Canadian Foundation for Innovation Announces $27.8 Million for BC Cancer
Major boost for cancer research - federal government announces $27.8 million in funding for new B.C. cancer research facility
Vancouver, BC, Canada | The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) today announced the BC Cancer Agency, together with its partner, the University of British Columbia, has been successful in its application for $27.8 million in CFI funding to assist with the construction and other capital costs associated with the building of a new world-class cancer research centre in B.C.
This funding represents the largest award allocated in this competition. The CFI announced an investment of $363 million to support 214 infrastructure projects in 59 Canadian universities, colleges, hospitals, and not-for-profit research institutions.
"We are absolutely thrilled with the results of this application," says Dr. Donald Carlow, president and CEO of the BC Cancer Agency. "To be recognized by the CFI to this extent confirms our vision for the future of cancer research in this province. This federal government is to be congratulated for its enhanced scientific agenda, not just through CFI, but also its renewed commitment to research with the creation of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research."
The new cancer research centre will be Canada's first fully integrated cancer research facility and among the first in the world to house a major genome sequence centre. The total cost of the project is approximately $82 million.
"British Columbia is already a major player in international cancer research as our scientists continue to make enormous contributions toward the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer," said Dr. Donald Carlow, president and CEO of the BC Cancer Agency. "This commitment from the Canada Foundation for Innovation will assist researchers by providing them with the kind of state-of-the-art laboratories, technology and research equipment they need to advance their work."
"...the Genome Sequence Centre (GSC) ... will anchor the integration of genome science with other cutting edge cancer research and clinical care."
"This means medical discoveries will translate into patient care even faster," he added.
Planning and fundraising for the new cancer research facility began in 1995. The new facility will replace the current BC Cancer Research Centre, located in an old bakery/warehouse across the street from the Vancouver Cancer Centre. (601 West 10th, between Ash and Heather Streets.) The current facility is overcrowded, outdated, and poses safety concerns. In addition, bakers' yeast embedded in the walls of the building prevents many molecular research projects from being conducted there.
When completed, the new 225,000 square foot cancer research centre will house eight specialty laboratories dedicated to various aspects of cancer research. Among them, the Genome Sequence Centre (GSC), which will anchor the integration of genome science with other cutting edge cancer research and clinical care. The new centre will bring many BCCA scientists who are currently working off-site due to space restrictions, under one roof. It will also allow for crucial program expansion and set the stage for attracting leading scientists to British Columbia.
"Cancer and genome scientists will work closely together in this new research centre to exploit the enormous capability that genome science offers in solving problems in cancer biology that are not accessible by other means," said Dr. Victor Ling, vice-president of research at the BC Cancer Agency.
"Developing a genome science-based research program will also have a tremendous impact on the biotech community in BC," added Ling. "It will strengthen our local, national and international linkages with genome projects everywhere."
This is the second successful application the BCCA and UBC have made to CFI. The first was for the new Biotechnology Laboratory (BTL) at UBC, a component for the Centre for Integrated Genomics (CIG), a partnership venture of the BCCA and UBC. The CIG links the Cancer Agency and University researchers to consolidate a critical mass of genome research in Vancouver. That application received $9.35 million to build a new 6,600 square metre building at UBC. In addition, the province's Knowledge Development Fund contributed just over $10 million to that project.
Remaining funds for the new research centre are being raised by the BC Cancer Foundation.
"Funds from the CFI give us a significant boost in our campaign to build and equip this building. Of course, we are hopeful that these CFI funds will be matched by funds from the province," said Mary McNeil, president and CEO of the BC Cancer Foundation. "Support like this encourages others to come on board. We now know that we have the building, we can turn our attention to equipping it and staffing it."
The project team will present architectural plans to the city in the fall, and construction is expected to being late in 2001.