A comprehensive functional annotation of all genes is a key goal for the future investigation of mammalian systems and biomedical sciences. We have established a consortium for the large-scale phenotyping of mouse mutants, which is fundamental to the investigation of gene function. The BaSH consortium, Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), Houston, Texas, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute Mouse Genetics Programme, Hinxton, United Kingdom, and the Medical Research Council Harwell, (Mammalian Genetics Unit and Mary Lyon Centre), United Kingdom, will undertake broad-based phenotype analysis of 300 IKMC mouse lines per year with the aim of identifying perturbations on developmental, physiological and biochemical pathways that will guide experimenters to develop hypothesis-driven research into disease systems.
Our aims are to 1) complete the broad-based disease phenotyping of over 1500 lines of mutant mice in the C57BL/6N genetic background, 2) validate an optimized and enhanced broad-based phenotyping pipeline that will detect a variety of disease phenotypes and increase throughput, and 3) submit phenotypic data to the designated data coordination center, ensuring an interface with the wider biomedical scientific community that will inform human genetic studies. Our approach is to build on our unique expertise in mouse phenotyping and the successful operation of major pilot projects for mouse phenotyping of EUCOMM and KOMP mutants to deliver a phenotyping pipeline with strategic breadth that serves the needs of the medical community. Our pipeline design aims to deliver mouse models in key therapeutically relevant areas - for example in Cardiovascular, Metabolic, Neurological, Respiratory and Immunological Systems. Assessment of mouse mutants using our phenotyping pipeline will discover novel preclinical models of therapeutic importance, encompassing many of the diseases that account for the highest rates of disease morbidity throughout the developed world.
Most of the genes in a person are normal, but we also carry several hundred broken ones. While some broken genes can cause severe disease such as cystic fibrosis or cancer, others have little of no consequence, or function only under stress. Currently, we have some understanding of the function of just one third of human genes. If we are to fully understand human health and disease we must expand knowledge of gene function to all of our genes using model organisms such as the mouse.
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