Pipeline Group

Mouse Transgenic Technologies

Mouse Pipelines

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The Transgenic Technologies team was part of mouse pipelines and was responsible for the production of genetically modified mice.

One of the most important tools at our scientific disposal in understanding mammalian gene function is the laboratory mouse. The fundamental genetic similarity between mice and humans allows researchers to infer a human gene’s function based on studies with laboratory mice. One powerful technique is to turn off, or “knockout”, the activity of a mouse gene to assess what biological systems are impacted. This gives insights how a similar gene in humans may contribute to disease when its activity is altered.

The Transgenic Technologies mouse production team at the Sanger Institute contributed to this global effort by generating knock-out mice for the International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium as well as our own faculty scientists. We considered animal welfare at all times in our procedures and processes and followed the 3Rs’ ethos of Replacement, Refinement and Reduction. All work performed using mice was tightly regulated by the Home Office.

The Mouse Pipelines team was responsible for delivering the large-scale projects under its responsibility, including the Sanger Institute Mouse Genetics Project , the National Institutes of Health KOMP2 production and phenotyping, the EUCOMMTools, and the Infrafrontier projects.

In addition the team was closely involved in three major Strategic Award projects funded by the Wellcome Trust:

  • Deciphering the Mechanisms of Developmental Disorders (DMDD)
  • Origins of Bone and Cartilage Disease (OBCD)
  • Immune function and pathology dissected by high-throughput analysis of mice with targeted gene disruptions – an investigation by the Infection and Immunity Immunophenotyping (3i) consortium.

We served the scientific community with genetically altered strains of mice by supplying public repositories and researchers directly. Availability of these mouse strains was complemented by the standardised phenotypic characterisation performed by Mouse Pipelines, that was made freely available to the scientific community. Accordingly, the research community continues to produce a growing scientific output using the resources that were generated from the Mouse Pipelines at the Institute. To support this important part of our mission, we had an office to carry out cost-recovery.

The team researched and developed mouse resource production methods. For example, we implemented the use of the CRISPR mouse mutagenesis technology directly in mouse embryos, which led to great savings and acceleration of projects in their early phase by removing the need to use embryonic stem cells. We worked flexibly so that we could rapidly shift our resources to advance all large-scale projects as needed while also supporting the needs of individual Faculty members.

We worked closely with the Mouse Informatics and Research Support Facility teams to develop the Mouse Database. This work was essential for the welfare of our mice, to maintain optimal operational workflows, and to achieve our scientific goals, as well as for streamlining publication of our scientific results through the International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium (IMPC) web portal.



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