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DNA sequencing and nano-fabrication receive equipment funding support


Vancouver, BC – Development and commercialization of new technologies in the fields of DNA sequencing and nano-fabrication is receiving a boost from Western Economic Diversification Canada, which is providing $750,000 toward the purchase of state-of-the-art equipment and the building of a fabrication facility for nanotechnology and genetic research.

Genome British Columbia will purchase and install advanced genomic research equipment for use at two sites. The BC Cancer Agency’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre will house next generation DNA sequencing equipment, which will greatly increase the speed and accuracy of sequencing, as well as decrease the costs involved in such activities. The Networks of Centres of Excellence at UBC will house a newly built nano-fabrication clean room, along with equipment for prototyping and manufacturing microfluidic biochips.

“This project brings together genomics scientists and physicists, whose joint unique expertise is an important element in closing the gap between discovery life sciences research, applications and ultimate benefits to users in health and industry,” said Dr Alan Winter, president and CEO of Genome BC. “We look forward to the findings from this internationally unique collaboration.”

The new equipment is expected to assist in the discovery of new enzymes that could be used in industrial processes as well as in the mining and oil and gas industries, the discovery of new classes of stem cells with direct therapeutic potential, and early detection leading to the better control of pest outbreaks in agriculture or forestry.

“The instrument and bio-informatics hardware funding by WD will build upon our existing capacity of next generation sequencing equipment at the BC Cancer Agency Genome Sciences Centre,” said Dr Marco Marra, director. “This provision for new genomic and bioinformatics technology capitalizes on the capacity of the Genome BC / Genome Canada platform which supports cutting edge projects at local, national and international levels.”