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MEDIA ADVISORY – Genome Canada to announce launch of a new Canadian VirusSeq Data Portal


Genome Canada will hold a media briefing about the new Canadian VirusSeq Data Portal—a much-anticipated pillar in the national data infrastructure that will bolster Canada’s ability to manage the current pandemic. Find out more about this made-in-Canada genomics data solution that is one of the key deliverables of the $53 million Variants of Concern Strategy the Government of Canada announced in February to detect and address COVID-19 variants of concern in Canada.

The following experts will be available to answer questions from the media following their remarks:

  • Dr. Catalina Lopez-Correa
    Executive Director, Canadian COVID Genomics Network (CanCOGeN)
  • Dr. Guillaume Bourque, Department of Human Genetics, McGill University, and Director, Canadian Centre for Computational Genomics
  • Dr. Guillaume Poliquin, Acting Vice President, Public Health Agency of Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory

April 27, 2021

10:00-10:45 AM (EDT)

The event will be held on Zoom

Zoom link:
Meeting ID: 896 6003 9406
Passcode: 732288

To obtain the embargoed news release in advance of tomorrow’s event, RSVP to by April 26 by 6:00 pm PM (EDT).

This event will be presented in English, but media are invited to pose questions in English or French.


A made-in-Canada data solution to support Canada’s Variants of Concern Strategy and COVID-19 health response:

  • This new national portal will manage and facilitate data sharing of SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences among Canadian public health labs, researchers and other groups interested in accessing the data for research and innovation purposes.
  • CanCOGeN’s VirusSeq initiative is working with PHAC’s National Microbiology Laboratory, Health Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, as well as other provincial and territorial partners to support the strategy. Together, these partners are and quickly scaling up genomic sequencing, surveillance and research efforts to detect new variants, increase real-time data sharing capacity, and inform appropriate public health and policy responses.
  • The development and implementation of the new Canadian VirusSeq Data Portal will be led by Dr. Guillaume Bourque (McGill University) and his team. This team, in collaboration with CanGOGeN and world-leading genomics scientists specializing in data science and policy, will oversee technical interactions with the National Microbiology Laboratory and provincial public health labs across the country.Learn more.


Media contact

Nicola Katz
Director, Communications
Genome Canada
Cell: 613-297-0267

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