The Jackson Laboratory will receive more than $28 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health over a five-year period. ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

Jackson Laboratory lands $28.3M grant

BAR HARBOR — The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will award a total of $28,305,235 to The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) over five years to fund phase 2 of an ambitious study of mouse genetics.

JAX Professor and Janeway Distinguished Chair Robert Braun is the principal investigator of the grant, with co-investigators Stephen Murray and Karen Svenson.

“Mice and humans share approximately 20,000 genes,” Braun said, “but scientists have little or no data for more than half of these genes.” He said that scientists around the world have been working together since 2006 to generate a targeted knockout mutation for every gene in the mouse genome. “Deleting individual genes in this way provides valuable clues to the genes’ function.”

JAX and two other NIH-funded centers are part of a worldwide effort, the International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium (IMPC), to determine genetically and systematically the function of every mammalian gene one gene at a time. The consortium is engaged in the immense task of producing and phenotyping (collecting physiological data from) these mice. Mouse models of genes with common functionality between mice and humans can lead to new models of human disease, which are useful for drug screening, preclinical studies and deeper understanding of biological and disease mechanisms.

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