Cutting-edge health research projects at Genome BC received a big boost with $20 million in new additional government funding, which was announced today after recently wrapping up the second annual #BCTECH Summit.
“The #BCTECH strategy supports research conducted in B.C. by partners like Genome BC – research which changes lives each day,” said Health Minister Terry Lake. “With the genome sequencing technology pioneered by Genome BC, we’ve already seen answers come forward for some of life’s most challenging cases like genetic disorders and cancer projects, tackling even the toughest diagnoses.”
This investment supports Genome BC’s vision of providing a robust contribution to B.C.’s economy, anchored in excellent science and cutting-edge capabilities. Genomics allows a fundamental change from a disease-oriented health-care system to one that is more precise, predictive, preventative and cost-effective.
“A strong research and innovation sector does more than create jobs and prosperity – it ultimately saves lives,” said Amrik Virk, Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens' Services. “That’s why we will continue to support Genome BC, a world leader in fighting rare and deadly diseases.”
The province continues to support Genome BC’s projects with a special focus on genomics research in human health to help fuel B.C.’s economy. Current research includes cancer projects in hereditary and childhood cancer; biobanking; pharmacogenomics research into adverse drug interactions; infectious disease projects in areas such HIV, tuberculosis, Hepatitis C, rare diseases and Avian flu. Not including this latest contribution, government has provided Genome BC with $221.5 million since 2001.
“This funding will enable B.C. to attract national and international investment, and continue to advance B.C. as a world-leading genomics centre,” said Dr. Pascal Spothelfer, president & CEO of Genome BC. “Our work demonstrates the breadth and scope of B.C.’s leading scientists and shines a light on the vibrant life sciences cluster in our province. This work will enable swift and significant clinical uptake of precision health to deliver improved patient outcomes.”
Advances in technology lead to much more personalized and effective health care. Through the #BCTECH Strategy and support for organizations like Genome BC, the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, the BC Cancer Foundation and BC Cancer Agency, and research foundations in health authorities, the province continues to attract and retain talented researchers to work in B.C. to help improve care for patients and save lives.