Resources for researchers and clinicians fighting COVID-19 in Canada

In conversation with Dr.Guillaume Bourque

Can you tell us more about the COVID-19 Resources platform and how it came about?

Dr Guillaume Bourque, professeur au département de génétique humaine de l’Université McGill et directeur de la bioinformatique au Centre de génomique de McGill. Crédit photo : McGill University Innovation and Technology

I was contacted by a colleague asking whether I could help them build an online tool to find and share reagents needed for COVID-19 research projects. Before building it, I decided to ask on Twitter if anybody was already working on something like that and that’s how I ended connecting with others and we decided to work on a portal to find reagents but also volunteers and many other things.

How can people support the platform and collaborate to help combat this pandemic?

The platform is build on a crowdsourcing model. Now that it is in place, we need people to use it and add information themselves so that it becomes a really comprehensive resource.

Are any of your users accessing advanced research computing (ARC) resources?

For some of the COVID-19 research projects, yes. For instance, I’m working in genomics, and we have projects that are just starting up where we will sequence both people infected and also the virus itself. Those projects will require significant compute resources for analysis. The reagent database that will soon be included on our COVID-19 Resources platform will also be hosted on a Virtual Machine at Calcul Quebec.

What is it that you need help with to make it a comprehensive resource database on COVID-19 related efforts in Canada?

We’re hoping that the community will join us and help us grow this network so that we can avoid duplicating efforts and centralize some of these resources.

Compute Canada, and its regional partners, ACENET, Calcul Québec, Compute Ontario, and WestGrid, will highlight the work of Canadian researchers who are working tirelessly towards developing solutions to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Users who want to access ARC resources can get in touch with