Genome British Columbia - Genome Genomics

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Public talk explores genomic health tsunami

Victoria BC- Each person is designed with different genetic information. In the field of health, genomics aims to uncover what role this unique information can play in health and disease. Could personalized medicine using genomic tools be key to improving current methods of diagnosis and treatment for life’s most challenging health problems by 2020? There are great expectations for genomics to create a tidal wave of change for health.

Community members are invited to participate in the discussion with leading experts to further explore how genomic science is making an impact for the health of British Columbians over the next five years.

Genome BC’s “Bringing Genomics Home” signature series is coming to Victoria as part of Island Health’s Knowledge to Action month (K2A). K2A Month brings together leaders and researchers, knowledge-users and patients to learn about the importance of translating evidence into practice to improve care and outcomes.

Topics and speakers include:

Personalized Medicine: what's the prescription for BC in the next 5 years?
Brad Popovich PhD, Genome BC

Rare Disease: from diagnostic odyssey to tailored care
Clara van Karnebeek MD PhD, BC Children’s Hospital

The cancer genome through the eyes of the immune system
Brad Nelson PhD, Deeley Research Centre

Better, Faster: how genomics is helping us diagnose and manage infectious disease
Jennifer Gardy PhD, Senior Scientist, BCCDC Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Services

 “Genomics is going to transform healthcare over the next 20 years, particularly how we monitor and treat disease”, says Dr. Alan Winter, President and CEO of Genome BC.  “This exciting area of medicine is still in early stages, but we are delighted to be bringing these experts together in Victoria to share their significant insight and knowledge on the opportunity for genomics and personalized medicine.”

This free public talk begins at 5:00pm on Thursday, November 12th at Begbie Hall, 2105 Richmond Road, Victoria BC. For more information and to register for this free event please visit:


Speaker Bios:

Dr. Brad Popovich, PhD

Dr. Popovich is the former Chief Scientific Officer for Genome BC. Brad has been a pioneer in the application of DNA technologies for the diagnosis and management of human diseases. He co-authored the first genetic privacy law in the US, was the prosecutions DNA expert in the OJ Simpson trial, and has been involved in a myriad of ancillary issues in the field of clinical molecular genetics. He is presently the Chairman of Microbiome Insights, and Genetic Information Management Systems, and a Director of the Centre for Drug Research and Development.

Clara van Karnebeek, MD PhD

Clara van Karnebeek is an Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics at the University of British Columbia, and works as a certified pediatrician and biochemical geneticist at BC Children's Hospital.

She is a Scientist at the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics, Child & Family Research Institute, and a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar.  In the TIDE-BC program (, Clara integrates her clinical work with research to promote early diagnosis and treatment varying from medical diets, to stem cell transplant and gene therapies- of rare genetic diseases underlying intellectual developmental disorders.

Dr. Brad Nelson, PhD

Dr. Nelson is the founding Director of the BC Cancer Agency's Deeley Research Centre in Victoria BC. He is a Professor of Medical Genetics at the University of British Columbia and a Professor of Biochemistry/Microbiology at the University of Victoria. Dr. Nelson’s lab studies the immune response to cancer, with an emphasis on ovarian, breast and lymphoid cancers. With collaborators at the BCCA’s Genome Sciences Centre, his group is investigating how the immune system contends with the evolving tumor genome over space and time.

Dr. Jennifer Gardy, PhD

Dr. Gardy is both a scientist and a science communicator. An Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia, Dr. Gardy holds a Canada Research Chair in Public Health Genomics. Based at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, her lab uses DNA sequencing to understand how infectious diseases spread in populations. Dr. Gardy also works in science media as a regular host of CBC Television’s The Nature of Things, and has appeared on other outlets.

About Genome British Columbia:
Genome British Columbia is a catalyst for the life sciences cluster on Canada’s West Coast and manages a cumulative portfolio of over $710M in research projects and science and technology platforms. Working with governments, academia and industry across sectors such as forestry, fisheries, agriculture, environment, bioenergy, mining and human health, the goal of the organization is to generate social and economic benefits for British Columbia and Canada.

In addition to research, Genome BC is committed to public outreach and educational leadership, and as such, seeks to foster understanding and appreciation of the significance of genomics science and technology among teachers, students and the general public.

About Island Health:            

The Vancouver Island Health Authority (Island Health) is one of five regional health authorities established by the province of British Columbia under the Health Authorities Act 2001. Island Health provides health care to more than 760,000 people across a widely varied geographic area of approximately 56,000 square kilometres. This area includes Vancouver Island, the Gulf and Discovery Islands, and part of the mainland opposite northern Vancouver Island.

In 2012, research was recognized as an essential part of Island Health’s purpose to provide superior care, and to create healthier, stronger communities and a better quality of life for those we touch. It is also home to the largest research contract ever awarded to a health authority: the $10-million-dollar 4-year SpecTRA project is sponsored by Genome BC, Genome Canada, and other partners, including Island Health. Led by neurologist Dr. Andrew Penn, the project team aims to develop a quick and cost-effective blood test that can accurately diagnose minor strokes. 

For more information contact:
Sacha Kennedy
Communications Manager
Genome BC
Phone: 604-637-4378