dr. Alan E. Winter, president and chief
executive officer of Genome BC. "The LifeLabs investment is exciting news for
us, scientists involved in health research, and the health system as a whole."
Genome BC and LifeLabs are conducting a review of potential opportunities
to establish this important investment to ensure it can maximize valuable
academic research expertise in human health genetic diagnostics. Income from
the endowment capital will be used to support the activities of the Chair,
such as salary, benefits and research expenses. LifeLabs and Genome BC expect
to have further details on the selection process in the coming weeks.
This is the second such honour for Dr. Rix. In February 2006, BC's
Leadership Chair in Aboriginal Environmental Health was named for him. That
Chair is co-funded by the BC Government, the Rix Family Foundation and CANTEST
Ltd. Dr. Rix is an owner, founder and chairman of CANTEST, which provides
analytical and clinical services to industry.
About Dr. Donald Rix
Dr. Rix is a widely recognized member of the medical profession, as
evidenced by his fellowships in four medical colleges and societies. He is
also a successful businessman, a generous philanthropist and a dedicated
Dr. Rix is chairman of the University of Northern British Columbia and
recently began a one-year tenure as chairman of the Vancouver Board of Trade.
He serves as chairman of the Canadian Medical Association's Parliament
communications committee, chairman of the B.C. Medical Association's finance
committee and member of the BCMA's staffing and pension committees. He is a
member of various medical associations and has served numerous business,
science, technology and educational organizations. Dr. Rix was named to the
Order of Canada in 2007.
LifeLabs provides laboratory testing services, which help physicians and
other healthcare professionals diagnose, treat, monitor and prevent disease in
patients. LifeLabs employs more then 3000 professionally trained staff, who
deliver more than 50 million laboratory tests annually to over 10 million
patients and nearly 20,000 physician customers. LifeLabs has operated in
Canada for nearly 50 years. Today it is owned by Borealis Infrastructure, a
global leader in infrastructure investing, with assets in energy,
transportation and infrastructure buildings, including long-term care
facilities and hospitals, pipelines and telecommunications. For information,
About Genome BC
Genome British Columbia is a research organization that invests in and
manages large-scale genomics and proteomics research projects and science and
technology platforms focused on areas of strategic importance such as human
health, forestry, fisheries, ethics, agriculture and the environment. By
working collaboratively with all levels of government, universities and
industry, Genome BC is the catalyst for a vibrant, genomics-driven life
sciences cluster with far reaching social and economic benefits for the
province and Canada. Genome BC is partially funded by the Province of British
For further information:
For further information: Catherine Ducharme, Acting Director,
Communications and Education, Genome BC, (604) 637-4373 or Julia White,
Communications, Genome BC, (604) 637-4378; Alana Bergstrome, Molecular
Diagnostics and Public Affairs, LifeLabs, (604) 412-4406,