Structural Genomics Consortium


Genome Canada


Human Health

The Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC)  is an international public-private partnership incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in July 2004 that supports the discovery of new medicines through open-access research. Its core mandate is to determine the 3D structures targeting human proteins of biomedical importance and proteins from human parasites that represent potential drug targets. To date the SGC has been responsible for more than 25% of global output of new human protein structures and more than 50% of the global output of protein structures from human parasites.

The SGC is led by Aled Edwards at the University of Toronto with additional activities at Oxford University. Each site is led by a Scientific Director reporting to Edwards. The SGC began in 2003 and the first two phases of the project has delivered over and above its initial goals. Phase III of the SGC began July 1, 2011. A total of $61 million has been committed by funding partners, of which $28 million is from the public sector (including $2.5 million for one year from Genome Canada) and $33 million from the private sector, including GSK, Pfizer, Novartis, Lilly, Life Technologies, Abbott Laboratories and Takeda Pharmaceuticals, with at least two new companies requesting membership. In addition, SGC has secured at least $8M of in-kind support from pharmaceutical companies.

On October 26, 2020,  on behalf of Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Navdeep Bains, William Amos, Parliamentary Secretary (Science), announced $16 million in federal support to 10 new genomics research projects funded through Genome Canada. Provincial governments, businesses and research partners are also investing nearly $41 million in co-funding, for a total investment of almost $57 million in the areas of health, agriculture and the environment.

On June 12, 2017, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, announced a new $33 million investment to support the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) – a Canadian-led, international public-private partnership that conducts basic science on the structures of human proteins and releases the research to the public to accelerate drug discovery and help patients worldwide. This latest investment in the fourth phase of Canadian-based SGC activities, conducted principally at the University of Toronto, includes $11 million in federal funding through Genome Canada, $5 million through the Government of Ontario, and an additional $17 million through pharmaceutical companies. This funding will help translate scientific discoveries into cures for patients with a range of diseases such as cancer, ALS, Huntington’s disease, malaria and tuberculosis.

Quick Facts

  1. The SGC is considered a pioneer in open science. Since its inception in 2004, the SGC has shared all research results and output with no restrictions on use, and without filing patents as a core principle. This approach protects against waste and duplication of effort, and catalyzes innovation by facilitating scientific exchange that is unencumbered by intellectual property considerations.
  2. Led out of Toronto, the SGC includes sister sites worldwide, engaging an ever-broadening number of public and private sector partners that collaborate to improve the lives of patients worldwide.
  3. To date, eight pharmaceutical companies are collaborating in and co-financing SGC activities. Outcomes to date include more than 25 ongoing clinical trials and the creation of many start-up companies