Genome Quebec

At a Glance
  • Status: Active Consortium
  • Year Launched: 2000
  • Initiating Organization: McGill University
  • Initiator Type: Academia
  • No disease focus
  • Location: North America
genome quebec


In partnership with national and international leaders in life sciences, Genome Quebec contributes to strengthening the competitiveness of the genomics innovation system in order to maximize its socioeconomic impact in Québec, by funding major genomic research initiatives and putting in place the tools necessary for scientific and strategic development in the field.


Genome Quebec is a driving force behind the development of genomics and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in Quebec. It has supported more than 60 research projects and 750 researchers since 2000. Genome Quebec manages the operations of the McGill University and Genome Quebec Innovation Centre to help to accelerate the discovery of new applications for genomics and DNA in strategic areas including human health, forestry, and the environment.

Consortium History

Genome Quebec was established in 2000. Since its inception, it has helped Quebec make great strides in genomics research. Over the years, projects funded by Genome Quebec and its Innovation Centre have made significant contributions to many areas of activity. That is why genomics is now considered to be the great white hope of economic development, particularly in health, the environment, forestry, and agrifood.

The following are highlights from the history of Genome Quebec and genomics in Canada:


  • Jean Rochon, minister of research, science and technology, approves the Genome Quebec business plan.

  • Five large-scale projects are launched (Competition I – Genome Canada).

  • The McGill University and Genome Quebec Innovation Centre, a science and technology platform, is created.


  • The Arborea project, a global benchmark for the development of forest genomics, begins.

  • Researchers from around the world come together to create the International HapMap Project aimed at developing a valuable resource for the discovery of disease-causing genes.

  • Ten large-scale projects are launched (Competition II – Genome Canada).


  • The Public Population Project in Genomics and Society (P3G) international consortium, a public population genomics project is initiated and chaired by Tom Hudson and Bartha Maria Knoppers.

  • The McGill University and Genome Quebec Innovation Centre opens its doors.


  • Four large-scale projects are launched (Applied Genomics and Proteomics Research in Human Health Competition – Genome Canada)


  • HapMap releases the first comprehensive catalog of human genetic variations, a historic milestone that is accelerating the pace of research into genes associated with common diseases.

  • Quebec researchers identify the genetic code of a highly virulent strain of C. difficile.

  • The Geee! in Genome interactive exhibition is presented at the Montreal Science Centre.

  • Seven large-scale projects are launched (Competition III – Genome Canada).


  • Genome Quebec launches the PRIVAC competition thanks to funding by the Ministry of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade. The program aims to finance collaborative genomics research between private and academic partners.

  • A project to identify the virulence determinants of C. difficile is initiated.

  • A new therapeutic target for treating HIV is identified.


  • Genome Quebec and Hema-Quebec announce the creation of a database with 22,000 genotyped donors to facilitate the screening of compatible blood.

  • HapMap publishes the second-generation haplotype map of the human genome containing three times more genetic markers than the 2005 version.

  • CARTaGENE, a databank of biological material specific to Quebec, is created.

  • A major international biobank is launched in the Saguenay region.

  • Four large-scale projects are initiated (PRIVAC Competition – Genome Québec)


  • The McGill University and Genome Quebec Innovation Centre becomes the first Canadian organization to offer high-throughput sequencing.


  • The Centre of Excellence in Personalized Medicine is founded jointly with the Montreal Heart Institute.

  • Researchers make a breakthrough in the area of HIV when they identify a protein that combats immunodeficiency.

  • Two research projects are initiated (Development of New Technologies Competition – Genome Canada).


  • The McGill University and Genome Quebec Innovation Centre becomes the world’s first Sequenom center of excellence


  • The Ministry of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade announces funding, which leads to the launch of four programs in support of genomics research in Québec.

  • Recruitment of participants for the CARTaGENE project begins.


  • Genome Quebec celebrates its 10th anniversary.

  • The McGill University and Genome Quebec Innovation Centre obtains Illumina CSProTM certification for four applications, a Canadian first.

  • Researchers discover a gene associated with a common type of migraine.

  • The CARTaGENE recruitment phase ends on a successful note, after reaching its goal of 20,000 Quebec participants.

  • Nineteen genomics research projects are launched (Genome Quebec competitions).


  • Mark Lathrop is appointed scientific director of the McGill University and Genome Quebec Innovation Centre.

  • Two projects are announced (Large-Scale Applied Research Competition – Genome Canada).


  • New funding is awarded to the McGill University and Genome Quebec Innovation Centre (2010 Competition: Science and Technology Innovation Centre Operations Support – Genome Canada).

  • Genome Quebec’s new website (2.0 version) is launched.

  • CARTaGENE Phase II recruitment is launched.


  • A Quebec scientist involved in the discovery of DNA spelling mistakes linked to breast cancer

  • Eight 8 large-scale projects in personalized health care (Genomics and personalized health Competition – Genome Canada) are launched.

  • The Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (MESRST) announces funding in support of genomics research projects in Quebec.


  • Genome Quebec’s scientific partnership with the Grand defi Pierre Lavoie is announced.

  • Genome Quebec and CHU Sainte-Justine announce the launch of Canada’s first integrated clinical genomic center in pediatrics. 


  • There is a significant breakthrough from Guy Sauvageau’s team from IRIC/Universite de Montreal, thanks to the laboratory growth of leukemic stem cells.

Structure & Governance

Genome Quebec is divided into a Management Committee, Administrative Center, Innovation Center, GQ-CAURC Biobank, and Board of Directors.


The funds invested by Genome Quebec are provided by the Quebec Ministry of Economy, Innovation and Export Trade (MEIE), the Government of Canada through Genome Canada, and private partners.

Points of Contact

Genome Quebec
630 Rene-Levesque Blvd West, Suite 2660
Montreal (Quebec)  H3B 1S6
phone: 514-398-0668
fax: 514-398-0883

Diane Bouchard
Director, Programs and Strategic Projects
phone: 514-398-0668, ext. 236

Last Updated: 05/24/2016

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