Canada-wide genome library seeks to unify genome sequencing
The Canadian government recently announced an investment of $15 million over the course of five years to establish a national genomic data management system. The first of its kind, the Pan-Canadian Genome Library (PCGL) will help unify genomic sequencing in Canada.
Led by scientists across the country, including Dr. Stephen Scherer and Dr. Lisa Strug at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), the PCGL will establish data infrastructure, portals, and tools that enable excellence in genomic research both in Canada and internationally.
“At SickKids, Precision Child Health is committed to using breakthrough research to inform individualized care that is reflective of the unique characteristics of each child, from their genetic code to their postal code,” says Scherer, who is Chief of Research and a Senior Scientist in the Genetics & Genome Biology program at SickKids and Director of The Centre for Applied Genomics (TCAG). TCAG is also a node of CGEn, Canada’s national platform for sequencing and analysis, whose Chief Executive Officer Naveed Aziz helped to coordinate the funding opportunity.
The PCGL will prioritize the creation of a genome database which reflects the diversity of people living in Canada and has provisions for the respectful use of Indigenous genetic data.
“With the combined expertise of scientists across the country, we can create a platform that will inform the direction of genome research in Canada and provide health-care professionals with access to a secure resource with data that is reflective of the individuals they support,” says Strug, a Senior Scientist in the Genetics & Genome Biology program, Associate Director of TCAG and Director of Data Sciences Institute (DSI) at the University of Toronto.
The PCGL was developed through a strategic partnership between Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Genome Canada, the Digital Research Alliance of Canada and CGEn, which is Canada’s national platform for genomic sequencing and analysis. The PCGL will be hosted at CGEn, which includes TCAG at SickKids, the McGill Genome Centre at McGill University in Montreal and the Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre at BC Cancer in Vancouver.
This research was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).