Celebrating 20 years of Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre

21 November 2019

This November marks 20 years of science, discovery, innovation, collaboration and education at Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre at BC Cancer (GSC). Since 1999, the GSC — founded by BC Nobel Laureate Dr. Michael Smith, in collaboration with the BC Cancer Agency and BC Cancer Foundation — has emerged as a global leader in genome research.

Sharing more than just a name, the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) has provided more than $12.6 million in funding to the GSC since 2001 through funding awards and supporting talent development.

In 2001, MSFHR provided $5 million in funding to Genome BC, which Genome Canada matched to support the further development of the GSC. In addition to the $5 million in match funding, MSFHR has invested more than $7.6 million in the GSC and its scientists to date, funding:

  • Eight Scholar awards supporting:
  • 32 Research Trainee awards supporting 29 individual researchers.
  • Two Technology/Methodology Platforms awards supporting the British Columbia Proteomics Network (BCPN) Phases I and II. The BCPN is a growing network of research professionals from universities, research institutions and industry throughout British Columbia involved in the large-scale study of proteins and their functions.

These past Scholar award recipients, now respected leaders in their field, have collectively published more than 1,500 publications, received over 190 competitively awarded additional grants from national and international sources, leveraged more than $400 million in research funds to BC as principal investigators, and participated in provincial, national, and international projects worth $1.1 billion. They are also playing a key role in training the next generation of scientists, collectively supervising: 26 MSFHR Research Trainee projects, 178 graduate students and post-doctoral researchers and 200 undergraduate students.


Congratulations to our GSC colleagues on this exceptional anniversary. We look forward to seeing what breakthroughs and innovations the next 20 years will bring.

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