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The International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium: Our goals
- Maintain and expand a world-wide consortium of institutions with capacity and expertise to produce germ line transmission of targeted knockout mutations in embryonic stem cells for 20,000 known and predicted mouse genes.
- Test each mutant mouse line through a broad based primary phenotyping pipeline in all the major adult organ systems and most areas of major human disease.
- Through this activity and employing data annotation tools, systematically aim to discover and ascribe biological function to each gene, driving new ideas and underpinning future research into biological systems.
- Maintain and expand collaborative “networks” with specialist phenotyping consortia or laboratories, providing standardized secondary level phenotyping that enriches the primary dataset, and end-user, project specific tertiary level phenotyping that adds value to the mammalian gene functional annotation and fosters hypothesis driven research; and
- Provide a centralized data centre and portal for free, unrestricted access to primary and secondary data by the scientific community, promoting sharing of data, genotype-phenotype annotation, standard operating protocols, and the development of open source data analysis tools.
- Members of the IMPC may include research centers, funding organizations and corporations.
One of the most important tools at our scientific disposal in understanding mammalian gene function is the laboratory mouse.
The scientific community has taken advantage of its fundamental similarity to humans at the genetic level (>95% at the gene level), similar physiology and anatomy, its relative low cost compared to other mammals, and nearly 100 years of genetic study.
There is an extensive toolkit for the manipulation of the mouse genome and the generation of new disease models. After completing the mouse genome sequence, an international consortium was developed, the International Knock-out Mouse Consortium (IKMC) to systematically generate mutant ES cells for every gene in the mouse genome (20,000 plus genes).
The IMPC builds on the efforts of IKMC to produce knockout mice and carry out high-throughput phenotyping of each line in order to determine the function of every gene in the mouse genome. These mice are preserved in repositories and made available to the scientific community representing a valuable resource for basic scientific research as well as generating new models for human diseases.
The approaches that are being developed build on the efforts of a number of pilot programmes around the world such as the EUMODIC programme and the MGP programme. From 2011/12 onwards the IMPC will continue the task to generate knockout mice and phenotype the remainder of the 20,000 plus genes in a worldwide coordinated programme.