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Feb 4, 2013

Building a Better Mouse Model F.A.S.T.

  • inGenious Targeting Laboratory (iTL) received an exclusive license for Columbia University's F.A.S.T.™ system for use in the creation of multi-use mouse models. This system can reportedly generate multiple lines of mice that provide a spectrum of expression levels for single genes, from global knockout to selective overexpression, which can reduce the timeliness and cost many investigators face in generating knockout or knockin mouse models. The technology incorporates an inducible system resulting in rodent strains that can have both multiple gain-of-function and loss-of-function.

    “This exclusive partnership enhances our ability to exceed client expectations by offering a cost-effective, innovative solution that accelerates the production of genetically modified mouse models,” said Paul J. Sheiffele, president of inGenious Targeting Laboratory. “The ability to have a single gene-targeting event yielding multiple mouse models with variable expression patterns will allow any academic or biopharmaceutical researcher to understand gene function or modeling human disease in a much quicker manner.”

    Columbia has a long-standing history of working with gene-knockout mice, especially with diabetes research. In March, a team led by scientists at Columbia’s Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center generated knockout mice lacking the Foxo1 transcription factor gene in Neurog3+ gut progenitor cells, demonstrating that knocking out one gene in gut progenitor cells prompts them to differentiate into fully functional insulin-producing cells that can secrete insulin in response to changing blood glucose levels and maintain glucose homeostasis in diabetic mice. These mice were later used to help support the argument that, in type 2 diabetes, islet β cells aren’t necessarily dying off in large numbers, but are in fact reverting to a more progenitor-like state, and could potentially be prompted to redifferentiate back into active insulin-producing cells.

    Meanwhile, iTL is branching out: in January, they relocated their world headquarters to a facility in Ronkonkoma, NY, in response to an expanding staff and increasing technical demands. Plus, in September, they partnered with Umeå University (Umeå, Sweden), which had been utilizing iTL’s services since 2006, in a two-year Master Institutional Service Agreement.


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