UVic-Genome BC Proteomics Centre awarded $625,500 from Western Economic Diversification

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Federal Investment Strengthens Life Sciences Sector
June 25, 2009 Victoria, British Columbia

Today, Andrew Saxton, Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification announced federal support for the University of Victoria's Genome BC Proteomics Centre to enhance its research, analytical and training services.

"This investment will further strengthen the University of Victoria's Genome BC Proteomics Centre's position as an international leader in life sciences," said Mr. Saxton. "Our Government is taking action to support research and innovation in order to build a more competitive Canadian economy."

Funding will help the University of Victoria purchase and install specialized imaging equipment at the Proteomics Centre. The equipment will enable two-dimensional imaging of proteins and molecules in tissue samples, providing scientists a new view on how organisms react to pharmaceuticals and the environment. The equipment offers stronger research and training opportunities for researchers, academics and industry. Funding will also support a new business development and marketing focus for the Centre, designed to increase its local and international reach.

"This new instrumentation will allow us to explore further into human health states, disease development and treatment efficacies," explains Proteomics Centre Director Dr. Christoph Borchers. "Working with collaborators we will transform molecular images into proteomic and metabolomic information. This will be used to develop a 4-D virtual reality atlas of the human body and improve a clinician's ability to diagnose and treat disease. Of particular interest is the diagnosis of specific heart diseases that are currently very challenging to characterize." Federal funding of more than $620,000 is provided through Western Economic Diversification under the Western Diversification Program.

The University of Victoria Genome BC Proteomics Centre, located on Vancouver Island, has been providing protein analytical services to hundreds of academic, biotechnology, pharmaceutical and government laboratories worldwide since 1982. The Centre is the pre-eminent Canadian facility in this field, and one of the leading centres in North America. Supported by the University and Genome British Columbia, the centre is a not-for-profit proteomics facility that operates on a fee-for-service, cost recovery finance model.

Western Economic Diversification works with the provinces, industry associations and communities to promote the development and diversification of the western economy, coordinates federal economic activities in the West and represents the interests of western Canadians in national decision making.

For additional information, contact: Jackie Stewart
Western Economic Diversification Canada
Telephone: (604) 666-7543
Maria Lironi
Communications Officer
University of Victoria
250-721-6139 or lironim@uvic.ca