The Alberta Glycomics Centre
The Alberta Glycomics Centre (formerly known as Alberta Ingenuity Centre for Carbohydrate Science, AICCS) comprises a team of highly motivated individuals whose research interests span a multidisciplinary array of biological processes and technologies specific to carbohydrate research. The fields of chemistry, biology, medicine, and engineering are dynamically integrated as experts in areas such as carbohydrate synthesis, proteincarbohydrate interactions, glycoengineering, drug discovery, vaccine development, mass spectrometry, and X-ray crystallography work together to explore carbohydrate science. Currently, 10 principal investigators conduct their research as part of the Glycomics Centre.
For nearly half a century, Alberta has been a prominent contributor to the study of carbohydrates. Since 1961, when the late Raymond U. Lemieux established a research program at the University of Alberta, researchers in the province have played an international role in the field, making seminal contributions to carbohydrate synthesis, analytical methods, and to our understanding of carbohydrate-protein interactions. In the mid 1980s Ole Hindsgaul joined Professor Lemieux as a faculty member followed a few years later by Monica Palcic. The three invited David Bundle to join them in 1993 with the express intentions of creating a significantly enlarged initiative in carbohydrate chemistry and glycobiology.
Established Upon a Firm Foundation
Building upon Professor Lemieux’s distinguished legacy Bundle, Hindsgaul and Palcic founded the Alberta Innovates Centre for Carbohydrate Science (now the Alberta Glycomics Centre), which began operation in September, 2002, under with a total of six principal investigators from the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary. These talented researchers, joined by several new faculty over the past five years, guide the areas of research. The Glycomics Centre has also established a management advisory board and a scientific advisory board to oversee the management, financial accountability, and scientific progress of the Centre. The direction provided by these investigators and management teams, coupled with the exceptional research infrastructure accessible to the Centre via various departments at the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary, have built the foundation for a dynamic, stimulating environment in which to tackle ambitious, multidisciplinary research problems.
In its short history, the Centre has acquired an impressive list of accomplishments in glycomic research. From determining the structures of medically relevant carbohydrate-binding proteins, to furthering our understanding of multivalent interactions so industriously used by carbohydrate-containing biomolecules, to developing vaccine manufacturing processes, to discovering new carbohydrate entities, the Glycomics Centre has clearly established itself at the vanguard of carbohydrate structure and function. This is further exemplified in the more than 200 publications, several patents and numerous awards and honours presented to the members of the Centre in recognition of their outstanding research achievements. To date, the Centre has trained a total of 60 graduate students and 30 post-doctoral fellows.
Our VisionIn light of its evolution and through consultation with stakeholders the Alberta Glycomics Centre has established the vision to “Become the leader in glycomics R&D and provide novel solutions to industry to improve population health, agriculture, food, environment and quality of life”. Achieving this vision will allow the Centre to be the global destination for glycomics innovation, services, product development and commercialization.
The Centre’s mission is to ensure that:
- The Centre and Alberta are internationally recognized as leaders in glycomics research.
- The Centre and Alberta provide exceptional training in glycomics research and entrepreneurship.
- The Centre bridges the translation gap between research and industry.
- Research advances made in the Centre are translated into tangible benefits for Alberta.
The Alberta Innovates Centres for Research & Commercialization
Alberta Innovates Centres for Research & Commercialization bridge the well-established research equity in Alberta’s universities to Alberta’s key industrial sectors in energy and the environment, bio industries and in health. The Centres provide collaborative hubs where Alberta’s top researchers address pressing industry problems, support company R&D and train Alberta’s top students, providing a strong platform for Alberta’s place in the global economy. The Centres for Research & Commercialization are supported by Alberta Innovates Technology Futures, which plays a vital part in Alberta’s research and innovation system that is building healthy, sustainable businesses in the province. Through a suite of programs and services for entrepreneurs, companies, researchers and investors, Tech Futures provides technical services and funding support to facilitate the commercialization of technologies, to develop new knowledge-based industry clusters and to encourage an entrepreneurial culture in Alberta.