Minister Ambrose announces new glycomics research network to prevent and treat diseases

The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, on behalf of her colleague, the Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology), today announced that GlycoNet, a new national research network, is receiving $27.3 million over five years to develop new drugs and vaccines for conditions such as influenza, genetic diseases and diabetes.

GlycoNet will build on Canada’s international leadership in glycomics during the last 50 years. GlycoNet researchers will analyze the function of glycomes (or carbohydrates) in the body and find ways to take advantage of their biological role to fight various diseases. Bringing together more than 60 researchers from across Canada who work in such disciplines as chemistry, biochemistry, biology and immunology, the network will help develop new drugs and vaccines to improve the health and well-being of Canadians.

Today’s investment is the result of the most recent competition in the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program. The competition resulted in four new networks receiving funding, which includes GlycoNet, and one existing network being renewed for a second five-year term.

NCEs mobilize a critical mass of expertise from across the country, bringing together health, natural and social scientists as well as engineers. Partners from industry, government and the not-for-profit sector contribute additional expertise and support.

Drs. Harry BrumerJoerg Bohlmann and Stephen Withers are part of the GlycoNet Investigator Team. Dr. Withers also holds an executive leadership role in the program.