Genomics across the Atlantic

Genome British Columbia and Genomics England today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to pursue a bold initiative to improve diagnostic capability and outcomes for patients with cancer, rare diseases and infectious diseases. The two groups are working together with the ultimate goal of sharing and co-developing information and tools, and a mechanism for the international exchange of knowledge and materials in the field of genomics.

The first phase of the MOU involves building expert working groups to expand and assess some of the best ideas, generate project candidates and harmonize data sharing tools and processes. The MOU also includes the establishment of cross-institutional teams to address the mutually identified priority areas of cancer, rare diseases and infectious diseases, and the enabling tool of bioinformatics.

Genome BC logo“This partnership is a complementary step in our Health Strategy and also supports objectives identified by BC’s Ministry of Health,” says Dr. Alan Winter, President & CEO of Genome BC. “Our belief is that this relationship will catalyze the development of new genomic cohorts that will ultimately drive change in healthcare systems, both at home and abroad, as personalized approaches to disease treatment in key areas is realized.”

Professor Mark Caulfield and Dr. Alan WinterProfessor Mark Caulfield, Chief Scientist at Genomics England said “We are delighted to be creating this partnership with Genome British Columbia.  This will draw upon the experience of Genomics England gained in creating the 100,000 Genomes Project here in the UK and will focus on establishing a similar healthcare transformation in British Columbia. A measure of success of our mission will be whether we can convince similar healthcare systems around the world that the time is right to adopt approaches developed within the 100,000 Genomes Project to transform the application of genomic medicine in healthcare and bring better outcomes to patients worldwide.”

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