National Institutes of Health (NIH) Awards $25.1 Million to The Jackson Laboratory to Continue Genome Database

Published: Sep 28, 2011

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September 28, 2011 Bar Harbor, Maine -- Five-year National Institutes of Health grants totaling $25,229,822 to The Jackson Laboratory will provide ongoing support for the Mouse Genome Database (MGD), the world's largest publicly accessible information source about the laboratory mouse.

The Jackson Laboratory generates and maintains open-source databases, including MGD, that are available to the worldwide research community, driving discovery in cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease and many other areas critical to human health. Known collectively as Mouse Genome Informatics, these databases get close to nine million online hits per week.

"The laboratory mouse is the world's leading model for human disease and biology," says Jackson Professor Janan T. Eppig, Ph.D. "The goal of MGD is to facilitate use of the mouse and to enable development of new hypotheses for new discoveries in human medicine." Eppig is co-principal investigator on the grant with Professor Carol Bult, Ph.D., and Associate Professor Judith Blake, Ph.D.

The new funding from the National Human Genome Research Institute--$24.6 million plus a $500,000 supplement for the new Knockout Mouse Project 2 initiative--will help the Jackson Informatics team to continue the vital role of compiling genome-scale data sets for mouse and human, while also cross-referencing the mouse genetic information with physiological data and standardizing the vocabulary for diseases, genes and physical characteristics.

Besides providing salary support for the three dozen researchers who work on MGD, the grant will also provide funding to develop new online tools that will enable users to more efficiently query MGD, and to provide dedicated user support staff to provide technical assistance and training for database users.

"We actively solicit community input, data submissions and collaborations," Eppig says. "We will continue to make all data in MGD freely available to all."

The Jackson Laboratory is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institution and National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center based in Bar Harbor, Maine, with a facility in Sacramento, California. Its mission is to discover the genetic basis for preventing, treating and curing human disease, and to enable research and education for the global biomedical community. The Laboratory is the world's source for more than 6,000 strains of genetically defined mice, is home of the Mouse Genome Database and is an international hub for scientific courses, conferences, training and education.

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