Titles and Education


Director, Genome Sciences Centre, BC Cancer
Distinguished Scientist, BC Cancer Research Centre, BC Cancer
Professor and Head, Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia
Adjunct Professor, Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Simon Fraser University
Associate Member, Michael Smith Laboratories, University of British Columbia


B.Sc., Molecular & Cell Biology, Simon Fraser University
Ph.D., Genetics, Simon Fraser University

Dr. Marra completed his PhD in Genetics at Simon Fraser University in 1994 and subsequently worked as a postdoctoral fellow and research faculty instructor at Washington University in St. Louis.  He has been involved in the development and application of efficient, high-throughput genomics approaches, with special emphasis on large-scale genome mapping and DNA sequencing. His current research activities revolve around the interplay between the cancer genome and the epigenome, with particular focus on the evolution of treatment resistant cancers and on bringing genomics technologies closer to cancer care.

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. 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, and was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2007. 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 Laws degree from the University of Calgary in 2005. In April 2020, Dr. Marra will be inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.

Dr. Marra has published 19 book chapters and 485 peer-reviewed papers.


Page last modified Nov 13, 2019