MDS Metro Laboratory Services, Genome British Columbia and the University of Victoria signed a collaborative agreement today to establish the University of Victoria – Genome British Columbia’s proteomics research facility at the Vancouver Island Technology Park (VITP).

MDS Metro, B.C.'s largest independent community laboratory network, is relocating its Victoria analytical facilities to occupy approximately 17,000 square feet of high-tech laboratory space in the VITP building. The UVic-Genome British Columbia Proteomics Centre, which conducts advanced research on the structure and function of proteins, is moving from the University of Victoria campus to about 3,500 square feet of lab space adjoining MDS Metro. The two groups will work together to develop and implement new analytical tools for more accurate medical diagnostics and treatments. 

This agreement supports the B.C. government's efforts to stimulate collaboration among the academic, business and biotechnology communities, and helps establish BC as a leading Biotech centre for Canada. 

“We are working with the private sector and post-secondary institutions to make B.C. a leader in life sciences,” B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell said. “This new research facility is a model for the innovative new partnerships that will help us meet our commitment to be one of the world's top 10 technology centres by 2006.” 

“This collaborative move brings so many benefits,” said Bob Breen, president and COO of MDS Metro. “Our relocation to VITP reflects MDS Metro’s leadership in lab medicine – as providers and innovators. Our collaboration with UVic and Genome British Columbia reflects our joint commitment to applying new technologies that advance diagnostic medicine.” 

“The University of Victoria is delighted with this partnership, which recognizes the scientific importance and societal value of advancing proteomics research in collaboration with the private sector,” said Dr. Martin Taylor, UVic's vice president research. “Our centre is already a national leader in proteomics research. This partnership will expand the centre's capabilities, increase training opportunities for our students, and stimulate technology transfer to the marketplace.” 

This model for a sustainable life science cluster will further economic development in our region, attract world-class scientists and provide insight into how we diagnose disease and manage our health and resources,” said Dr. Alan Winter, president and CEO, Genome British Columbia. 

“By investing in projects like these, Genome British Columbia is helping to build Canada’s research infrastructure, attract and retain world-class researchers, and build on the successes of these Victoria partners,” said Allan Rock, Federal Minister of Industry.