VANCOUVER, B.C. October 07, 2011 – Cancer research in British Columbia received a significant boost today, thanks to nearly $2.2 million in federal funding announced for the BC Cancer Agency. 

“Our Government is focused on the economic recovery and we believe that science, technology and innovation are vital to both supporting economic competitiveness and growth, and a healthy society,” said the Honourable James Moore, Member of Parliament for Port Moody–Westwood–Port Coquitlam and Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification. “We are pleased that our funding will help ensure the BC Cancer Agency and our local industry maintain their prominence as leaders in cancer research.”

With Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) funding, the BC Cancer Agency will purchase three leading-edge genome sequencers to be installed at its internationally recognized Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre (GSC). As well, a new business outreach coordinator will work to increase the Centre's linkages with industry.

This combination will help the GSC win large-scale research projects, make sequencing more affordable for local industry and the broader life sciences community, while helping retain and attract leading researchers whose work in genome sequencing will enable ongoing cancer research.

“This funding from the Western Economic Diversification and the BC Cancer Foundation will provide researchers at the BC Cancer Agency’s Genome Sequencing Centre new sequencing technology that is vital for continuing to harness the power of genomics research.  Working toward providing new solutions for the challenges in cancer research has become more attainable,” said Samuel Abraham, Vice President of Research, BC Cancer Agency

The GSC is one of fifteen research programs that operate as part of the BC Cancer Agency. Over the past decade, the GSC has become a cornerstone of the important life sciences sector, the largest Canadian sequencing facility and a world leader in cancer genomics and research, bioinformatics, and technology development

“Thanks to the support of BC Cancer Foundation donors and Western Economic Diversification Canada we are proud to be a part of this significant acquisition of potentially life-saving technology,” says Brendan Robinson, Vice President of Development of the BC Cancer Foundation. “This investment into state-of-the-art sequencing technology at the BC Cancer Agency’s Genome Sciences Centre is fantastic news for the 23,000 British Columbians who will be diagnosed with cancer this year, their families and clinicians as we boost the GSC’s capacity to make personalized medicine a reality for cancer care in B.C.”

Western Economic Diversification Canada works with the provinces, industry associations and communities to promote the development and diversification of the western economy, coordinates federal economic activities in the West and advances the interests of western Canadians in national decision making.

For additional information, contact (media only):

Jaime Burke
Regional Communications Manager − British Columbia
Western Economic Diversification Canada
604-666-1318

Lubna Ekramoddoullah
Provincial Health Services Authority
604-675-7459 (Office)
604-871-5699 (Media pager)

WD Toll-Free Number:1-888-338-WEST (9378)

Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-877-303-3388
WD Website: www.wd-deo.gc.ca.
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