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August 4, 2016

Jackson Labs lands $28.3M fed grant for gene research

Courtesy/Jackson Lab Jackson Laboratory will use a $28.3M federal grant to fund a project researching the functions of genes in mice.

The Bar Harbor-based Jackson Laboratory will be awarded $28,305,235 in federal research funding from the National Institutes of Health to fund the second phase of a project researching the functions of genes in mice that can be used to discover how diseases affect humans.

The project is known as the Knockout Mouse Production and Phenotyping Project.

JAX and two other NIH-funded centers are part of a worldwide effort called the International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium to genetically and systematically determine the function of every mammalian gene, one gene at a time.

Mouse models of genes that are similar between mice and humans can lead to new models of diseases that afflict humans, which are useful for drug screening, preclinical studies and deeper understanding of biological and disease mechanisms, according to the lab.

With the federal funds, Jackson will use a new gene-editing technology, known as CRISPR/Cas9, to generate, breed, preserve and clinically assess the health and well-being of 1,000 lines of mice.

“Mice and humans share approximately 20,000 genes,” JAX Professor and principal investigator of the grant, Robert Braun, said in a prepared statement. “But scientists have little or no data for more than half of these genes.”

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