VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Jan. 5, 2011) - Dr. Alan Winter, President and CEO of Genome British Columbia today announced the appointment of Dr. Brad Popovich as Chief Scientific Officer for Genome British Columbia.

As Chief Scientific Officer, Popovich will work with Genome BC management and scientists to promote the organization's ongoing scientific strategy, focusing on the science of genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics within the larger realm of biotechnology and life sciences in BC. He will also partner with Genome BC's project and technology platform leaders on science-related issues to ensure they meet their goals and capitalize on opportunities for scientific advancements and technology transfer.

"After conducting an international search, we are very pleased that Brad is joining our management team. He brings more than 20 years of significant science and business related experience to this role," says Dr. Alan Winter, President and CEO of Genome BC. "In addition, he has the expertise to recognize and encourage potential commercialization opportunities, currently a key objective of our 2010-2015 business plan," says Winter.

"I am delighted to have the opportunity to join Genome BC's management team, and to be able to use my academic and private sector experience to help make BC into one of the world leaders in the application of genome sciences. Genome BC is extremely well placed to help catalyze the movement of many genomic discoveries across the research/commercial translation line thereby securing benefits for British Columbians, Canada and the world."

Most recently, Popovich served as President and CEO of Sirius Genomics, a private biotechnology company based in Vancouver that is developing DNA-based companion diagnostic (CDx) tests for sepsis, a systemic blood infection. Prior to joining Sirius, he was VP of Operations at Xenon Pharmaceuticals.

Popovich also brings significant academic experience to the position. As the founding director of the San Diego Children's Hospital DNA Diagnostic Laboratory he was responsible for the translation of several new genetic research findings into clinical practice. These include genetic tests for cystic fibrosis, Duchene muscular dystrophy and fragile X syndrome. Later, Popovich joined Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) where he headed up the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory at OHSU Hospital and became the first Executive Director of the Genetic Services Laboratories offering a complete suite of medical genomic laboratory services and provided academic training for a variety of researchers and clinicians.

Popovich completed his MSc degree in Genetic Counseling from Sarah Lawrence College in 1978 and went on to complete his MSc and PhD in biochemical and molecular genetics respectively, at McGill University, completing his postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Nobel laureate Oliver Smithies. He received his Postdoctoral Research Fellowship and Clinical Training at the University of Wisconsin and the University of North Carolina Schools of Medicine.

Popovich presently serves on the boards of Sirius Genomics, Centre for Drug Research and Development Ventures and Genetic Information Management Systems. He recently served on the boards of DNA Direct, Tm Biosciences, the American College of Medical Genetics, and American College of Medical Genetics Foundation.

About Genome British Columbia

Founded in 2000, Genome BC works collaboratively with government, universities and industry as the catalyst for a genomics-driven life sciences cluster with significant social and economic benefits for the Province and Canada. The organization's research portfolio, over $450 million since inception, includes 96 projects and technology platforms focused on areas of strategic importance to British Columbia such as human health, forestry, fisheries, bioenergy, mining, agriculture, and the environment. In addition, a critical element of responsible genomics research is to provide a forum through which accompanying environmental, ethical, economic, legal and social issues can be explored so that the context for scientific research remains focussed and relevant to society. Genome BC programs are funded by the Provincial Government of British Columbia, the Government of Canada through Genome Canada and Western Economic Diversification Canada, and other public and private partners.

Contact Information: Genome British Columbia
Sally Greenwood
Director, Communications and Education