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COVF - Canadian Optogenetics and Vectorology Foundry

Design Build Test LoopOptogenetics is a technology that is revolutionizing neuroscience and mental health from basic science to clinical applications. The Canadian Optogenetics and Vectorology Foundry (COVF) is a national facility at the heart of a worldwide effort to accelerate the development, production, dissemination, and use of genetically encoded light-activated tools. In its initial inception, COVF’s operations have been based on a Protein Engineering Core and a Vectorology Core for the design and production. They are couped to eight Testing Nodes* across the country involved in tool characterization and validation.

The main infrastructure is based at the Neurophotonics centre @ CERVO. It builds on numerous funding sources including >100M$ from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and partners, various programs of the Government of Québec, Brain Canada, the Fond de recherche du Québec and more.
See the recent announcement by the Brain Canada foundation on renewed support for this National Resource through its Platform Support Grant program.

The platform’s Biofoundry model responds to tool Design-Build-Test requests, accelerates translation across species, experimental paradigms and disease models, and aims to support porting optogenetics to clinical applications via gene transfer approaches (Shen et al 2020). Services also include counseling and training to democratize optogenetics and viral vector technologies, especially Adeno-Associated Viral Vectors (AAVs) for neuroscience and beyond.

MicrooptrodeRecent additions to COVF include:

See recent announcement of the Weston Family Focused Ultrasound Initiative at Sunnybrook.

*Testing Nodes at participating Institutes offer expertise for standardized validation of optogenetics and vectorology tools in a wide array of experimental paradigms, species, and disease models.

Testing loop

The COVF Testing Loop Model

COVF Funding partners

Brain Canada