Over the last few months CGEn through its nodes in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver have joined the fight against COVID-19 by leveraging our best resources – our people, expertise and infrastructure. As many research laboratories, companies and government agencies are laser focused on finding ways to stop the spread of COVID-19, CGEn is doing its part both collectively and individually. Here is a brief summary of CGEn’s ongoing response to COVID-19:
CGEn will lead Canada’s COVID-19 host genome sequencing initiative as part of Genome Canada’s newly launched Canadian COVID Genomics Network (CanCOGeN). An investment of $20 million from the federal government will enable this initiative which includes sequencing 10,000 Canadians affected by COVID-19.
CGEn is working with strategic partners to develop databases and tools to store and share COVID-19 related genomic data to researchers and public health agencies globally
CGEn-Montreal is leading the set up and management of the province wide COVID-19 biobank
CGEn-Toronto, through strategic partnerships with the McLaughlin Centre at University of Toronto, is assisting investigators access COVID-19 research funding to conduct critical studies
CGEn-Vancouver is assisting the province of British Columbia Centre for Disease Control by developing and implementing automated high throughput viral nucleic acid extraction and investigating alternate sustainable reagent sources. They are also conducting naso-pharyngeal metagenome analysis for the presence of microbial species that may influence disease trajectory
All three CGEn nodes have made safeguarding of staff a priority with strict social distancing measures in place, and non-essential staff working from home
CGEn Toronto and CGEn-Vancouver continue to support important non COVID related research especially in cancer and paediatric development
CGEn is supporting scientists across the country to apply for the many newly launched COVID-19 related grant funding programs.