Genomic research is leading to incredible advances in modern-day healthcare but combining health and genomic data can greatly accelerate new discoveries. To enable the advancement of medical research and patient care, Genome British Columbia (Genome BC) has committed an investment of up to $1 million in partnership with Providence Health Care Ventures (Ventures).
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Researchers from Dr. Karen Cheung’s lab are developing an innovative instrument that performs highly precise single cell isolation, to help other scientists with their whole genome sequencing applications. Called Isolatrix, the instrument is a benchtop tool that quickly and accurately provides single cells to scientists in labs, accelerating the pace of their scientific work. “Isolatrix can very precisely partition single…
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Biomedical engineer Carl de Boer is taking a different approach to understanding how the genome works. Most groups study the genome itself, but his group makes variations to create and test the effects of new DNA sequences. “There’s a couple different applications to our work,” says de Boer, assistant professor at the UBC School of Biomedical Engineering. “One of the biggest ones…
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Over the past 20 years, scientists have made great strides in understanding the brain and at the same time they know very little about how it works. As neurobiologist Lu Chen says, “We know very little about the brain. We know about connections, but we don’t know how information is processed. Learning, for example, doesn’t just require good memory, it…
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Over half a million Canadians are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease or a related form of dementia. Given our country’s rapidly aging population the number of people with dementia — and the associated costs of $10.4 billion per year — are projected to double by 2031. This urgent health care challenge is currently being tackled by a multi-disciplinary group of…
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A Lift Up for Spinal Cord Injury Care

At the age of 16, John Chernesky lost the use of his legs following a car crash that damaged his cervical spine. Now in his mid-40s, the tetraplegic with moderate to good hand function has made it part of his life’s mission to help find new treatments for spinal cord injury (SCI) as an active participant in research and the…
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A small percentage of hormone-sensitive prostate cancer patients develop metastases in the lung after localized treatment. Why this phenomenon occurs is currently unclear though the answer may lie in a patient’s genome. Researchers from the GSC’s Wyatt Lab conducted a detailed genomic characterization of this poorly studied clinical phenotype by assessing both primary and metastatic patient samples, a unique feature…
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There have been a lot of headlines of late warning about Canada’s “data deficit,” the country’s inability to maximize its data resources. What we really need to be calling this crisis, however, is our national “data-sharing deficit.” The opportunity of accelerated data sharing is particularly notable in genomics: By linking our genomic DNA databases and health care data we can…
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The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in a new type of vaccine that had never been approved before: messenger RNA — or mRNA for short — was the technology behind both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Anna Blakney, associate professor at the UBC School of Biomedical Engineering, is looking for ways to make mRNA technology even better. “The point of a vaccine is to train…
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A Globetrotting PhD like No Other

There’s tough, and then there’s Tough. It’s unlikely anyone would ever say that Dr. Emmanuel Twumasi Osei travelled Easy Street on the long and bumpy road to his doctorate. Today, though, Dr. Osei will tell you he is extremely proud – delighted, really – to be an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology UBC Okanagan and Associate Member at the UBC – St Paul’s…
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