Ontario’s COVID-19 Genomics Rapid Response Coalition
To accelerate the genomic characterization and surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 in Ontario and to help expedite patient genome sequencing through a coordinated approach bringing together all of the province’s genomics resources and capacity to enable timely and comprehensive genomic analysis.
Standardized Sequencing Methodologies
Data Management & Sharing
The ON-CoV Coalition is designed to provide for method standardization and coordination of:
Collecting Patient Samples and Metadata
Data Curation and Management
This work will expedite real-time testing and reporting to inform public health and public policy, help manage and overcome the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and ensure scalability for Ontario’s future pandemics preparedness.
Genomic technologies are the foundation for the solutions necessary to combat the ongoing COVID-19
pandemic. Ontario’s world-leading expertise in genomics, bioinformatics, genomics epidemiology, and artificial intelligence, can expedite Ontario’s response to COVID-19.
The results reported by the Coalition will inform vaccine and therapeutic development.
Why Ontario Genomics?
Over the past 20 years, Ontario Genomics, together with the Ontario Government, Genome Canada, and academic, clinical and industry partners, has built a world-leading genomics ecosystem in Ontario with over $2.7B in funding leveraged for research, translation and the establishment of genomic technology platforms.
Ontario Genomics is well-positioned to provide and promote:
ONCoV Genomics Coalition Steering Committee
Dr. Herveen Sachdeva, Toronto Public Health
Dr. Sarah Wootton, University of Guelph
ONCoV Genomics Coalition Members
University of Toronto
Sunnybrook Health Sciences / University of Toronto
Health Sciences North
Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto
Public Health Ontario
Sinai Health Systems
Hospital for Sick Children / University of Toronto
TCAG / CGEn
Kingston Health Sciences Centre / Queen’s University
Ontario Institute for Cancer Research
Unity Health Toronto / University of Toronto
Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, UHN / University of Toronto
University of Guelph
We are proactively working with the research community, partner genome centres, and governments to accelerate the genomic characterization and surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 in Ontario. Learn more and stay up-to-date about our COVID-19 programs and important resources.
April 27, 2021
Genome Canada launched the Canadian VirusSeq Data Portal to track the evolving COVID-19 pandemic across Canada. By sharing and resourcing viral genome sequences the portal will offer scientists, public health leaders and other experts involved in shaping Canada’s pandemic response a clear picture of the virus across the country, including detection, transmission, evolution and tracking variants of concern.
WATCH: COVID-19 variants of concern
April 13, 2021
Dr. Andrew McArthur, a leading expert on genome sequencing who runs a lab dedicated to genomic surveillance of infectious pathogens, is on the front lines of variant detection, creating computer models and software to gather data on new and possibly more infectious variants. In the following expert video, McArthur explains what COVID-19 variants of concern are what we need to do to protect against mutations of the virus. We're proud to be working with him on our ONCoV Genomics Coalition, Ontario’s COVID-19 Genomics Rapid Response Coalition.
May 5, 2021
Sparse data limit our ability to detect differences in infection rate and highlight the need for Public Health Ontario Laboratory and academic research groups across Ontario to sequence and archive SARS-CoV-2 genomes from COVID-19 cases, particularly over the course of the second wave. Ongoing SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance, like the Canadian COVID Genomics Network (CanCOGeN) initiative, is essential to identify mutations that allow reconstruction of transmission pathways and detection of variants that affect transmissibility, virulence, or host mortality. We're happy to support this need-of-the-hour research through our Ontario COVID-19 Genomics Coalition (ONCoV) Network.