The mission of the Transgenic Animal Shared Facility (TASF) is to provide comprehensive support in the development of novel transgenic models for the study of human cancer diseases. The core accomplishes this mission by providing the technologies and capabilities to assure the integrity of the model, from design of the transgene through production of the model organism, including all husbandry methods to assure health and long-term preservation. The TASF is a vital component of the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, and its research enterprise. Genetically modified murine models continue to be the most tractable system to examine the role of an identified genetic variant associated with human disease, as well as creating much needed translational models for developing novel therapeutics. This shared facility provides unique services for model development and has a long track record of outstanding service. Twenty-two funded CCC investigators used the service to generate models, and have used them to conduct pre-clinical trials for treatments of cancers such as neurofibromatosis, to understand key mechanisms in breast cancer pathogenesis, and to understand the roles of mitochondrial inheritance in cancer. Although there are external commercial or academic alternatives for generating genetic models, they are often prohibitively costly, and there are none that supply the complete set of services provided by this facility in a convenient and timely manner.
Appropriate genetic models are critical for understanding the roles of specific genes in the genesis and progression of cancer. They are also necessary for creating translational models that allow for the development of novel therapeutics. Our ability to apply genetic technologies supports the work of CCC investigators in their efforts to understand and develop treatments for the myriad forms of cancer.
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