Dr. Marra completed his PhD in Molecular Genetics at Simon Fraser University in 1994 and subsequently spent five years as a post-doctoral fellow and research faculty instructor at Washington University in St. Louis. He has been involved in the development and application of efficient, high-throughput genomics approaches, with special emphasis on large-scale genome mapping and DNA sequencing, and has contributed to numerous international genomics initiatives. His current activities include the development and application of next generation sequencing approaches to characterize cancer genomes, with the aim of comprehensive identification of the genetic changes that drive cancer progression. With such changes in hand, a new generation of treatment strategies will emerge for the benefit of cancer patients.
Dr. Marra is a Professor at the University of British Columbia’s Department of Medical Genetics, and Adjunct Professor, Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Simon Fraser University. Dr. Marra is the UBC Canada Research Chair in Genome Science, and a member of the Order of British Columbia. He is a recipient of a 2010 Genome BC Award for Scientific Excellence. He was elected to the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences in 2009; received the Frontiers in Research Award from the BC Innovation Council in 2008; and was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2007. He was a recipient of a Distinguished Achievement Award from UBC, a MSFHR Career Investigator Senior Scholar Award, and Simon Fraser University President’s 40th Anniversary Award. In 2004, he received a Terry Fox Young Investigator Award and BC Biotech’s Innovation and Achievement Award (together with the entire GSC staff) for sequencing the SARS coronavirus genome. Dr. Marra’s contributions to genome science led to an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Simon Fraser University in 2004, and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Calgary in 2005.
You can read Dr. Marra's blog posts here.