A global consortium of mouse genetics centers kicked off a project today that aims to create and test 5000 strains of knockout mice over the next 5 years.
The International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium (IMPC) is the next phase of an effort started 5 years ago to build a huge, shared resource for biomedical research: Mouse embryonic stem cells in which researchers have “knocked out” each of the more than 20,000 specific mouse genes that code for proteins. By growing mice from these cells, researchers can gain insight into the role that the missing genes play in health and disease.
The new phenotyping effort will aim to probe the anatomy, development, physiology, behavior, and disease traits of 5000 of these mouse lines by the end of 2016.
Half of the work will be funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health's Knockout Mouse Phenotyping Project, which announced today cooperative agreements totaling about $102 million over 5 years with the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and the University of California, Davis, which will collaborate with other institutions; and with the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine. Another $10 million award for a data coordination center and public database went to the European Bioinformatics Institute in Hinxton, United Kingdom, which will work with the U.K.’s Sanger Institute and MRC Harwell.