• Lichen Genome Sequenced

    The genome of the Giant’s Dot Lichen—a Canadian species discovered in 2019—is sequenced as part of the CanSeq150 project.

  • Molecular subgroups of PNEN

    Four new molecular subgroups of Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Neoplasms identified through research done in Dr. Sharon Gorski's lab

  • Single Cell RNA sequencing

    GSC researchers developed a new method of single-cell RNA sequencing published in Frontiers in Genetics.

  • Quality Clinical Care

    The College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC Diagnostic Accreditation Program (DAP) gave full accreditation to GSC facilities.

  • Dr. Adi Stief

    Dr. Adi Steif joined the GSC to continue research on large-scale genetic, transcriptomic and epigenetic profiling of tissues at the single cell level using statistical machine learning approaches.  

  • Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

    Dr. Marco Marra was one of six outstanding individuals inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.

  • Molecular Biology of Colorectal Cancer

    Research by Dr. Isabella Tai's lab provided insight into the molecular biology of colorectal cancer.

  • 3,000,000,000,000,000

    GSC reached a new milestone by recording 3 petabases of sequencing data.

  • New GSC Faculty

    The GSC welcomed Dr. Laura Evgin, who’s research is focused on Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) modified T cells and oncolytic viruses, and Dr. Alexander Wyatt, who studies metastatic genitourinary cancers, including prostate and bladder cancer.

  • International Effort to Sequence Cervical Cancers in Ugandan women

    Analysis of the genomic characteristics of cervical cancers in Ugandan women, led by Dr. Marco Marra, published in Nature Genetics.

  • Team Science Award

    The American Association for Cancer Research presented the Cancer Genome Atlas—which several members of the GSC have contributed to including Drs. Marco Marra, Steven Jones, and Gordon Robertson— with a team science award.

  • POG 570

    Nature Cancer  published data from the first 570 patients studied through the POG program and featured the article on its cover.

  • COVID-19

    GSC became one of four Canadian institutions to use genome science to better understand COVID-19 infection

  • The GSC turned 20

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

  • Marathon of Hope

    GSC joined the Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network with the goal of advancing precision medicine by working collaboratively and sharing data.


  • Canada Research Chair for Computational Genomics

    Dr. Steven. Jones appointed Canada Research Chair for Computational Genomics, part of an initiative by the Government of Canada and the Canada Foundation for Innovation to fund Canada Research Chairs at 52 institutions across Canada for research excellence.

  • Stellar Sea Lion Genome Sequenced

    The stellar sea lion genome sequenced as part of a GSC study led by Dr. Steven Jones. Results are published in Genes.

  • Information Security

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

  • 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. 

  • Silent Genomes Project

    The Silent Genomes Project, which aims to reduce health care disparities and improve diagnostic success for children with genetic diseases from Indigenous populations, was launched. In this documentaryDr. Nadine Caron, First Nations Health Authority Chair in Cancer and Wellness, Senior Scientist at the GSC and member of the Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation, discussed her role in the project. 

  • Grizzly Bear Genome Sequenced

    The grizzly bear genome sequenced as part of a GSC study led by Dr. Steven Jones. Results are published in Genes.

  • 2,000,000,000,000,000

    GSC reached a new milestone by recording 2 petabases of sequencing data.

  • 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. 

  • Northern Biobank

    Dr. Caron received $1.25 million from Genome British Columbia for the Northern Biobank Initiative to address a growing risk that rural and remote communities in B.C. could be excluded from significant advances made in genomic research and precision medicine. 

  • 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. 

  • Dr. Martin Hirst

    Dr. Martin Hirst became Head of Epigenomics at the GSC, conducting research focused on understanding epigenetic dysfunction in cancer.

  • Dr. Marianne Sadar

    Dr. Marianne Sadar, who’s research focuses on the development of therapeutics for prostate cancer, became a Distinguished Scientist at the GSC.   

  • 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. 

  • Dr. Inanc Briol

    Dr. Inanc Briol joined the GSC as a staff scientist to later become Distinguished Scientist and Director of the Bioinformatics Technology Lab. 

  • Dr. Sharon Gorski

    Distinguished Scientist Dr. Sharon Gorski, who's research focuses on cell death and cell survival pathways in breast and pancreatic cancer, joined the GSC as a junior scientist. 

  • Dr. Gregg Morin

    Dr. Gregg Morin joined GSC to establish a proteomic suite and continue his research on the genetic nature of lymphoid cancers.

  • Dr. Isabella Tai

    Dr. Isabella Tai, a senior MD/PhD scientist with an interest in understanding the mechanisms of chemotherapy resistance, metastasis and tumour progression in gastrointestinal cancers, joined the GSC.

  • 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’.

  • Dr. Robert Holt

    Dr. Robert Holt, Distinguished Scientist and Co-Director of the BC Cancer Immunotherapy Program, joined the GSC.

  • Dr. Angela Brooks-Wilson

    Dr. Angela Brooks-Wilson joined the GSC as a distinguished scientist investigating the genetic basis of cancer susceptibility, specifically lymphoid cancers.

  • 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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