The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, this morning announced a new Canada Excellence Research Chair in Genomic Medicine: Genes to Drug Targets for Next-Generation Therapies
Dr. Vincent Mooser, who will be joining McGill this summer, is a pioneer in using genomics-based tools and datasets to develop new target-based therapies to improve human health. Dr. Mooser is one of the few clinician-scientists with over 25 years of experience at the nexus of three domains: academia, the clinic and industry. This unique combination should fundamentally advance Canada’s ability to lead research in translating genomic-based discoveries into new therapeutic options for the treatment of patients afflicted by a number of common diseases.
“We are proud to welcome this prominent and distinguished scientist to McGill and we are very grateful to the government of Canada for the substantial support that will advance research in genomic medicine,” says Martha Crago, Vice-Principal of Research and Innovation at McGill. “The arrival of Dr. Mooser will allow McGill to build on its existing strength in genomic medicine and contribute to the health of all Canadians by advancing precision medicine in our country."
McGill already has significant expertise in genomic research and related disciplines with close to 40 investigators located in its affiliated research hospitals (the MUHC, the Jewish General Hospital and the Douglas Mental Health University Institute), as well as two Genome Canada Platforms.
Dr. Mooser comes to McGill from Switzerland where he was the Vice-Dean of Clinical Research at the Lausanne Medical School. Prior to that, he was the Head of the Laboratory Department at the CHUV University Hospital, Lausanne. In these positions, he led the development of large, hospital-based programs in genomic medicine designed to accelerate the discovery and development of new drugs based on the natural variations in the human genome. He also has ten years of experience in research and development in the pharmaceutical industry.
“The discovery of new drugs is an extremely complex endeavor. But thanks to extraordinary breakthroughs in technology, including in the sequencing of nucleic acid, we now have tools that can boost our ability to improve patient care, predict diseases and accelerate the discovery of needed new drugs,” says Mooser. “I decided to join McGill both because of the range of expertise and knowledge that is available here and because the university and the province are committed to capturing the opportunities offered by this new technology. I am very confident that I can help lead in this effort and help McGill play a very significant role as a catalyzer and collaborator with industry to help them succeed in their efforts to create new drugs.”
As part of this program, the university will receive up to $10 million in federal funding over seven years to support research by Dr. Mooser and his team. An additional $15 million from other sources, including McGill University (approximately $10.5 million), Mitacs Inc, and CQDM (Biopharmaceutical Research Consortium), will be added to match the CERC funding.
PHOTO: Owen Egan / McGill University
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