January 24, 2023
Genomics in the digital age: IVADO and Génome Québec foster interdisciplinary research
A frontrunner of Québec biotechnology, Génome Québec is investing $500,000 in two major research projects overseen by IVADO and already supported to the tune of $2.4 million by the Institute as part of its strategic funding program.
The fruitful partnership between IVADO and Génome Québec dates back to 2018. In the past, the two organizations have for instance collaborated on the “Omics Data Against Cancer” (DOCC) competition. They are joining forces once more with the goal of bridging the gap between artificial intelligence (AI) and genomics even further, by focusing on interdisciplinary research.
“Genomics is among the technologies that will generate the largest amount of big data related to human health. AI is becoming an essential tool for processing, analyzing, and integrating these large volumes of complex data, generated by omics technologies. Specifically, this new partnership with IVADO will accelerate the convergence of AI and genomics to discover new drugs and to optimize medical decision-making in a critical care context.”
Vice President, Scientific Affairs, Génome Québec
Interdisciplinarity will greatly benefit the targeted initiatives, which already stand out due to their transformative potential. Michäel Chassé’s project aims to improve the robustness of medical decision support algorithms. Yoshua Bengio’s project seeks to design algorithms capable of probing the almost infinite set of theoretically possible molecules and thus of identifying candidates with high therapeutic potential.
“Interdisciplinary research is at the frontier of knowledge and must be fostered. The many stakeholders of the research community – grant agencies, governments, universities – agree that it should be further promoted. Because of its cross-disciplinary nature, AI is an ideal field for this to happen, a fact that is perfectly illustrated by the present collaboration with Génome Québec. IVADO has always supported interdisciplinary research and is devoting even more resources to it within its new scientific endeavour, R3AI, so that it can lead to scientific discoveries in strategic areas for Canadians.”
The funds granted by Génome Québec will allow these two projects to add important clinical and experimental components, which will be useful in two ways. On the one hand, they will generate valuable data that will be used to train the algorithms being developed. On the other hand, they will also be used to validate the new algorithms, to ensure the consistency of their outputs with biological evidence.
This joint IVADO-Génome Québec initiative is extremely topical, given that AI and genomics both feature prominently among the science, technology, and innovation priorities of the Government of Canada and of several departments of the Government of Québec. True to their respective reputations, the two partners thus remain, now more than ever, at the cutting edge of the knowledge-based economy.
About Génome Québec
Génome Québec’s mission is to catalyze the development and excellence of genomics research and promote its integration and democratization. It is a pillar of the Québec bioeconomy and contributes to Québec’s influence and its social and sustainable development. The funds invested by Génome Québec come from the Ministère de l’Économie, de l’Innovation et de l’Énergie (MEIE) du Québec, from the Government of Canada through Genome Canada, and from private partners. To learn more about the organization, visit its website.
IVADO is an AI research and transfer institute. IVADO generates, stimulates and supports AI initiatives by bringing together a community of thousands of scientists, hundreds of organizations, and institutions. IVADO was born in 2016 from a joint initiative of the Université de Montréal, Polytechnique Montréal and HEC Montréal.
Communications Advisor – Scientific Programs
Specialist, Communications and Public Affairs