Dr. Marco Marra has been instrumental in bringing genome science to Canada, working across diverse programs of research that have addressed pressing problems and key opportunities of relevance to Canada and Canadians. He has spent much of his career leading teams to conduct large-scale, high-throughput genomics projects with the aim of comprehensive identification of the gentic changes that drive cancer. He believes that better integration of informatics and biology in genome analysis and a strong interface between the lab and the clinic can change outcomes for cancer patients. 

Dr. Marra has demonstrated the pivotal role that genomics can play in human health and disease research, including through contributions to the Human Genome Project, leading the sequencing of the SARS coronavirus genome and first proof-of-concept study demonstrating the effective use of whole genome analyses in personalized cancer medicine. His research has uncovered new cancer mutations, candidate biomarkers and therapeutic targets, and has been instrumental in demonstrating the functional interplay between the cancer genome and epigenome. Since 2014, he has been named as among the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds with more than 400 scientific publications, placing him in the top one per cent of cited scientists in his discipline worldwide. 

  • Professor and Head, Department of Medical Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia 
  • Canada Research Chair in Genome Science, University of British Columbia 
  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Simon Fraser University 
  • Terry Fox Research Institute, British Columbia Node Leader

Dr. Marco Marra is the UBC Canada Research Chair in Genome Science, a member of the Order of British Columbia, Director of Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre and Professor and Head of the Department of Medical Genetics in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia. He is a recipient of the 2019 Don Rix Award for Lifetime Achievement from LifeSciences BC, the 2017 Canadian Cancer Research Alliance’s Outstanding Achievements in Cancer Research Award, the 2015 Dr. Chew Wei Memorial Prize in Cancer Research, a 2013 UBC Killam Research Prize, a 2012 UBC Faculty of Medicine Distinguished Achievement Award, and the Medal of Merit Award from the International Association of Lions Clubs. From 2014 to 2018, Dr. Marra was listed among the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds by Thomson Reuters and by Clarivate Analytics. This list recognizes world-class researchers selected for their exceptional research performance, demonstrated by production of multiple highly cited papers that rank in the top one percent by citations for field and year in Web of Science.

He was elected to the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences in 2009, received the Frontiers in Research Award from the BC Innovation Council in 2008, was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2007, and was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in 2019. He was a recipient of a Genome BC Award for Scientific Excellence, a MSFHR Career Investigator Senior Scholar Award, and the Simon Fraser University President’s 40th Anniversary Award. In 2004, he received a Terry Fox Young Investigator Award and BC Biotech’s Innovation and Achievement Award (together with the staff of Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre) for sequencing the SARS coronavirus genome. His contributions to genome science led to an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Simon Fraser University in 2004, and an honorary Doctor of Law degree from the University of Calgary in 2005.

His complete CV is available, here.


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