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Genomic Equity Series: Embedding equity in the Canadian genomics ecosystem

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The Genomic Equity Series is a monthly online series hosted by the Diverse Data initiative at Genomics England, in collaboration with the Data Science for Health Equity community, which aims to share the latest experiences, projects and research of those working to improve equity in genomic medicine across the world.

For the second session of this series, we are delighted to host our colleagues from Genome Canada. The fields of genetics and genomics have made previously unthinkable progress over the last two decades. We have shifted from mapping the human genome to sequencing individual genomes for a mere fraction of the cost, and at record speed. During this time of rapid discovery, the Canadian Genomics Enterprise—a unique investment model comprising Genome Canada and six independent regional Genome Centres—has been a driver of impact-focused investments in health, agriculture, natural resources and environmental sustainability. In this talk, Genome Canada will share their on ongoing efforts to cultivate a research ecosystem and organization that embraces inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA), as well as collaborative initiatives to elevate Indigenous genomics leadership in Canada. Recognising that not enough has been done, and that there is momentum to do more, the talk will spotlight challenges and opportunities in the journey to build a Canadian genomics future that is by design inclusive and anti-racist.

Dr. Catalina Lopez-Correa is Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Director of the Canadian COVID-19 Genomics Network (CanCOGeN) at Genome Canada. Dr. Lopez-Correa holds a Medical degree from the UPB in Colombia, a Master’s degree in Human Genetics from Paris V University in France, and a PhD in Medical Biosciences from the KULeuven in Belgium.

Koko Bate Agborsangaya is the Program Director, Canadian COVID-19 Genomics Network (CanCOGeN) at Genome Canada. Mrs. Agborsangaya holds an M.Sc. in immunology from the University of Manitoba and a B.Sc. in zoology/chemistry from Brandon University.

Dr. Wesley Oakes is Director, Equity and Indigenous Engagement at Genome Canada. Dr. Oakes holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from York University, an MPhil from SOAS University of London, and a BA from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.


  • 17:00 Welcome to the Genomic Equity Series (Diksha Srivastava, Genomics England)
  • 17:05 Presentation (Catalina Lopez-Correa, Koko Agborsangaya, Wesley Oakes Genome Canada)
  • 17:35 Discussion & Audience Q&A
  • 18:00 Close


About the series organisers

Diverse Data

Diverse Data is a new initiative set up by Genomics England to reduce inequalities in genomic medicine, by ensuring that all patients, regardless of their background, receive the same quality of genomics-enabled personalized medicine, supported by the latest research on people like them. The initiative will be setting up new research projects, working closely with community groups, conducting large-scale sequencing efforts, and will be building practical tools to support everyone in the genomics community to put equity at the centre of their work. Find out more about the initiative here.

Data Science for Health Equity

Data Science for Health Equity is global community that brings together experts, enthusiasts and hobbyists working at the intersection of data science and health inequalities to ensure that the latest research and innovations improve health equity. Find out more about the community here.

Schedule of events


  • 17:30

    Welcome to the Genomic Equity Series

  • 17:35


  • 18:05

    Discussion and audience Q&A

  • 18:30

    Event finishes

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