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The strategic goal of GRDI research is to contribute solutions to issues of key importance to Canadians – protecting and improving human health, developing new treatments for chronic and infectious diseases, protecting the environment, and managing agricultural and natural resources in a way that is sustainable. Focusing on the specific role of federal government research, it supports evidence-based decision making, policy development, formulation of standards and regulations, and facilitates the development of Canadian commercial enterprises.
Improved public health and wellness
- Improve knowledge and understanding of human infectious and chronic diseases for public health-related applications including the development of improved or new diagnostic tools.
- Realize crop value improvements in cereals, canola or soybean related to seed development and metabolism (oil content, starch quality, anti-nutritional compounds).
The GRDI addresses issues such as developing new treatments for acute and chronic diseases, including cancer; developing vaccines; and implementing measures to limit the spread of diseases and potential pandemics. New drugs, nutraceuticals, improved crop yield and nutritional value, and functional foods are the result of genomics-based research towards successful health outcomes.
Towards environmental sustainability
- Realize crop value improvements in cereals, canola and soybean related to adaptation to environmental stresses (diseases, pests, drought, cold, and poor soil conditions).
- Increase knowledge for forest generation and protection methods, and for addressing environmental impact considerations, through a focused effort on species and traits that are of economic importance to Canada.
- Develop and use genomics tools to generate increased understanding of population genetics and structure, as well as of behavioural, physiological and immunological responses to the environment, for the sustainable management of aquatic resources.
- Develop genomics applications to understand and remediate environmental contamination and to preserve biodiversity.
The GRDI addresses issues related to environmental sustainability outcomes such as developing more productive and resistant crops for sustainable agriculture; controlling plant and animal pests and diseases in an environmentally sustainable manner; adapting crops, forests and fish species to respond to climate change related challenges; and protecting endangered species.
- Support federal regulatory decisions under the mandates of participating departments and agencies.
GRDI research is producing:
- Diagnostic tools for the detection, surveillance and management of food-borne and water-borne pathogens (salmonella, Escherichia coli), human, aquatic, animal and plant pests and diseases, including quarantine species; and
- detailed characterization of new products (food, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, etc.) to allow their responsible introduction and ongoing monitoring; and knowledge of fish genetic diversity and stock structure to ensure the sustainability of economically important and new emerging fisheries and to conserve and protect fish stocks and species at risk.
Many of the impact areas already described under the above sections also support evidence-based decision making.
Formulation of policies, standards and regulations
- Support of key federal public policy objectives under the mandates of participating departments and agencies.
- Position the Canadian regulatory system for health to enable innovation while minimizing the risks to Canadians through a focused genomics R&D program aimed at strengthening research in priority areas such as genetic information, biotechnology products, human genomics and microbial genomics, related to human, animal and environmental health.
- Develop genome-science applications to support regulatory activities in key areas such as:
- environmental risk assessment and management;
- enforcement and compliance;
- pollution detection, monitoring and prevention;
- conservation biology and wildlife genetics;
- technology forecasting and assessment; and
- the sustainable development and responsible use of bio-based products and industrial processes.
Responsible commercial applications that generate wealth for Canadians are enabled by effective regulatory approaches. The GRDI generates knowledge to support the formulation of policies, standards and regulations related to the responsible introduction and ongoing monitoring of new products such as pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and food commodities; traceability (animals, plants, food, fish); environmental monitoring and remediation; food additives and labelling. Many of the impact areas already described under the above sections also support the formulation of policies, standards and regulations.
Support for canadian commercial enterprises
- Develop commercially relevant advances in areas of genomics R&D related to human health (e.g. genetic testing, diagnostics, microbial genomics applications, treating and preventing human diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease, and pathogen detection).
GRDI scientists contribute transformational research to support competitive needs and economic viability of Canadian firms; they collaborate with Canadian companies to support their R&D efforts for the generation of wealth to support Canada’s economy.
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