IRIC partners with Génome Québec and Sigma-Aldrich to expand its large-scale RNAi functional genomics platform

    MONTREAL, Oct. 4 /CNW Telbec/ - The Institute for Research in Immunology
and Cancer (IRIC) of the Université de Montréal is pleased to announce that it
has formed a partnership with Génome Québec and Sigma-Aldrich to expand its
large-scale RNA interference (RNAi) functional genomics platform. RNAi is a
recent breakthrough technology that can be used to accelerate the
identification of disease-associated genes. The investment in the project
totals $8.1 millions over a period of 3 years. It will allow IRIC to add the
human and mouse genomes to the sets of genes that can be targeted using its
high-throughput RNAi screening facility.
    As part of the agreement, Sigma-Aldrich, a leading Life Science and High
Technology company, will provide IRIC with its entire human and mouse
Mission(TM) TRC DNA-based libraries and IRIC will generate arrayed libraries
of lentiviral particles expressing RNAi molecules against 15,000 genes from
each species. Using lentiviral particles as delivery tools allows RNAi
experiments to be performed in cells otherwise not amenable to RNAi screening,
including cells from patient biopsies and stem cells.
    "Thanks to this partnership with Génome Québec and Sigma-Aldrich, IRIC
will become the first research institution in Canada to offer a validated,
lentivirus-based RNAi technology platform that can be used to elucidate
important biological mechanisms, in particular signalling pathways in normal
and cancer cells", said Dr. Sylvain Meloche, Principal Investigator in the
Signalling and Cell Growth Laboratory at IRIC and co-leader of the project
with Dr. Daniel Lamarre, Principal Investigator in the Molecular
Immunovirology Laboratory at IRIC. The first screen using this unique resource
will be carried out jointly by Drs. Meloche and Lamarre, whose teams will be
conducting a particularly innovative genome-wide RNAi screen for genes that
regulate the proliferation and self-renewal of liver cancer stem cells. IRIC
is committed to providing broad access to its state-of-the-art functional
genomics platform.

    About IRIC

    IRIC is a state-of-the-art biomedical research and training center at the
Université de Montréal. IRIC is committed to finding novel cancer therapeutics
through multidisciplinary approaches. Its team of more than 250 scientists and
professionals work on various aspects of cancer research from basic science to
clinical applications. IRIC is expected to double in size by 2010. For more
information, please visit our website at

For further information:

For further information: Christian Lanctôt, Director of Communications,
IRIC, (514) 343-6111 ext. 0315

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