• The GSC turned 20

    On November 15, 2019 the GSC celebrated its 20th anniversary with an Open House and a Scientific Symposium. 

  • Mining Genomes for Antimicrobial Peptides

    Dr. Inanc Birol developed a new technique, published in Scientific Reports, to mine novel antimicrobial therapies from the genomes of a variety of species, aiding in the global fight against antibiotic resistance. 

  • Information Security

    The GSC achieved ISO27001 certification—one of the highest standards for information security management in the world. 

  • CanSeq150

    In recognition of Canada's 150th anniversary, the GSC joined other Canadian genome centres in CanSeq150, aiming to sequence the genomes of 150 iconic Canadian species. The GSC has since sequenced the beluga whale, grizzly bear, sea otter, sea lion and several others. 

  • 1,000,000,000,000,000 base-pairs of DNA

    On December 22 2015, the GSC reached the 1 petabase milestone, generating the 1,000,000,000,000,000th base-pair of DNA sequence. 

  • Reference Epigenomes

    The GSC, as part of the International Human Epigenome Consortium and under leadership of Dr. Martin Hirst, contributed to the analysis of over 111 reference human epigenomes published in Nature

  • Prostate Cancer Therapeutics

    Dr. Marianne Sadar discovered a completely novel drug to treat prostate cancer; in 2015, EPI-506 entered clinical trails for use in treatment-resistant patients.

  • Investigating Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

    Dr. Sharon Gorski published a study in Clinical Cancer Research demonstrating that autophagy inhibition improves treatment efficacy in triple-negative breast cancer. 

  • GSC Scientists Among the World's Most Infuential Minds

    Since 2014, several GSC scientists have been recognized as among the World's Most Influential Minds by Thomson Reuters/Clarivate Analytics. Eleven GSC scientists were listed again in 2020. 

  • Spruce Genomics

    GSC scientists, led by Dr. Inanc Birol, published in Bioinformatics the complete sequence and assembly of the White Spruce genome which, at 20 gigabases, was the largest genome ever sequenced at the time. 

  • Medulloblastoma Advanced Genomics International Consortium

    The GSC joined the Medulloblastoma Advanced Genomics International Consortium (MAGIC), which aims to use genome science to define and understand subgroups of medulloblastoma, the most common childhood brain cancer. 

  • Cancer and Microbes

    Dr. Robert Holt published the first evidence of a link between colorectal cancer and Fusobacterium nucleatum in Genome Research, highlighting the link between microbes and cancer. The study was named as one of Time Magazine's top 10 medical breakthroughs of 2011. 

  • Informing Patient Care

    The GSC was the first in the world to demonstrate the use of whole genome analysis to inform cancer patient treatment planning, published in Genome Biology, ushering in a new era of personalized cancer care. 

  • Insights Into Lymphoma

    Dr. Ryan Morin published a study in Nature Genetics describing recurrent somatic mutations in EZH2 in follicular and diffuse large B-cell lymphomas. 

  • Assembling Genomes

    Dr. Inanc Birol created novel computational methods for analyzing and assembling the data produced from next generation sequencers, including the award winning ABySS genome assembler now used by bioinformaticians worldwide. 

  • Visualizing Genomics Data

    GSC Staff Scientist Martin Krzywinski developed a novel way to visualize complex genomics data elegantly and efficiently using a method called Circos, published in Genome Research and now used by scientists worldwide. 

  • Centre for Clinical Genomics

    Dr. Aly Karsan led the launch of the Centre for Clinical Genomics, which became the first College of American Pathologists (CAP) certified lab to use next generation sequencing technologies for cancer diagnostics, drastically reducing patient wait times for genetic testing. 

  • Advancing Epigenetics

    In one of the first applications of next generation sequencing, Dr. Martin Hirst developed a technique to analyze the epigenome, known as ChIP-seq, published in Nature Methods. The method is now commonly used by researchers worldwide. 

  • The Cancer Genome Atlas

    The GSC became the only international participant in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), a landmark project in cancer genomics which to date has characterized tumours from 33 different cancer types. 

  • Next Generation Sequencing

    The GSC was one of only four genome centres in the world to receive a next generation DNA sequencer (Solexa, which was later bought by Illumina), a technology that revolutionized the modern field of genomics. 

  • Sequencing of SARS

    Scientists at the GSC were the first in the world to sequence the SARS coronavirus, providing vital information for disease control. 

  • The Healthy Aging Study

    Dr. Angela Brooks-Wilson launched the Healthy Aging Study, aiming to understand genes that promote long-term good health in ‘super seniors’.

  • The Human Genome Project

    GSC researchers contributed significantly to the first working draft of the complete human genome, published in a seminal Nature paper with Drs. Marco Marra and Steven Jones listed as authors.

  • Genome Sciences Centre opened its doors at BC Cancer

    On November 15 1999, Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre opened its doors at BC Cancer.

    Michael Smith


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