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Press Release | September 08, 2010

Genome sciences leader Dr. Marco Marra joins executive team of the Terry Fox Research Institute

Marco Marra
Vancouver, BC - The Terry Fox Research Institute (TFRI) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Marco Marra to the executive team of TFRI. Dr. Marra is director of Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre (GSC) at the BC Cancer Agency and a former holder of a Terry Fox Young Investigators Award (2004).

He is a Distinguished Scientist with the BC Cancer Agency, a Professor of Medical Genetics at the University of British Columbia, and an adjunct Professor of Molecular biology and Biochemistry at Simon Fraser University. A full biographical sketch is attached. The BC Cancer Agency and UBC are among TFRI's 41 national partners.

In his new role with the Terry Fox Research Institute, Dr. Marra will serve as TFRI's regional leader for the Province of BC. Dr. Marra replaces Dr. Clay Smith, who completed his term with TFRI in July 2010.

Dr. Marra will work with cancer scientists and clinicians as well as the broader research and health care communities on initiatives related to translational cancer research. As a member of the Institute's executive team, he will work with the Institute's president and scientific director Dr. Victor Ling and five other regional leaders to foster pan-Canadian cancer research projects .

He brings exceptional leadership skills and expertise in genomics to the Institute and will be a valued addition to the Institute's leadership team. Notably, he led the GSC team that successfully sequenced the SARS coronavirus genome.

"Marco is an exceptionally bright and talented scientist and we are very fortunate to have him join us. He is one of the country's top scientists," said Dr. Ling. "His leadership and knowledge in genomics and large-scale and next-generation DNA sequencing will strengthen our capacity as an Institute to achieve our vision of moving discoveries more quickly from the laboratory into the clinic."

"I am looking forward to being actively involved in the work of TFRI. The Institute's approach of using networking and team building to empower world-leading collaborative strengths in cancer research is compelling. I look forward to the opportunity to contribute in some way to help TFRI work towards these laudable aims," said Dr. Marra.

Early in his scientific career, Dr. Marra has already amassed an impressive list of achievements and awards. In 2001 he was recognized by Caldwell Partners as one of Canada's "Top 40 Under 40" citizens and in 2005 was named the "Best of the Best of Canada's Top 40 under 40" in the health/science category. He is a 2010 recipient of the Order of British Columbia and the Genome BC Award for Scientific Excellence. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (2007) and was inducted into the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences in 2009. He holds honorary degrees from SFU and the University of Calgary.