The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) said today it has won $28.3 million over 5 years from the NIH to fund the second phase of its Knockout Mouse Production and Phenotyping Project (KOMP2).

JAX said the funding will enable it to use CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing to generate, breed, cryopreserve, and clinically assess the health and well-being of 1,000 lines of mice.

For each of the new mouse lines, JAX said, it will assess body weight and composition, metabolic and physiological parameters, and behavioral and cognitive function at several age points.

Both the mice and the resulting data will be made available to the worldwide scientific community prior to publication, JAX said, adding that researchers will work with the scientific community to select genes of exceptional interest, genes for which little is presently known, and genes predicted to function in select pathways.

JAX Professor and Janeway Distinguished Chair Robert Braun, Ph.D., serves as principal investigator for the grant, with co-investigators Stephen Murray, Ph.D., and Karen Svenson, Ph.D.

In a statement, Dr. Braun noted that while mice and humans share approximately 20,000 genes, researchers have little or no data for more than half of these genes. Since 2006, researchers worldwide have been working 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 is part of the International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium (IMPC), formed to determine the function of every mammalian genegenetically and systematically, one gene at a time. The laboratory is among 18 research institutions that along with five national funders (including the NIH) are members of the IMPC.

The consortium is engaged in phenotyping the mice, with the goal of producing mouse models of genes with common functionality between mice and humans that can eventually lead to new models of human disease.

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