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15 years of history


15 years of History: from research to economic development

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15 years of history


15 years of History: from research to economic development

We invite you to learn more about our 15-year history. The great success enjoyed by our researchers is due in no small part to the unwavering support given to the scientific community in Québec and to the strategic funding that has always been allied to a vision of long-term research.
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2000


2000


Take off! Génome Québec is founded in 2000

Just one year later, Jean Rochon, Minister of Research, Science and Technology announces approval of the Génome Québec business plan, thus giving the green light to a project that is to assure Québec a leading edge in genomic research.

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2002


2002


Forest biologists John MacKay and Jean Bousquet launch the Arborea project 

This project, which is now considered a world reference in tree genomics, is an important contribution to the sustainable development of our forests.

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2003


2003


The sequencing of the first human genome is completed

On the international scene, the sequencing of the first human genome is completed, the result of 15 years of scientific cooperation among several countries. It is a revolution that opens the door to a better understanding of how human beings function.


Opening of the McGill University and Génome Québec Innovation Centre

The McGill University and Génome Québec Innovation Centre opens its doors to its first major Genome Canada and Génome Québec projects. Since that time, the entire scientific community and industry at large have benefitted from the centre’s outstanding expertise and cutting-edge facilities. 

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2004


2004


Under the leadership of Bartha Maria Knoppers and Tom Hudson, P3G is launched

The Public Population Project in Genomics and Society (P3G), a not-for-profit consortium, facilitates the collaboration between researchers from around the world and biobanks. This network of experts from various disciplines shares its knowledge to support research that will improve the health of populations  

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2005


2005


The international HapMap project publishes the first comprehensive catalog of human genetic variation

This historic achievement steps up the search for the genes responsible for common diseases. Québec researchers and the McGill University and Génome Québec Innovation Centre have played a key role in the project ever since its launch in 2002. 


Researchers crack the genetic code of
C. difficile

Ken Dewar and his team crack the genetic code of a virulent strain of the bacterium Clostridium difficile. With its toll of diarrhea and intestinal disorders, C. difficile is a deadly scourge afflicting Canada’s hospitals and long-term care facilities. 

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2006


2006


A discovery in the AIDS virus

A new weak spot in the AIDS virus is identified by the team of Rafik-Pierre Sékaly; it is a discovery that opens new perspectives in the battle to overcome this deadly disease. 

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2007


2007


Creation of a registry of 22,000 genotyped donors

Génome Québec and Héma-Québec announce the creation of a registry of 22,000 genotyped donors. The donors’ blood groups are identified in order to facilitate screening of compatible blood profiles.


Creation of the CARTaGENE project

The CARTaGENE project undertakes the creation of a bank of data and biological samples in order to sequence the genetic codes of 40,000 volunteers in Québec. Three months later comes the announcement of the creation of an international-scale biobank in Saguenay to store and manage the biological samples collected.

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2008


2008


Launch of the Centre of Excellence in Personalized Medicine

Génome Québec and the Montreal Heart Institute join forces to create the Centre of Excellence in Personalized Medicine. CEPMED will use genetic tools to provide customized treatments for patients.

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2009


2009


Discovery of the gene that causes resistance to insulin

IRS1 is the first gene known to affect how insulin works, not how it is produced. This discovery is the fruit of an international collaboration including Québec researchers. 

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2010


2010


Migraines with auras: Genomics offers ray of hope

The team of Dr. Guy A. Rouleau discovers a gene associated with a common form of migraine that affects more than six million Canadians. The discovery opens the door to the exploration of new treatments, thereby offering a glimmer of hope to sufferers.

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2011


2011


Major genetic breakthrough: brain cancer in children

Dr. Nada Jabado and her team find two genetic mutations that explain the ineffectiveness of traditional treatment for children and adolescents suffering from a deadly form of brain cancer. These mutations, which have been observed in other forms of cancer such as leukemia, open new avenues of research into treatment.

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2012


2012


The 1000 Genomes Project: a catalog of human genetic variation

The international 1000 Genomes Project, initiated in 2008, lifts the veil on the subtlest differences in human DNA. This catalog of human genetic variation, the result of international collaboration, provides invaluable information towards understanding the causes of numerous diseases.


Lactic acidosis : from gene discovery to screening test

More than 10 years have passed since Pierre Lavoie was cycling to raise awareness for lactic acidosis, whose faulty gene was identified in 2003 by Québec researchers. Today, it is now possible, with a single test that costs $20, to screen for five different diseases, paving the way to prevention.

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2013


2013


Québec makes a name for itself in personalized medicine!

60 percent of available federal co-funding goes to 12 projects selected under the Genome Canada personalized medicine competition.


Québec researcher catches DNA “spelling mistakes”

Professor Jacques Simard discovers the DNA “spelling mistakes” responsible for breast cancer. These variations in the genetic code are directly involved in the development of the disease.


Mega genomes of spruce species decoded

The genetic codes of two of the world's most economically important spruce species no longer have any secrets for scientists. Scandinavian and Canadian researchers achieve this ambitious task using the most technologically advanced tools.


Announcing an innovative partnership between Sainte-Justine UHC and Génome Québec

An integrated clinical genomic center in pediatrics is created at Sainte-Justine UHC, a first in Canada. Its mission: to improve the detection of genetic diseases in children in order to provide or develop appropriate treatments.

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2014


2014


Genomics working for the economy and the environment 

Québec wins funding for two major research projects under the Genomics Application Partnership Program (GAPP). The projects are aimed at improving the diets of pigs and poultry and optimizing the production of high-quality cheeses.

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2015


2015


Top 10 discoveries of the year

The teams of Dr. Guy Sauvageau and Pr. John MacKay figure among Québec Science’s Top 10 Discoveries of the Year, with a special mention for the work of Dr. Guy Sauvageau, who is chosen Top Discovery by the magazine’s readers. One month later, he is awarded the title of Scientist of the Year 2014 by Radio-Canada.


Bioremediation: a "green" solution to decontaminate soil

Researchers B. Franz Lang and Mohamed Hijri come up with an innovative approach for decontaminating polluted sites using the most effective combinations of plants, fungi and bacteria. They call the process “bioremediation.”


GenePOC will launch in 2016 the first "Genomics Nespresso" machine for the diagnostic of microorganisms 

Michel G. Bergeron and his team at the CRI, Patrice Allibert and the teams at GenePOC have developed a portable device to test infectious diseases, including streptococcus, at point-of-care. This project is the result of a technology developed over the last ten years using DNA to identify mcrobes within one hour - rather than the usual 48 hours.