Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Applied Genomics Centre in Surrey has added a second lab space with an additional $1 million from the BC Knowledge Development Fund and funding from industry partners.
The new space more than doubles the centre’s space.
“It’s really about capacity – increasing the number of students that we can have and the number of industry partner projects that we can take on,” says centre director Paul Adams, a faculty member in the biology department at KPU. “The new lab is not only creating new space but also adding new equipment, which gives us new opportunities for projects.”
Previous and ongoing work at the centre has benefitted the hops, floriculture and livestock sectors, and the expanded capacity will further its work in these and other areas.
The new lab space gives the centre nearly 2,400 square feet of space, maxing out the capacity KPU approved for the lab in 2020.
The centre was originally launched in January 2019 as the school’s Bio-Innovation Lab. In early 2021, the lab adopted its current name as it moved into new digs that gave it 915 square feet of space. The latest addition doubles its capacity.
The millions in financial support received over the past four years has facilitated lab construction and equipment purchases that have supported advanced genetics research, including DNA sequencing, SNP genotyping, and real-time PCR analysis. A team of 30 people including faculty, staff and students manage the work, which benefits 30 agriculture-sector partners.
“KPU students get hands-on experience and a chance to develop skills on equipment that very few undergrads would ever get a chance to,” says Adams. “Being able to bring those students into the lab and give them hands-on training with the tools and technology used today by industry is a huge opportunity.”