Overall Component Many common diseases, including the most pervasive, are genetically complex; that is, they are the culmination of multiple genetic loci and are influenced by developmental and environmental factors. Metabolic pathways are also genetically complex, leading to individualized drug responses. Harnessing this complexity through complex trait analysis is the basis of personalized medicine. The overall goal of the Special Mouse Strains Resource (SMSR) is to provide biological resources for analysis of genetically complex traits. The resource currently maintains and distributes six recombinant inbred (RI) and two chromosome substitution (CS) strain sets from live colonies maintained in high barrier vivarium facilities and from cryopreserved embryos and sperm. The SMSR will continue to preserve and ensure the availability of specialized mouse strains and tools for complex trait analysis. The SMSR will also work closely with the complex trait community to assess and respond to resource needs, perform outreach and provide access to facilities for large-scale breeding and phenotyping.

Public Health Relevance

Genetic complexity is the basis of many human diseases. Even Mendelian (single gene) diseases are modulated in their expressivity and penetrance through epistasis and gene-environment interactions. Genetic complexity is inherent to drug metabolic pathways and this complexity underlies individual drug responses. Harnessing this complexity is the basis of pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine. The laboratory mouse is a powerful model organism for dissecting genetic complexity due to its physiology, well-characterized, accessible genome and economical husbandry. The biomedical research community has made significant investment in the creation of unique strain panels and populations that allow for fine scale dissection of genetic complexity. The Special Mouse Strains Resource (SMSR) at The Jackson Laboratory ensures permanent and open access to these strains from high health status, state-of-the-art facilities. The SMSR performs genetic and phenotypic quality control, curates and disseminates accurate information and provides collaborative opportunities for large-scale mouse studies and related services.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Office of The Director, National Institutes of Health (OD)
Animal (Mammalian and Nonmammalian) Model, and Animal and Biological Material Resource Grants (P40)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
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Mirochnitchenko, Oleg
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Jackson Laboratory
Bar Harbor
United States
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