What is the Applied Genomics Centre?
Founded in January 2019, the Applied Genomics Centre at Kwantlen Polytechnic University's Surrey campus is an applied research lab focused on developing molecular genetic (genomic) and cellular product (metabolomic) solutions for the agricultural and human health sectors, particularly in British Columbia.
Our scientific research opens up opportunities for students in health science, biology, and horticulture programs to gain critical research and development skills while engaged in projects that have a direct impact on their community.
The lab development was funded by KPU, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI), and the BC Knowledge Development Fund (BCKDF).
Students in the Lab
As a KPU student enrolled in a Bachelor of Science program, you could have the opportunity to take part in a variety of projects through the Applied Genomics Centre. Working on a research project offers you direct training and mentorship by faculty members and lab staff and valuable hands-on laboratory experience in advanced genetics and metabolomics techniques.
These projects include course-based student-led research projects and large industry-partnered research projects with paid student research assistants. With almost every research project employing at least one KPU student as a research assistant, how can the Applied Genomics Centre help you make the most of your education?
Student Stories: Michael Ke
Michael Ke is enrolled in KPU's health science program with a specific interest in the field of bioinformatics - the analysis and interpretation of biological data - and he has worked on a course-based research project as part of his honours degree.
He has been employed in the Applied Genomics Centre as a student research assistant and contributed to a variety of lab projects, including identifying the genetic variations that cause hereditary ataxia, a degenerative disease of the nervous system, in two families.
In the spring of 2020, Ke presented his research to academic and political leaders at the Colleges & Institutes Canada CICan on the Hill student showcase. He was then invited to exhibit a poster of his results at the US National Ataxia Foundation conference in Denver, Colorado.
"The most important thing that I have discovered while I was working in the [Applied Genomics Centre] is how much I enjoy the process of doing research," said Ke.
Our applied research projects focus largely on using genomic and metabolomic tools to investigate issues in agriculture around improving crop consistency, crop yield and animal health. To do this we've partnered with a variety of industry and academic institutions both in the Fraser Valley and across Canada. We also work closely with KPU's Institute for Sustainable Horticulture to provide genetic support for sustainable farming methods in British Columbia and beyond.
In addition, the Applied Genomics Centre performs human health research using genetic tools to better understand the genetic underpinnings of human disease.
The KPU Applied Genomics Centre currently provides several genomic and metabolomic services for industry and academic institutions:
- DNA Sequencing:
- Sanger Sequencing
- 16S Metagenomics Testing
- Next Generation Sequencing (Custom Projects)
- Custom qPCR Assays
- Identification of Strains or Varieties using DNA Profiling (DNA Fingerprinting)
- Hops Testing - Including Alpha and Beta Acid Content and Abundance of Essential Oils
- Consultation in Genomics and Metabolomics
Industry Partners, Sponsors, and Funders
Our industry partners, sponsors and funders provide our students the opportunity to take their education to another level.