Archives for October 2020

Canada’s Bio-Revolution Webinar Series – New Frontiers in Food Production: Growing Stronger with Cellular Agriculture

New Frontiers in Food Production: Growing Stronger with Cellular Agriculture

On October 27, 2020 Ontario Genomics in partnership with the Global Institute for Food Security and the Growing Stronger initiative from Arrell Food Institute and Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute showcased the second Canada\’s Bio-Revolution 2020 Webinar Series, “New Frontiers in Food Production: Growing Stonger with Cellular Agriculture.”

The panel focused on the future of Canada\’s food system and how it can benefit from new technologies, including cellular agriculture (using cells to make food products, e.g. meat, dairy, eggs, alternative proteins, ingredients) and the role they can play in creating “made-in-Canada” solutions for a more resilient food supply chain in a post-COVID world.

This much-needed conversation presented diverse voices and perspectives from across the value chains of leading Canadian experts – researchers, industry, funders and advocates, to generate collaboration and amplify new ideas. In case you missed this virtual event, you can watch it here on demand.

Topics include:

  • The current state of play for cellular agriculture,
  • The opportunities and potential barriers,
  • How genomics/engineering biology can help and how this can contribute to sustainability.

Speakers include:

  • Opening Remarks: Dr. Bettina Hamelin, President & CEO, Ontario Genomics and Chair, National Engineering Biology Steering Committee
  • Moderator: Dr. Steven Webb, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, the Global Institute for Food Security, Member of National Engineering Biology Steering Committee
  • Maria Pepe, Vice President, Research & Development, Lactalis,Canada/Parmalat
  • Isha Datar, Executive Director, New Harvest
  • Dr. Ralph Christian Delos Santos, CEO & Co-Founder Biofect Innovations
  • Dr. Lenore Newman, Canada Research Chair, Food Security and Environment, University of the Fraser Valley

Ontario’s cutting-edge genomics projects attract over $40 million in investment

October 26, 2020 – Today the Government of Canada and Genome Canada announced two (2) Ontario-led and two (2) Ontario co-led projects that are bringing a total of $40.1 million in investment into Ontario.  

Today’s announcement includes funding to support a two-year pilot project by the international Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) that in this Phase V project will help transform drug discovery and biomedicine by the year 2035. In collaboration with industry, SGC will harness open science and employ innovative strategies including artificial intelligence to develop tools to better understand proteins involved in many cancers and other debilitating and rare diseases.

Ontario Genomics is so proud to be working with these talented teams. These programs fund translational research and development projects that address real-world challenges and opportunities as identified by industry, government, not-for-profits, and other “receptors” of genomics knowledge and technology. This funding will help Ontario’s leading researchers produce dramatic breakthroughs in agriculture, health, environment, and across the bioeconomy.

Learn more about the projects announced today:

Learn more about this announcement: Genome Canada News Release

Ontario Genomics announces changes to the Board of Directors

Ontario Genomics is pleased to announce the appointment of new members to our Board of Directors.

Dr. Ann Marie Vaughan, President and CEO of Loyalist College in Belleville, Ontario, is a distinguished and nationally recognized senior executive with nearly 30 years of success in the post-secondary sector. She was the President and Chief Executive Officer of the College of the North Atlantic, located in Newfoundland and Labrador, from 2011-2016. Dr. Vaughan also held positions at Memorial University; the Marine Institute of Memorial University; the National Research Council; the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency; and the Human Resources Development Canada (now Service Canada). Ann Marie has been honoured internationally for her contributions to distance education and educational technology and was chosen as a participant in the 2004 Governor General Canadian Leadership Conference. She was recognized as a Top 50 CEO in Atlantic Canada in 2015. 

Dr. Charmaine Dean is Vice-President, Research and International at the University of Waterloo. In this role, she is focused on building upon foundational strengths to heighten the emphasis on collaborations, and link related external portfolios in a systematic approach to industrial partners and entrepreneurship. From 2011 to 2017, Dr. Dean served as Dean of Science at Western University. Prior to her service at Western, she played a major role in establishing the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University in her capacity of Associate Dean of that Faculty. Previously, she was the founding Chair of the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science at Simon Fraser University.

Ontario Genomics congratulates our two new Board of Directors on their appointments and welcomes the expertise and valuable perspective they bring to Ontario Genomics.

Ontario Genomics is also pleased to announce the appointment of Jehoshua Sharma as an observer and student representative. Jehoshua Sharma is a PhD student at the University of Guelph, that established iGEM Guelph, an undergraduate-led synthetic biology research group, and has co-founded cGEM, a nationwide initiative that brings together Canadian research groups using synthetic biology to solve real-world problems. Jehoshua brings important perspectives to our organization as he is also committed to developing the next generation of life sciences leaders.

Ontario Genomics thanks retiring board member, Dr. Jack Gauldie, for his sage leadership, his invaluable service over the years and his many contributions to Ontario Genomics and the province’s genomics ecosystem. We also thank Dr. John Kelly for his indispensable service and congratulate him on his appointment as the Deputy Minister at the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).

Learn more about our Board of Directors.

Canada\’s Bio-Revolution 2020 Webinar Series – Editing our Economic Future: The Power of CRISPR

Editing our Economic Future: The Power of CRISPR

On September 28, 2020 we were thrilled to partner with the Gairdner Foundation to bring you one of their Global Perspectives Panels as our first first Canada\’s Bio-Revolution 2020 Webinar Series. “Editing our Economic Future: The Power of CRISPR” showcased a conversation between Gairdner Foundation laureates and leading Canadian researchers on using the opportunities and applications of gene editing, specifically by using CRISPR/Cas9, to transform multiple sectors, from therapeutics to diagnostics, agriculture, and low carbon manufacturing, all of which have a profound impact on our economy.

This discussion centred on the development of these molecular tools and their applications, and potential challenges to adoption. In addition, Canadian researchers spoke about how they are applying gene editing to address problems like cancer treatment and fungal resistance for crops.

This webinar was moderated by Dr. Janet Rossant, President and Scientific Director, Gairdner Foundation and featured expert speakers such as:

Additionally, Dr. Bettina Hamelin, Ontario Genomics, President and CEO, shared her remarks about the importance of CRISPR in shaping our economic future. In case you missed this virtual event, you can watch it here on demand.