Seven innovative projects led by UBC researchers have been funded through Genome BC’s Strategic Opportunities Fund.
One of the newly funded projects, co-led by Inanc Birol in UBC’s Department of Medical Genetics, explores the possibility of using bullfrogs as bioindicators to alert us of new pollutants before the ecosystem shows signs of environmental toxins.
To achieve this, Birol’s team will sequence and assemble the genome of the bullfrog in order to detect any future changes on the molecular level.
Other projects funded in this round include:
- Bioinformatic identification of tumour-specific targets led by Steve Jones (Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre; Dept. of Medical Genetics) and John Babcook (Centre for Drug Research and Development)
- Mining for treatable intellectual disabilities led by Clara van Karnebeek and Wyeth Wasserman (Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics)
- A test for triage oral precancer led by Catherine Poh (Dentistry) and Aly Karsan (BC Cancer Agency)
- Metabolic engineering for new medicines led by Katherine Ryan (Dept. of Chemistry; BC Centre for Disease Control)
- Single virus genomics led by Curtis Suttle (Dept. of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences)
- New cancer imaging agents led by David Perrin (Dept. of Chemistry)
The Strategic Opportunity Fund (SOF) program, with funding provided by Genome BC and several partners, aims to catalyze new projects and initiatives of strategic importance to B.C.’s economic sectors. The SOF program has a total investment of $11.5 million to date. The initial investment of $5.5 million from Genome BC, has been leveraged to bring in another $6 million in co-funding from partners. For more information, visit www.genomebc.ca/sof.