Genome Canada has announced a $15.5 million investment in Canada’s new Genomics Innovation Network. The Network is comprised of ten “Nodes,” located in BC, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec to provide leading-edge technologies to researchers across Canada. (see Infographic
) Each node receives core operational funding from Genome Canada, with matching funds from various public and private sector partners.
The Genomics Innovation Network is designed to allow innovation centres across Canada to collaborate and harness their collective power for the advancement of genomics research. Each Node provides Canadian and international researchers with access to the leading-edge technologies required for research in genomics, metabolomics, proteomics and related areas. These Nodes are also well positioned to push the boundaries in terms of developing new technologies in genomics and related sciences.
The Metabolomics Innovation Centre at the University of Alberta was funded as Canada’s national metabolomics core facility and technology development centre where it will continue to provide researchers with resources for metabolomics research. The Node is led by David Wishart and Christoph Borchers.
Metabolomics is a relatively new area of science that measures the thousands of small molecules in cells, tissues and organisms. While small, these molecules, also called metabolites, provide a powerful new route to study drug metabolism, gene-environment interactions and biological pathways. The Metabolomics Innovation Centre (TMIC) is Canada’s national metabolomics core facility and technology development centre. It provides researchers with world-class resources for metabolomics research, including testing facilities, specialized experimental methods, bioinformatics tools and scientific expertise. Co-located at the University of Alberta and the University of Victoria, TMIC supports cutting-edge technology development and biomarker research programs with numerous local, national and international partners.
TMIC develops novel tools, methods and technologies to study the metabolome of a wide variety of organisms and biological systems, with applications in human health and diagnostics, microbiology, agriculture, forestry, environment, food and nutrition, and bioproducts. A key research focus is identifying metabolites that are predictive of a wide variety of human diseases, including caner, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis and heart disease. In collaboration with Genome Alberta, and with funding support from Western Economic Diversification and Alberta Innovates Health Solutions, TMIC will establish a Metabolomics Technology Demonstration Centre in 2015 that will enable translation of biomarker and metabolomics discoveries into real-life applications through the development of prototype kits and portable devices for metabolomic testing.
TMIC also provides a wide range of research services for metabolomic profiling, comprehensive metabolite identification, absolute quantification, pathway analysis and biomarker discovery and validation for the medical, agricultural, food processing and environmental testing markets.
Genome Alberta has been supporting metabolomics work in Alberta for several years now and we're pleased with the continued success of the applied work being done by TMIC as well as the ongoing basic research.
We have profiled metabolomics in several blog posts recently and hope you have the time to learn more about metabolomics and the work being done in Alberta.