On Monday 6 February 2017, Genomics England welcomed members of the GeCIP community at a meeting with researchers from the MRC Harwell Institute, a world leader in mouse genetics research. GeCIP members heard about the research and functional genomics initiatives taking place at MRC Harwell, and how these initiatives could enhance ongoing and future GeCIP research.
MRC Harwell described amongst its resources for UK science, the Genome Editing Mice for Medicine (GEMM) initiative. This is a bespoke genetically-modified mouse service capitalising on the expertise developed at Harwell as part of the International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium (IMPC) as well as the latest advances in gene editing techniques. At the event GeCIP members discussed the second open research call of the GEMM programme at MRC Harwell and how to nominate potentially disease-causing variants for use in their research, and utilise the power of mouse genetics in their diagnostic and pre-clinical studies.
The event provided an important platform to discuss future collaborations between the MRC Harwell Institute and Genomics England that would enrich UK biomedical science and our knowledge of human disease.
A strong focus for Harwell was to also raise awareness of its participation in the IMPC, a global project striving to knock out every protein-coding gene in the mouse genome and obtain broad-based phenotype data for each mouse line. This data is then made freely available for researchers to explore on the IMPC website and mouse strains and related resources can be ordered. MRC Harwell discussed the opportunities for using IMPC data in combination with Genomics England data in order to analyse candidate genes suspected of involvement in human disease.