The BC Proteomics Network (BCPN) will build on its foundation of providing support for proteomics research and education in the province, and in Phase II will continue to add value to the BC research community through an expanded research mandate, upgraded research support services, enhanced educational opportunities, and health system improvement in the province.
Population Data BC provides researchers with access to one of the world’s largest collections of health care, health services and population health data, and a comprehensive education and training service on how to best use those data.
With the foundational processes and products in place, the proposal outlined a plan for the expansion of the Platform in terms of its use, user groups and enhancement of its quality.
This platform is designed to link clinicians and clinician scientists with genomics researchers to advance their knowledge and accelerate the pace with which new discoveries about the genetic basis of health and disease reach and get applied at the bedside. It proposes a thorough and coordinated process to make the most up-to-date findings from genotyping, genomic sequencing, bioinformatics, genetic epidemiology and family studies available to assist clinicians and clinician research teams in the diagnosis, care and support of people with complex genetic disorders. This will involve the development of a province-wide network that coordinates clinical investigators, leading-edge genomic resources and scientists with expertise in complementary aspects of translational medicine.
This platform aims to improve the ability of researchers and the health system to access a range of data sources for the purposes of tracing and evaluating the effectiveness of strategies to treat disease and promote health at the community level. The proposal outlined a plan for providing coordinated and effective access to population health databases (including training), along with the development of integrated data standards and data management processes across BC. This includes support for technologies and methodologies that apply to the analysis of spatial (geographic) and non-spatial datasets. Successful implementation of the platform would position BC as a world leader in the use and protection of health data, and for the production of analyses to support public policy development.
This platform will unify BC’s proteomics resources (human and technological) to increase British Columbia’s capacity to compete for funding in this emerging field of high technology science. Building on genomics research advances and the human genome project, this science focuses on proteins – chemical messengers produced by genes that act alone or in sequence to regulate all aspects of growth and function at the level of our cells. As such, these proteins fundamentally influence how we grow and function in healthy states and when disease or injury compromises our health. Proteomics researchers study how proteins are produced, how they communicate and interact to fulfill their functions and how their function is influenced by genetic or environmental factors – new knowledge that is key to understanding disease process and for the development of new drugs and other therapeutic interventions.
This platform provides the governance and operations strategy to support the creation of the BC BioLibrary to ensure that researchers across the province have access to the highest quality biological specimens to support studies to expand our understanding of health, as well as the origins, course and treatment of disease. It brings together a network of advocates, researchers, clinicians, ethicists and information technology professionals whose goal is to improve access to biological specimens, such as tumour samples, within a framework that supports appropriate standards of quality, security, ethics and privacy in relation to the collection, storage and use of these specimens. The goal is to ensure that high quality, standardized biological materials are available to support the full range of research applications, including clinical trials, drug discovery, biomedical imaging technologies, proteomics, genomics, metabolomics and population-based outcome studies.
Advances in the high through-put genome sequencing, informatics and proteomics technologies have increased the speed with which researchers are identifying new proteins and compounds that hold promise for the development of new drugs for the treatment of cancer, diabetes, infectious diseases and other acute and chronic health problems. This drug development and commercialization platform provides a structure and process for moving these early stage discoveries out of the laboratory and into commercial development, contributing to economic development and helping to bring much needed pharmaceuticals products into use faster.