Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre

The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia
What the facility does

World-renowned experts in genomics and bioinformatics research with a 30-year track record of leading and supporting scientific innovation.

Areas of expertise

Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre (GSC) at BC Cancer provides services in genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, epigenomics, metagenomics and bioinformatics with applications in cancer and other health and clinical research, as well as the broader life sciences. Our mandate is to advance the knowledge of cancer and other diseases, to improve human health through disease prevention, to develop diagnostic and therapeutic approaches and to realize the social and economic benefits of genomics research. To accomplish this, our scientists use cutting-edge sequencing platforms and computing tools to collect, mine and analyze genomics data. Within our state-of-the-art facility, we make use of the technological advances for the processing of complex and valuable biological samples.

The GSC is unique in that it fosters close collaborations between scientists and clinicians, allowing for a focus on direct translational research. Through the Personalized OncoGenomics (POG) program, the GSC deploys sequencing technology to influence therapeutic and management strategies for cancer patients in real time. The GSC is also home to the Centre for Clinical Genomics, which is accredited through the College of American Pathologists to perform clinical genomic testing. The GSC further lends its expertise to other health-related and environmental applications.  

The GSC further lends its expertise to other life sciences and environmental applications, including biodiversity, agriculture, fisheries, food science, oceanography and mining.

Research services
  • Nucleic acid extraction and library construction services including FFPE genome, PCR-free genome, low input DNA, bisulphite, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), mRNA (strand specific), ribodepletion, miRNA, TCR/BCR, exome and custom capture and 16S/ITS.
  • Sequencing services include whole genome, whole transcriptome (ribosomal depleted, or polyA RNA), epigenome, ChIP, exome capture (exons only, or UTR included), miRNA, long reads and linked reads.
  • Bioinformatics services include somatic analysis, cancer immunogenetics, epigenetic analysis, structural variant analysis, expression analysis, germline analysis and genome assembly.
Sectors of application
  • Agriculture, animal science and food
  • Education
  • Environmental technologies and related services
  • Fisheries and aquaculture
  • Forestry and forest-based industries
  • Healthcare and social services
  • Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment
  • Mining, minerals and metals
  • Ocean industries
  • Professional and technical services (including legal services, architecture, engineering)
Specialized labEquipmentFunction
DNA Sequencing

Illumina NextSeq2000 Sequencing System

DNA and RNA sequencing.
DNA SequencingIllumina MiSeq Sequencing SystemDNA and RNA sequencing.
DNA SequencingOxford Nanopore MinION SequencerDNA and RNA sequencing.
DNA SequencingOxford Nanopore PromethION SequencerDNA and RNA sequencing.
DNA sequencingIllumina NovaSeq 6000 Sequencing SystemDNA and RNA sequencing.
DNA sequencingIllumina NovaSeq X Plus Sequencing SystemDNA and RNA sequencing.
DNA sequencingPacBio Revio HiFi Sequencing SystemDNA and RNA sequencing.
Data analysis and managementServer.

Data Storage: >14PB

Data Processing: >25,000 cluster cores 

  • BC Cancer
  • BC Centre for Disease Control
  • The Hospital for Sick Children
  • Leidos Inc.
  • Coastal Genomics Inc.
  • Terry Fox Research Institute
  • The National Cancer Institute
  • CanSeq150
  • CGEn
The Personalized Oncogenomics Program.
Centre for Clinical Genomics.