Canada’s 2021 federal budget announced a $400M investment over six years for a new Pan-Canadian Genomics Strategy (PCGS) to advance the translation and commercialization of genomics and related technologies to drive economic growth, strengthen Canada's global leadership, and position Canada for long-term success in the global bioeconomy, while enhancing ecosystem coherence and coordination. $136.7M of this was invested in Genome Canada’s new Challenge-driven approach. 

After consultations with key stakeholders in May & June of 2022, the Pan-Canadian Genomics Strategy – What We Heard Report was released by the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada in early 2023, highlighting key challenges, opportunities and priority areas for building a strong genomics future for Canada.


  • Ecosystem context: key themes and findings from the PCGS consultations
  • Strategic programming at Genome Canada: Rising to the Challenge 
  • Genomics data – key issues, opportunities and challenges in the Canadian landscape
  • Highlights of Genome Canada initiatives and next steps

About OUR Speakers

Pari Johnston

Vice-President, Policy and Public Affairs, Genome Canada

Pari Johnston leads Genome Canada’s federal advocacy and policy agenda while raising awareness of the organization’s mission and cross-sectoral impact among parliamentarians, senior officials, industry, community partners and the public. Guided by the belief that genomics can change the world if responsibly and equitably applied, Pari builds strategic partnerships among diverse stakeholders to advance the role and impact of genomics in society.

Pari was a founding board member of The Conversation Canada/La Conversation Canada, the national digital media organization for academic journalism. A passionate community volunteer, she serves on the Board of Trustees of the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Care Centre. She founded Housing Through an Autism Lens, a national solutions lab designed to create solutions to housing challenges faced by autistic adults in Ottawa.
Pari Johnston

Karen Dewar

Associate Vice-President, Genomics Programs, Genome Canada

Karen Dewar oversees Genome Canada’s large-scale genomics programs and Genomic Applications Partnership Program. She is regularly involved in discussions with our partners and collaborators about programs, guidelines and policies, scientific evaluation and peer-review processes.

Before she joined the Genome Canada team in 2005, Karen was a Deputy Director in the Research Portfolio at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), where she managed the peer-review process for a portfolio of programs and liaised with a suite of CIHR institutes on peer-review activities related to strategic initiatives.
Karen Dewar