Your unique insight can help shape the future

The advice you have to offer through lived experiences is invaluable to shaping research that can improve patient outcomes for people living with depression.

Genome BC is looking for two patient partners to participate as members of an oversight committee for a research project that is exploring how genetic testing can help guide treatment decisions for people living with depression in British Columbia.

The main role of the Research Oversight Committee (ROC) is to provide an independent view on the progress of the project, ensure that the project is on track to achieving its goals, and offer insight and advice to the project team. As a patient partner, your insights would offer invaluable advice, ideas and solutions about patient care and preferences based on your lived experiences. Patient partners are not expected to have health or research expertise to participate.

Genome BC has recently awarded funding for a two-year research project aimed at exploring whether pharmacogenomic testing (a genetic test that provides information on how well an individual may respond to certain drugs) can and should be used a part of routine patient care when medication is prescribed to treat depression in British Columbia.

An experienced team of researchers based out of the University of British Columbia are leading a diverse project team which includes researchers, clinicians and patients from both Canada and the US.

This research involves a series of activities that will evaluate current research on how effective pharmacogenomic testing is, whether the test offers good value for money for our healthcare system, and whether patients and healthcare providers would find such a test helpful. There will not be any experimental or laboratory-based testing done in this project.

You can read more information about the project here.

Pharmacogenomic testing is a type of genetic test that can give information on how well a person may respond to a drug based on their genetic make up. Pharmacogenomics can improve a person’s health by helping them know ahead of time whether a drug maybe an effective treatment and be safe for them to take without triggering an adverse reaction.

This could be particularly helpful for treating depression because medication is often prescribed on a trial-and-error basis. If the first medication prescribed does not appear to be working, the prescription dose will either be adjusted, or a new medication will be prescribed altogether.

Prescribed medication may also result in unwanted side effects for some people. Pharmacogenomic testing can then help healthcare providers prescribe the right medication at the right dose and time, with fewer side effects.

Genome BC is committed to driving the responsible uptake of genomics research that can better the lives of all British Columbians. One way Genome BC supports this is by assembling a committee that oversees the work of the research team, providing insight and guidance from their own knowledge and experiences.

This committee is referred to as the Research Oversight Committee (also referred to as the ROC) and is typically made up of 4-6 members who bring a diverse set of expertise and experiences. The ROC meets twice per year (approximately every 6 months) with Genome BC and the research team for the duration of the project, reviews progress reports submitted by the research team and provides comments or concerns regarding the progress of the research in a report that will be submitted to Genome BC.

This opportunity is open to patient partners of any age, education level, and ethnic background. No previous experience or special skills are required, however, to be eligible to participate, you must:

  • Have a main diagnosis of major depressive disorder (this means it is the main mental health condition you have, if you have more than one condition)
  • Have taken or be currently taking antidepressant medication that has been prescribed by a doctor
  • Live in British Columbia
  • Be able to communicate in English
  • Be able to attend two half-day meetings per year for a total of two years, either by video conferencing or in person at the Genome BC office in Vancouver, BC
  • Have access to internet and email
  • Be comfortable working with a group, sharing your views and experiences (either during meetings or in written form), and respects the opinions and diversity of other members

This opportunity is at the level of collaborate on the spectrum of engagement (see: If you are eligible, Genome BC will provide you with orientation training and support you through your participation.

Meetings: The Research Oversight Committee will meet twice per year for a half day (Meetings are approx. 3-4 hours, either by video conference or in person at the Genome BC office). Participation on the committee is a two year commitment, which ends when the project is completed.

Document Review: Approximately 3 to 5 hours is required to review supporting documents before each meeting.

Report Preparation:  Approximately 3 to 5 hours be required after each meeting to work together with other members of the Research Oversight Committee toward preparing one report for Genome BC. The Chair of the Research Oversight Committee will work with the committee members to put this report together.

Training: Additional time may also be required for training.

All out of pocket expenses, including travel and accommodation costs, will be reimbursed by Genome BC. Genome BC will work with patient partners to arrange travel and accommodations.

In addition, Genome BC wishes to show appreciation by providing a modest honorarium in acknowledgement of the time and work commitment to the committee. The honorarium will be offered in accordance with standard practices set by the BC SUPPORT Unit Patient Partner Appreciation Policy (, however, these offers are flexible to meet the needs, values and preferences of the patient partner. This includes a patient partner’s right to waive the honorarium. Please note, this income is taxable by Canada Revenue Agency.

Genome BC is a not for profit organization based in Vancouver and is the leader of genomics innovation on Canada’s West Coast. We are committed to driving the responsible uptake of genomics that benefit our society. Click here to learn more about Genome BC.

How do I apply?

If you are interested in participating, please complete an Expression of Interest form by clicking the link below.

Apply Now

If you have any questions or would like more information about this opportunity, please contact:

Julienne Jagdeo
Sector Manager, Health
Genome BC
(604) 637-4379