On Wednesday, the elite of the Genome Scientists from around the world will be gathering at a very exclusive meeting in Marco Island Florida. The AGBT meeting, for the past 8 years has hosted the likes of Craig Venter, and the heads of every major sequencing group from around the world as they discuss advances in sequencing technologies. This has included Canada's own elite, such as Marco Marra and John McPherson, who was lured by Tom Hudson away from the large Baylor Genome Sciences Center in Houston.
In the early years, Canada's participation in the AGBT conference was quite slim, with just a few attendees from British Columbia's Genome Sciences Centre. At that time, Steve Scherer's goups was most likely the largest contributor to the Genome project. This year, a number of elite from across Canada will attend, and give talks. This will be their first chance to gather and talk about the impact of the latest budget from the Harper Government.
The absence of any mention of Genome Canada in the budget has come as a huge shock to Canadian Scientists. With centres across Canada looking as human health, fisheries, agriculture, and forestry, Genome Canada has made huge strides in pushing Canada to the front of Biological Sciences in the past 8 years.
With the potential loss of $140 million in funding, the loss of jobs could be huge in an area where the U.S. is looking to add positions. We could see as mass migration of the some of the most influential scientists of our generation.