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LEEF Research Chairs


Aug. 30, 2011

Matthew Farrer
Dr. Donald Rix B.C. Leadership Chair in Genetic Medicine

Molecular geneticist Matthew Farrer is critically acclaimed for his work on the genetics of Parkinson’s disease, including identifying the most important genetic risk factors for the debilitating disease.

In addition to the LEEF chair, Farrer also holds the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Neurogenetics and Translational Neuroscience.

Before coming to UBC, Farrer was a professor of molecular neuroscience and director of the neurogenetics division at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. He worked on finding new treatments by refining diagnoses and identifying biomarkers of early and progressive disease.

In 2008, Farrer was named Mayo Clinic Distinguished Investigator, the institution’s highest award for research excellence. He has studied patient populations and families world-wide, and his molecular insights have led to model systems that are helping to define the biologic processes set off by genetic mutations, laying the foundation for new and effective therapies.

Farrer’s research has been funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the Pacific Alzheimer Research Foundation, the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. He is a member of the Michael J. Fox Foundation’s scientific advisory board.

He holds a PhD in human genetics from Imperial College London. He was also a postdoctoral fellow in medical and community genetics at the Kenny Galton Centre, St. Mark’s National Health Service Trust, U.K.

LifeLabs Medical Laboratory Services

LifeLabs provides laboratory testing services that help physicians and other health-care professionals diagnose, treat, monitor and prevent disease in patients. LifeLabs employs more than 3,000 professionally trained staff who deliver more than 50 million laboratory tests annually to over 10 million patients and nearly 20,000 physician customers. LifeLabs has operated in Canada for nearly 50 years.

In communities across British Columbia, LifeLabs provides a full range of diagnostic testing services supported by an extensive network of collection, transportation, information technology, and analytical and consultative expertise. Every day, more than 11,000 patients visit one of LifeLabs’ 80 service centres across the province. LifeLabs also provides services to more than 500 patients at home and in long-term care facilities in B.C.

Today it is owned by Borealis Infrastructure, a global leader in infrastructure investing, with assets in energy, transportation and infrastructure buildings, including long-term care facilities and hospitals, pipelines and telecommunications.

Genome British Columbia

Genome British Columbia is a catalyst for the life sciences cluster on Canada’s West Coast, and manages a portfolio of over $450 million in technology platforms and research projects.

Genome BC works with governments, academia and industry across sectors such as forestry, fisheries, agriculture, environment, bioenergy, mining and human health. The organization’s goal is to generate social and economic benefits for British Columbia and Canada.

The Genome BC Foundation was established to support the expansion and enhancement of life sciences education in the province.


Media Contacts:

Carolyn Heiman
Communications Manager
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation
250 387-2799

Brian Lin
Acting Associate Director
UBC Public Affairs
604 822-2064 (Office)
604 818-5685 (Cell)

Lisa Rostoks
Communications Consultant
416 675-4530 ext. 2015

Julia White
Communications Officer
Genome British Columbia
604 637-4378

Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect

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