Tuesday, June 26, 2007

UC Davis lands federal grant for "knockout mouse" project

UC Davis lands federal grant for "knockout mouse" project
Sacramento Business Journal - 2:28 PM PDT Tuesday, June 26, 2007
by Celia Lamb
Staff writer

University of California Davis has received a four-year, $4.8 million federal grant to breed mutant mice for research.

The National Institutes of Health grant will fund the storage and distribution of cells capable of developing into 10,000 types of mice.

Kent Lloyd, the associate dean for research at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, is the principal investigator of the "Knockout Mouse Project" repository at UC Davis. The NIH wants to create knockout mice representing the whole mouse genome within five years.

The project name comes from the genetic engineering technique used to mutate the mouse cells. Researchers "knock out" a specific gene to alter the cell's protein production. The method lets biomedical researchers study the role individual genes and proteins play in disease and to test drugs for specific medical conditions.

The Children's Hospital of Oakland Research Institute will store and distribute DNA used to mutate the mouse genes. UC Davis will store the mutated embryonic stem cells. The UC Davis facility is expected to become financially self-sustaining after four years by charging fees to people who use it.

The UC Davis Mouse Biology Program has a similar facility that accepts mutant mice from researchers and make them available to other laboratories. The new operation will contain only mice developed through the Knockout Mouse Project.

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