We recently had the pleasure of hosting the Premier of British Columbia. The Honourable John Horgan received a hands-on, personal tour of the our DNA sequencing and bioinformatics technology platform from our director and distinguished scientist, Dr. Marco Marra.
The Premier's visit comes on the cusp of the GSC's 20th anniversary.
He was met by PHSA CEO, Carl Roy, and joined by PHSA executive VP for clinical service delivery, Susan Wannamaker, BC Cancer VP and chief medical officer, Dr. Kim Nguyen Chi, BC Cancer chief operations officer, Heather Findlay, BC Cancer VP of research, Dr. François Bénard, BC Cancer Foundation president and CEO, Sarah Roth, and others.
The Premier prepared DNA for extraction in a liquid handling robot, experienced different types of DNA sequencing technology, saw live normal and cancerous pancreas cells in culture, explored single-cell extraction and sequencing, toured through the GSC's computer server room (which with 31,000 computer cores and 24 petabytes of storage, is one of Canada's largest), and learned of the different types data with which the GSC's bioinformaticians work.
"Cancer touches us all. About half of us can expect to receive a cancer diagnosis in our lifetime. That's why the work of @BCCancer_GSC is so important," said the Premier in a tweet following the tour. "What I saw yesterday, and the people I met, gives me confidence that we can beat this disease. Thank you for having me."