Vice President, Technology Centres

“The Centre now has a total of 18 HiSeq instruments in addition to seven other types of next generation sequencers and can count on a generous grant from the Canadian Innovation Foundation to establish the first HiSeq-Xten platform in Canada. This platform will be accessible to the scientific community and will propel Québec and Canada toward a more integrated adoption of human genome sequencing.”


McGill University and Génome Québec Innovation Centre 

Number of research teams supported in 2014-2015: 924 teams from 30 countries

2014-2015 revenue: $16.2 million / Up 8% over last year

Crowning a great deal of effort and development, the Centre has been newly accredited as a Certified Service Provider for sequencing using the Pacific Biosciences platform.

User satisfaction level: 95%

In the twelve years of the Innovation Centre’s existence: 

  • Number of research teams supported: 2,581
  • Revenue: $128 million

Génome Québec and CHU Sainte-Justine Integrated Pediatric Clinical Genomic Centre

The Centre’s primary mandate is to perform clinical genomic analyses in order to explore monogenic diseases and childhood cancers. Since over 80% of rare genetic diseases occur in childhood or adolescence, it is expected that genome sequencing will have a significant impact in pediatrics. The Centre also seeks to support genomic research projects, with priority given to clinical translational projects.

The year was marked by the creation of a team and the installation of the equipment as part of the Clinical Genomic Centre's startup activities. During this period, the first analyses were carried out in the clinical exome project. In the coming months, we will attempt to increase the Centre's analytical capacity through the addition of new equipment, development of bioinformatic resources and optimization of laboratory processes.

The sequencing platform led by Jacques L. Michaud is the heart of CHU Sainte-Justine’s rare genetic disease centre announced in February 2015, which is designed to better integrate clinical expertise with research and teaching on mitochondrial diseases.

“Since the official start of operations in August 2014, the Centre has seen the completion of some 20 research projects by a dozen of its collaborators.”


Génome Québec and CHAUR Biobank

The Biobank has completed the storage of the 17,000 samples from the second wave of CARTaGENE participants and processed over 15,000 transactional sample requests. In addition to proposing a number of conditions for storing biological samples, including the only GenVault infrastructure in North America for room temperature storage, the Biobank also offers DNA and RNA extraction services, biochemical analyses and consultation on customized storage at clients’ sites. 


Philip Awadalla has published half a dozen high-level articles in prestigious journals such as PLOS Genetics, EMBO, Science and most recently, two in Nature. These articles attest to the great value of this population-based cohort, which contains over 40,000 biological samples and phenotypic data.

Genizon Biobank

The Génome Québec research ethics committee has completed its work aimed at defining the protocol for the use of the Genizon population-based cohort by the research community. The procedures for accessing the biological samples and clinical records of some 45,000 participants from 27 different medical cohorts will be announced in the near future.