Ontario cancer group to get $420M, expand bioinformatics effort

Score one for the use of bioinformatics in cancer research. The government of Ontario has committed $420 million over the next 5 years to the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR), with a portion of the dollars funding an expansion of the group's bioinformatics and genomics research operations.

The institute plans to expand within its current headquarters at Ontario's MaRS science complex, which is expected to double in size through a $344.5 million building project. With its bioinformatics and genomics groups slated to expand into part of the new facilities, the 6-year-old OICR aims improve its ability to translate scientific discoveries into new treatments and diagnostics for cancer.

"[The expanded facility] will more than double the number of researchers and innovators and entrepreneurs at MaRS from 2,300 to more than 5,000," Glen Murray, Ontario's research and innovation minister, told the Toronto Star.

"Over the past five years OICR has networked top scientific talent from the province and recruited 35 international stars of the cancer research world, to meet the cancer challenge," said Dr. Tom Hudson, president and scientific director of the institute. "We have one of the highest rates of patient enrollment in cancer clinical trials in North America. The trials, conducted in 23 adult and five pediatric cancer center in Ontario, brings new cancer therapies to Ontario cancer patients sooner."

- here's the release
- get more about MaRS in the Toronto Star's report

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