Partnerships in Action
BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS
Using genomics to advance
HIV treatment as prevention
from bench to bedside
Last year $15.6 billion was spent to meet the health needs of British Columbians and as a province we are doing very well: we have the longest life expectancy, the lowest rates of heart disease and the lowest incidences of cancer with the very best survival rates in Canada. To sustain and surpass this level of health, researchers are delving into a new realm of study - the human microbiome - for more insight into medical conditions including allergies, asthma, bowel disorders and women’s health including preterm delivery.
Powering BC'S Health Sector
Read our BC sector strategy developed in consultation with health sector stakeholders. (PDF)
"The application of whole-genome sequencing for population health issues provides us with another tool in the fight against emerging and existing pathogens. To see genomics combined with social networking analysis in the tracing of TB outbreaks and allowing us to better understand the complexity of not only TB but other communicable diseases is profound. This kind of responsive research – research that allows us to delve into real time emerging health issues is so valuable and yet, so rare. Having an organization like Genome BC willing and able to provide resources in a timely fashion and work in collaboration with the BC Centre for Disease Control illustrates beautifully the application of genomics research made possible through community partnerships."
Dr. Perry Kendall
Chief Provincial Health Officer, British Columbia
advancing hiv treatment as prevention
Up until the mid-1990s, an HIV diagnosis was tantamount to a death sentence. The story of how we have changed the course of HIV and AIDS-transforming it into a chronic, manageable disease-is a lesson in innovation and collaboration.
Expanded testing and treatment across the province led by Drs. Julio Montaner and Richard Harrigan at BCCfE, has made the identification of appropriate patient therapy more effective in reducing the amount of HIV in the blood and improving the individual’s health. As a result, B.C. has seen HIV-related morbidity and mortality decline by over 90 per cent since 1995.
With funding from Genome BC and others, BCCfE is developing an improved HIV drug-resistance test, real-time drug resistance surveillance, and improved methods for personalizing treatment of HIV based on each patient’s unique DNA. This cutting-edge test will detect drug-resistant HIV strains that existing tests can’t, and will enable health professionals to monitor the emergence of drug resistance in real time and identify patients with newly acquired drug-resistant strains faster.
Genome BC recognizes the need to remain engaged with stakeholders in the healthcare system and will continue discussions to understand the wide variety of challenges facing the delivery of a sustainable healthcare system. Identifying promising opportunities to help access new markets or develop new products is just one way in which Genome BC will continue to catalyze collaborations and innovation.
We are actively looking to engage new partners in this work. To get involved and explore how the healthcare sector can further leverage the transformative power of genomics and related disciplines to its advantage, contact:
Sector Manager, Health
T: 604 637 4390