COVID-19’s impact on the world and how we live is undeniable. For all the challenges that arose, COVID-19 presented an opportunity to revolutionize the way scientists and health providers connect and collaborate to address critical, global issues. One successful collaboration that played a vital role in Canada’s pandemic response was the Canadian COVID-19 Genomics Network (CanCOGeN
Led by Genome Canada
, with support from the regional Genome Centres
, CanCOGeN was established to coordinate a large-scale, pan-Canadian effort (public and private entities) to sequence both SARS-CoV-2 virus and human host genomes. This sequence information helps track the spread, evolution, and land origin of the virus while also investigating the role human genetics plays in the disease and its severity.
CanCOGeN provided health authorities across Canada with the vital information needed to inform public health responses. It also helped to increase Canada’s sequencing capacity and data sharing capabilities that will have long-lasting effects on Canada’s ability to respond to other infectious diseases.
To learn more about CanCOGeN and how it has significantly enhanced how we collaborate and share genomics data across the country, freelance broadcaster Don Hill spoke with Genome Canada and Genome Alberta.
Part 1: Dr. Catalina Lopez-Correa, former Executive Director of CanCOGeN and current Chief Scientific Officer for Genome Canada, discusses the success of CanCOGeN and how it brought together groups across the country to aid in the public health response against COVID-19.
Part 2: Dr. Catalina Lopez-Correa and Dr. Gijs van Rooijen, Chief Scientific Officer for Genome Alberta, discuss how we will build off the successes of CanCOGeN within Alberta and across Canada to tackle any future public health risks through coordinated national efforts.
Listen to Part 2 here