Welcome to Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre

The world-class scientific team at the Genome Sciences Centre plays a major role in advancing the fields of genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, epigenomics, metagenomics, and bioinformatics. Our scientists are involved in many collaborative sequencing projects within Canada and around the world.

GSC Group Photo

Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre (GSC) has a primary mandate to develop and deploy genomics technologies in support of life sciences research, and in particular cancer research.

  • Our Personalized Oncogenomics Project is currently transferring this expertise into real-time treatment planning for BC patients with incurable cancers;
  • The Centre for Clinical Genomics is accredited through the College of American Pathologists (CAP), a rigorous standard recognized throughout North America for clinical applications, to perform clinical sequencing to detect cancer susceptibility mutations. This technological advancement has lowered costs and eliminated the backlog for BRCA1/BRCA2 breast cancer susceptibility testing in British Columbia, translating to better health care for BC residents;
  • GSC researchers are asking important questions about hereditary cancers in the Lymphoma Families Study, the relationship between microorganisms and colorectal cancer tumours, as well as working to develop new drug treatments for aggressive prostate cancer, and playing key roles in international cancer research collaborations such as The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA).


In addition to our cancer research efforts, we are involved in genomic research projects across the life sciences spectrum: 

  • Infectious disease research:

       The rapid sequencing of the SARS Coronavirus, sequencing and genome analysis of the avian flu (H7N3), Tuberculosis outbreak tracking

  • Contributions to sequencing economically and environmentally important organisms: 

       Including cattle, salmon, poplar and spruce trees, mountain pine beetle, amphibian sentinel species,  and wine grapes

  • Other health-related projects: 

       Healthy Aging, intellectual disability, prenatal testing, epigenomics research (across Canada and Internationally)

A key element of the GSC is the genomics, proteomics and informatics platforms. The priority of the platforms is to develop innovative means to automate the sequencing process, develop cost-effective measures that will make such research financially viable, and utilize leading edge computing tools to collect, mine, analyze and disperse data collected at this and other genome facilities. To accomplish this, the platform fully exploits the most recent technological advances in genomics, proteomics, and high performance computing, within a state-of-the-art facility designed to generate and extract information from complex samples and valuable sample collections, for the benefit and use of the wider scientific community. More information can be found in our Services section. 

The Genome Sciences Centre is one of eighteen research departments and programs that operate as part of the BC Cancer Research Centre. The BC Cancer Agency, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority, provides a province-wide cancer control program for the residents of British Columbia. Additional support is provided by funds raised by the BC Cancer Foundation for cancer research.

How is gene science applied to cancer?


History of the Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre (GSC)


Page last modified Sep 23, 2019