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Centre de recherche
Wednesday, May 15 2024
Press release

Launch of the Québec Genomic Data Centre, a new essentiel resource for personalized medicine and artificial intelligence research in Québec

MONTRÉAL, May 15, 2024 – Génome Québec and the CHU Sainte-Justine are proud to announce the official launch of the Québec Genomic Data Centre (CQDG), a brand-new platform designed for harmonizing and disseminating genomic data to researchers.

The CQDG will host the data generated by the various genomics initiatives in Québec, as well as the reference genome, which will eventually include whole-genome sequencing data from 30,000 participants in the CARTaGENE population cohort. Genomic data is one of the most powerful drivers of research and innovation in personalized medicine. By integrating large and diverse datasets and using advanced computer technology such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, the research community will be able to further explore the possibilities of the human genome while improving quality of life and health care.

The CQDG project was made possible by funding from Génome Québec ($1 million), the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé ($1.3 million), the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Ministère de la Santé et Services sociaux of Québec ($6.9 million), with the invaluable collaboration of numerous partners, including the Centre de recherche Azrieli du CHU Sainte-Justine, Calcul Québec, the Centre of Genomics and Policy at McGill University and the Center for Data-Driven Discovery in Biomedicine at the Children Hospital of Philadelphia.

The CQDG will provide the research community with:

  • A repository of genomic data files available for research use
  • A catalog of annotated genomic variants present in the CQDG datasets
  • A data portal to browse, view and analyze the catalog of variants and the repository of available files
  • A powerful cloud-computing environment for analyzing CQDG data.

Secure and confidential

The CQDG has a robust governance framework ensuring that CQDG datasets are only accessible to researchers who have received prior approval from the relevant ethics committees. As part of the Secure Data for Health project, the CQDG platform is hosted on Calcul Québec’s new Juno cloud infrastructure, which complies with the strictest data security and privacy standards.

In addition, the CQDG complies with numerous international standards, such as the HL7 FHIR health-care standards, the Monarch Initiative ontologies and the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health application interfaces.


“Genomic big data are undoubtedly the key to personalized health care. However, these data are still often fragmented and not harmonized, which is a major challenge for research and innovation. By creating harmonized datasets that can be compared, the CQDG will be able to fully harness the potential of artificial intelligence for genomics research, while ensuring that the data is used safely and scrupulously.” Vincent Ferretti, Researcher at the Centre de recherche Azrieli du CHU Sainte-Justine and Director of Digital Platforms at Génome Québec

“The Centre de recherche Azrielli du CHU Sainte-Justine is driven by personalized health care, and its goal is to transform overspecialized care and services for mothers and children in Québec. This health-care revolution would not be possible without the key contribution of genomics and our ability to aggregate large amounts of data. By exploiting the full potential of big data and artificial intelligence, the new CQDG will enable our researchers to better understand disease mechanisms, particularly rare genetic diseases and childhood cancers, and achieve therapeutic breakthroughs that will transform all areas of pediatrics and, ultimately, the lives of children and their families.” Jacques L. Michaud, Director of the Centre de recherche Azrieli du CHU Sainte-Justine

“Genomics, combined with technological development, meta data processing and artificial intelligence, is paving the way for a new era of innovation. The drastic reduction in the cost of DNA sequencing is leading to a rapid increase in the amount of genomic data, and to unlock its full potential, we needed a state-of-the-art harmonization and consultation platform. Génome Québec is proud to contribute to the growth of the CQDG and offer the research community a new opportunity for innovation.” Josette-Renée Landry, president and CEO of Génome Québec

“Research and innovation are the driving forces for targeting and offering ever more precise and effective treatments to Quebec patients. The use of genomics is already helping to carry out ambitious projects and meet major health challenges. I would like to underline the commitment of the Génome Québec and CHU Sainte-Justine teams in supporting this Québec Genomic Data Centre project. Precision health is also part of our perspective of innovative medicine in Quebec, and I thank you for participating in these efforts.” Christian Dubé, Health Minister

“Leveraging genomic data through artificial intelligence is key to the research community’s ability to make progress. As part of its AI and health program, the FRQS has provided financial support to the Centre de recherche du CHU Sainte-Justine for highly qualified staff to process health data. We are proud to be able to make this contribution through the CQDG and advance research in personalized medicine.” Carole Jabet, Scientific Director of Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé

“At the Canada Foundation for Innovation, we are focused on helping build health research capacity to improve care for all Canadians, and the study of the human genome is inextricably linked to this goal. I am particularly proud that the CFI is able to contribute to the funding of the CQDG, whose work will advance our understanding of some individuals’ predisposition to disease, their response to different therapies, and environmental impacts on the health of all living things.” Roseann O’Reilly Runte, President and CEO of the Canada Foundation for Innovation

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À propos de Génome Québec
Génome Québec a pour mission de catalyser le développement et l’excellence de la recherche en génomique, son intégration et sa démocratisation. Pilier de la bioéconomie du Québec, l’organisme contribue également au développement social et durable, ainsi qu’au rayonnement du Québec. Les fonds investis par Génome Québec proviennent du ministère de l’Économie, de l’Innovation et de l’Énergie du Québec (MEIE), du gouvernement du Canada, par l’entremise de Génome Canada, et de partenaires privés. Pour en savoir plus sur l’organisme, consultez www.genomequebec.com.

For information

Media Contacts

Alexandra Roy 
Senior Consultant, Public Affairs 
Génome Québec 
819 212-0459

Justine Mondoux-Turcotte
Advisor - Media Relations and External Relations
CHU Sainte-Justine
514 213-4488

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Updated on 5/15/2024
Created on 11/6/2023
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