The Texas Institute for Genomic Medicine (TIGM) has been invited to join the International Knockout Mouse Consortium (IKMC), an international network of organizations dedicated to providing mouse genetic resources to the scientific community worldwide.
Knockout mice are laboratory mice with genetically engineered genes. These research mice significantly aid scientists investigating the biology of human disease and help to speed the development of new therapies for life-threatening illnesses.
By encouraging international cooperation between the major suppliers of knockout mice worldwide, the IKMC is helping to advance the next phase of the Human Genome Project, enabling scientists to define the functional characterization of each human gene using knockout mouse models.
Mice are a close genetic match to human beings, having 99% of genes in common with genetic similarity of 85% across 22,000 to 24,000 genes. This makes mice ideal for scientific and medical understanding of the role a specific gene plays in the cell’s development, function and health.
TIGM is a leader in providing knockout mice to the global research community. The Institute maintains the world’s largest catalogue of more than 200,000 C57BL/6N strain embryonic stem (ES) cell clones, representing more than 8,600 genes that have been inactivated. When completed this year, the library will contain more than more than 350,000 clones with mutations in approximately 13,000 genes.
In addition, TIGM has contracted access to a second library of 272,000 genetically modified ES cell clones in the 129SvEv mouse strain. TIGM uses these clones to create knockout mice. In addition, TIGM also sells mouse stem cell clones to researchers on a case by case basis.
TIGM will join the founding IKMC members, which include the National Institutes of Health Knock Out Mice Project (NIH KOMP) from the U.S., the North American Conditional Mouse Mutagenesis Project (NorCOMM) in Canada and the European Conditional Mouse Mutagenesis Program (EUCOMM) funded by the European Economic Union.
“We are highly honored to become a member of this important worldwide cooperative network to foster greater cooperation in the development of genomic solutions for human disease and suffering,” said Dr. Richard H. Finnell, President of the Texas Institute for Genomic Medicine.
“In support of the IKMC’s goals of free and open release of data, TIGM will begin to deposit our gene trap tag sequence data in the National Institutes of Health’s GenBank library, beginning on or about June 1,” Dr. Finnell added.