Genome Sciences Centre - BC Cancer Agency, Canada
Established in 1999 the Genome Sciences Centre comprises of over 310 Scientists, staff and trainees. The focus of the centre is to apply high-throughput genomic and bioinformatic approaches to improve the understanding and treatment of human cancers. We are currently employing next-generation sequencing to comprehensively characterize the genomes and transcriptomes of several cancer types including breast, ovarian, colon, thyroid, lymphoma and leukemia. The Genome Sciences Centre is a department of the British Columbia Cancer Research Centre.
The Genome Sciences Centre has been involved with numerous genomic activities over the years, including the physical mapping of the human, mouse, rat and bovine genomes and as a participant in the Mammalian Gene Collection consortium. It is an active participant of the NIH Roadmap Epigenomics Mapping Consortium and the NCI/NHGRI Cancer Genome Atlas consortium. We are currently employing next-generation sequencing to comprehensively characterize the genomes and transcriptomes of several cancer types including breast, ovarian, colon, thyroid, lymphoma and leukemia. This work has led to the discovery of novel drivers of oncogenesis such as FOXL2 an EZH2. Ultimately, we want to correlate the genotype of a tumor with the most appropriate and efficacious treatment course – a goal consistent with the personalized medicine aspirations of many groups worldwide. We have shown proof of principle of such an approach through the study of a rare adenocarcinoma of the tongue for which no obvious treatment program had been determined. Generating genomic and transcriptomic data for this patient's tumour allowed an oncogenic pathway to be predicted, aiding clinician decision making and allowing an appropriate targeted therapy to be identified, which in this case caused the tumour to regress. More recently we have embarked on applying personalized medicine approaches to aid in the clinical decision making for Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
Profile of staff members
Dr Marco Marra, FRSC, is the Director of the Genome Sciences Centre. Dr Steven Jones, FRSC, is Associate Director and Head, Bioinformatics. Dr Robert Holt is Head of DNA Sequencing and Dr Aly Karsan is Head of Clinical Diagnostic Genomics.
Five recent publications relevant to the project
1) Fejes, A. P., Khodabakhshi, A. H., Birol, I., and Jones, S. J. 2011. Human variation database: an open-source database template for genomic discovery. Bioinformatics 27: 1155-1156.
2) Jones, S. J., Laskin, J., Li, Y. Y., Griffith, O. L., An, J., Bilenky, M., Butterfield, Y. S., Cezard, T., Chuah, E., Corbett, R., et al. 2010. Evolution of an adenocarcinoma in response to selection by targeted kinase inhibitors. Genome Biol. 11: R82.
3) Morin, R. D., Mendez-Lago, M., Mungall, A. J., Goya, R., Mungall, K. L., Corbett, R. D., Johnson, N. A., Severson, T. M., Chiu, R., Field, M., et al. 2011. Frequent mutation of histone-modifying genes in non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Nature 476: 298-303.
4) Robertson, G., Schein, J., Chiu, R., Corbett, R., Field, M., Jackman, S. D., Mungall, K., Lee, S., Okada, H. M., Qian, J. Q., et al. 2010. De novo assembly and analysis of RNA-seq data. Nat. Methods.
5) Shah, S. P., Morin, R. D., Khattra, J., Prentice, L., Pugh, T., Burleigh, A., Delaney, A., Gelmon, K., Guliany, R., Senz, J., et al. 2009. Mutational evolution in a lobular breast tumour profiled at single nucleotide resolution. Nature 461: 809-813.