The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a total $52 million to various research groups collaboratively working on the Knockout Mouse Project, a program aiming to build a comprehensive and publicly available resource of knockout mutations in the mouse genome. The knockout mice produced from this resource will be extremely useful for the study of human disease.
Knockout mice are lines of mice in which specific genes have been completely disrupted, or “knocked out.” Systematic disruption of each of the 20,000 genes in the mouse genome will allow researchers to determine the role of each gene in normal physiology and development. Even more importantly, researchers will use knockout mice to develop better models of inherited human diseases such as cancer, heart disease, neurological disorders, diabetes and obesity. Recent advances in recombinant DNA technologies, as well as completion of the mouse genome sequence, now make this project feasible.
Among the major recipients, receiving $47.2 million in grants are Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., in Tarrytown, N.Y. and a collaborative team from:
Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI) in Oakland, California
School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis (UC Davis)
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Hinxton, England
In addition, $2.5 million has also been awarded to the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine for the establishment of an NIH Knockout Mouse Project data coordination center. An additional $2.5 million goes to the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and to the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto to improve the efficiency of methods for creating knockout lines.
Read the NIH/NHGRI press release for more details on the the development of the project, the grants awarded, and other institutions contributing to the Knockout Mouse Project