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Projects supported by the innovation centre

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Genome canada projects

Competition III
  • Arborea II

    Principal Investigators : John MacKay and Jean Bousquet (Génome Québec)

    Génomique pour la sélection moléculaire chez les résineux. Découverte de marqueurs génétiques visant à améliorer la productivité et la valeur de l'épinette grâce à la génomique fonctionnelle et la cartographie d'association.

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  • An Integrated Genetic/Physical Genome Map for the Old World Monkey, Cercopithecus aethiops

    Principal Investigator : Ken Dewar (Génome Québec)

    The Vervet monkey (Cercopithecus aethiops, also known as the African Green monkey), is a non-endangered species native to southern Africa, and is a good model for studying neurological processes. The team will develop a comprehensive physical map of the genome of Cercopithecus aethiops, augmenting current knowledge based on genetic mapping (locating the position of particular genes on chromosomes), genotyping (testing for genetic variation) and pedigreed colonies (unique, specially maintained populations of Vervet monkey).

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  • The GRID Project: Gene Regulators in Disease

    Principal Investigator : Tomi M. Pastinen (Génome Québec)

    Gene regulation is the process of DNA and protein interactions in a gene that determines where and how the gene will be activated. Small differences in gene regulation among individuals can lead to disease susceptibility or resistance. By identifying the biological steps initiated by regulatory mechanisms, the research team expects to better understand how disease risk is modified. This in turn is expected to open the way to new treatments and health products. At the same time, the project will study the ethical implications and dimensions of this research, so that an appropriate framework for this and other projects can be developed.

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  • Functional Annotation of Essential Alternatively Spliced Isoforms

    Principal Investigator : Sherif Abou Elela (Génome Québec)

    Now that the human genome has been sequenced, the race is on to discover the functions of potential genes. But in mammals, a single gene can produce numerous protein isoforms (multiple molecular forms of given proteins) through a process called "alternative pre-mRNA splicing", or AS. Defects in AS are believed to account for several well-known diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, thalassemia, spinal muscular atrophy and several types of cancer. But little is known about the biological mechanisms that control AS. The team will also study isoform specific inhibition and analyze phenotypes, while validating this knowledge by analysis of tissue samples from Canadian populations.

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  • Identification and Characterization of Genes Involved in Common Developmental Brain Diseases

    Principal Investigator : Guy Armand Rouleau (Génome Québec)

    Schizophrenia and autism are severe brain diseases that result in enormous human suffering and high healthcare costs. Despite decades of research, the causes of these diseases are still largely unknown. However, both diseases are believed to be associated with genetic (inherited) factors, and can therefore be investigated using genomics. The team expects to identify 10 to 20 genes that directly cause or increase susceptibility to schizophrenia or autism. This in turn will open the way to development of new diagnostic tests, new treatments and improved clinical management for patients - which will be of benefit to health policymakers as well as the genetics and neurosciences research communities around the world.

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  • Pharmacogenomics of Drug Efficacy and Toxicity in the Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease

    Principal Investigators : Jean-Claude Tardif and Michael S. Phillips (Génome Québec)

    No drug works well for all patients. Genetic differences among patients are believed to account for variations in drug responses. While genomics is opening the way to personalized, predictive and preventive medicine, pharmacogenomics in particular uses a patient's genetic information to predict individual responses to medication. This is important, since adverse drug reactions are a leading cause of hospitalization and mortality in Canada, the United States and Europe. The team aims to identify relevant biomarkers, which can then be used to develop diagnostic tests. This will help determine how patients will respond to treatments for cardiovascular disease based on their genetic profile. The project will also develop ethical guidelines to help plan future pharmacogenomics research, and will develop models and strategies to integrate genetic knowledge into health care practices.

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  • Conifer Forest Health Genomics

    Principal Investigators : Jorg Bohlmann and Kermit Ritland (Genome BC)

    More than two-thirds of Canada's forest land consists of conifer forests - cone-bearing and usually evergreen trees that are used for softwood. These conifers are the mainstay of Canada's massive forest industry. Canada's conifer forests are increasingly threatened by outbreaks of insect pests and the impacts of climate change. But what is the genomic and biological basis of conifer defense response to forest pests? And how do conifers adapt to abiotic stress associated with changing environments? This project aims to identify the underlying genetic mechanisms of resistance to biotic disturbance (for example resistance to insects and insect associated pathogens) and adaptation to abiotic stress (for example regulation of bud set and cold hardiness). The project will also seek to identify and use the natural genetic variation of forest trees in order to support breeding for resistance and adaptation in conifers to improve forest health overall.

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  • Atlantic Cod Genomics and Broodstock Development

    Principal Investigators : Sharen Bowman and Edward Trippel (Génome Atlantic)

    Traditional fisheries provide an important basis of cultural and economic activity in Atlantic Canada, although the fisheries for some species such as Atlantic salmon and Atlantic cod have severely declined. The decline in Atlantic salmon stocks served as an incentive to develop today's aquaculture sector, which generates more than $200 million of annual revenue in New Brunswick alone. One approach towards maintaining growth and stability of the aquaculture industry is diversification into rearing other species such as Atlantic cod. Current estimates show that cod farming in Newfoundland alone could generate more than $100 million in new wealth while meeting consumer demand for a high quality food resource. Cod breeding programs are being developed in countries such as Norway and Iceland. The Canadian aquaculture industry recognizes that broodstock selection is essential in order to produce superior cod stocks for farming. This program will be a partnership with industry, universities, government and Not-for-Profit organizations and will apply genomics technologies combined with family-based selective breeding methodologies to identify cod with traits of commercial importance, such as improved growth, delayed age of sexual maturation and resistance to disease and stress. The project will sequence genes in order to identify molecular markers that are associated with superior performance under farming conditions.

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  • Atlantic Medical Genetic and Genomics Initiative (AMGGI)

    Principal Investigators : Mark Samuels and Terry-Lynn Young (Génome Québec et Genome Atlantic)

    The Atlantic Medical Genetic and Genomics Initiative (AMGGI) project is a Canadian research initiative to identify new genes that have a major impact on health. AMGGI will utilize the Atlantic region's unique population structure and history, as well as the high quality of the health care system to provide a streamlined discovery process. The project will generate tangible socio-economic benefits by improving health care and disease management for individuals, families and communities in Atlantic Canada burdened by devastating single gene disorders. An important component of AMGGI will be to study the potential impacts of genetic discovery on the provision of health care services. Anticipated outcomes of AMGGI include medical breakthroughs based on novel gene discovery, the transfer of new knowledge to health care providers, health policy recommendations regarding the impact of genetic information on society, and improved clinical management of affected patients.

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