Marco A. Marra, PhD
Director of the British Columbia Cancer Agency Genome Sciences Centre. Dr. Marra is also the Director of the Genome BC Sequencing and Mapping Platform. He holds the appointments of Senior Scientist at the British Columbia Cancer Agency, Associate Member of the Biotechnology Laboratory at the University of British Columbia, Associate Professor of Medical Genetics at the University of British Columbia and Adjunct Professor of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at Simon Fraser University. Dr. Marra has been involved for many years in the development and application of efficient high throughput genomics strategies, with special emphasis on large-scale genome mapping and DNA sequencing. Accomplishments to date have included construction of whole-genome sequence ready maps, assembled from fingerprinted BAC clones, for the human genome, and the genomes of Caenorhabditis briggsae, Arabidposis thaliana, Cryptococcus neoformans and most recently the laboratory mouse and rat. Maps for the bovine and salmon genomes are underway. In addition to whole-genome fingerprint map construction, large-scale high throughput Expressed Sequence Tags (EST) analysis and full-length cDNA sequencing has been used to construct publicly accessible gene databases for both human and mouse. Current activities include the development and application of large-scale high-throughput gene expression assays to study cancer and development. Serial Analysis of Gene Expression (SAGE) has been used extensively by Dr. Marra's groups at Washington University Genome Sequencing Center in St. Louis and at the British Columbia Cancer Agency Genome Sciences Centre to examine mRNA expression changes of relevance to cancer, ageing and virulence of fungal pathogens.