Dr. Marco Marra, head of the department of medical genetics in UBC’s faculty of medicine is one of six medical leaders inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame for 2020.
Marra, also director of Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Science Centre at the BC Cancer agency, was one of the participants involved in the Human Genome Project. The project provided a massive and unprecedented scale of genomic data between 1990 and 2003 and revolutionized the understanding of disease biology.
Under Marra’s leadership, the Personalized Oncogenomics project at the BC Cancer Agency represents one of the first applications of whole genome sequencing in a clinical setting. It uses information derived from thousands of individual cancer genomes and transcriptomes to identify promising therapeutic targets in individual patients.
2020 INDUCTEE Marco Marra, (Vancouver, BC)
Distinguished Canadian scientist now Head of the Dept Medical Genetics at @UBC & Director of Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Science Centre (GSC) at @BCCancer Induction Ceremony April 17,2020 in #Vancouver DETAILS https://t.co/rbMxJC6jZQ pic.twitter.com/eK5ufsvzHt
— Canadian Medical Hall Fame (@CdnMedHallFame) October 10, 2019
“The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame is proud to welcome these six individuals whose outstanding contributions to health have made Canada, and the world, a better place,” said Dr. William L. Orovan, chair of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. “Their impact is well documented and they have earned their place alongside our Laureates.”
Marra, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Genome Science and is a recipient of the Order of British Columbia, is one of the world’s most cited scientists in his field with more than 400 scientific publications. The hand-picked successor of his great mentor Nobel and CMHF Laureate Dr. Michael Smith, Marra has since mentored many graduate students who are now providing the expertise and insight needed to fulfill the promise of the genomic revolution.
“Upon hearing the news, I immediately felt a deep sense of gratitude for the privilege of living in our great country and being able to put all my energy into something I think of as fundamentally important to the human condition,” Marra said. “That a recognition would emerge from me doing my job is a humbling experience. The second overwhelming sentiment I experienced was a deep sense of gratitude for the colleagues, trainees and family members who I have had the privilege of working, learning and laughing with these past two decades. Without them, nothing would have been accomplished. I share this award with them all.”
As the recipient of numerous awards, mentor, lecturer, and administrator, Marra will continue to extend the reach of the genome sciences in studying, managing, and eradicating disease.
“On behalf of the University of British Columbia, I would like to express sincere congratulations to this year’s outstanding laureates, who have made truly remarkable contributions to medical innovation,” said Dr. Dermot Kelleher, dean, faculty of medicine and vice-president, health at UBC. “As the host of the 2020 Induction Ceremony, we are delighted to welcome this year’s honorees and other esteemed members of Canada’s medical community, to Vancouver, British Columbia, so that we may honour and celebrate the incredible impact that this year’s honorees have had in advancing health.”
The inductees will be celebrated at a ceremony held in association with the faculty of medicine on April 17, 2020 in Vancouver during the Canadian Conference on Medical Education .