A genomic platform for RNA interference screening to identify signalling pathways involved in cancer

Principal Investigator: Daniel Lamarre, Sylvain Meloche
Theme : Health
Competition : PRIVAC competition
Status : Completed
End: Dec. 31, 2010
Budget : $8,169,484.00

The Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC) and Génome Québec are partnering with Sigma-Aldrich to launch a platform offering high throughput RNA interference screening services. This platform will enable academic and private sector scientists to discover new targeted therapies for cancer.

As part of their PRIVAC project, scientists Daniel Lamarre and Sylvain Meloche of the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC) will set up a high throughput RNA interference screening platform. RNA interference is a technical approach that has become an important tool in biological research and is revolutionizing functional genomics study. RNA interference allows scientists to dissect cellular networks and understand how these networks can differ between normal and cancerous cells. However, achieving high throughput is a challenge. By making use of the latest genomics technologies combined with the innovation delivered by RNA interference, this project will be able to undertake this challenge. From a technological standpoint, the platform will identify, test and develop approaches for delivering RNA interference to different types of human and murine cells, both in healthy or pathological settings. Upon its being launched, and thanks to a partnership with Sigma-Aldrich, the company that is to supply RNA interference libraries, the platform will be able to address more than 15,000 human and murine genes involved in cancer processes.

The RNA interference platform represents an innovative approach which will be made available to academic and private laboratories for the identification of novel therapeutic targets. Noteworthy, it is estimated that close to a thousand Canadian companies would be interested in using the services of a platform such as the one developed in this project. Finally, the throughput at which this platform will allow functional analysis of genes is a first for Québec. Overall, this project will contribute to establish Quebec scientists as leaders in functional genomics and accelerate the development of new classes of drugs.