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Genome BC Joins EU Pathogenesis Project

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Genome British Columbia has joined a European effort to develop tools for understanding the pathogenesis and mechanisms of major human diseases, and has contributed $2 million to support its end of the project.

Genome BC said today that it will support the CanEUCre project, which is a partner project to the EUCOMMTOOLS program that has focused on mutagenesis in the mouse genome.

"This is a 'tools' project," Elizabeth Simpson, a principal investigator at the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics at the University of British Columbia, said in a statement. "It will put in the hands of scientists worldwide the tools needed to explore what every gene in the genome does, both under normal circumstances, and when diseased."

The focus of the Canadian effort will be on creating mutant genes and developing new resources for cre-recombinase (Cre), which induce specific transformations in genes from 'normal' to 'mutant' states.

Genome BC said that current research into modeling disease states is held back by a shortage of Cre resources.

Under the collaboration, EU scientists will create Cre resources for a variety of organs, while the Canadian researchers will generate resources for the brain, eye, and spinal cord.

"Not only is this project a showcase for British Columbia's brain research expertise, but a major international collaboration that really demonstrates the generosity and enthusiasm of researchers around the globe," said Genome BC President and CEO Alan Winter. "The outcomes of this project will be truly internationally available enabling tools and we are very proud to play an important role in their development."

Genome BC is funding its end of the project through its Applied Genomics Consortium Program.

Late last year, EUCOMMTOOLS received €12 million ($17.4 million) in funding from the European Commission.

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