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Jackson Lab Receives $35M Grant for Mouse Database Development

NEW YORK, Sept. 3 – The National Institutes of Health has awarded The Jackson Laboratory of Bar Harbor, Maine, a five-year grant totaling more than $35 million to support its Mouse Genome Database. 

The award represents the largest single grant the lab has ever received.

“The mouse is a key model system because its genetics are well understood, it is a powerful system for comparative genome analysis, and its genome can be manipulated to develop models for studying biological processes and human disease,” Janan Eppig, principal investigator on the Mouse Genome Database grant, said in a statement. 

The Mouse Genome Database is designed to allow researchers to use the mouse as a model system for understanding human biology and disease. Researchers at the Jackson Lab said they are doing this by developing an integrated database, analyzing and synthesizing information, and providing graphical displays and interfaces that can be accessed by the scientific community. 

Currently, the Mouse Genome Database includes information on mouse genes and nomenclature, sequences, functional annotations, maps and mapping data, comparisons with human, rat, and other mammals, polymorphisms, variants, and phenotypic information and disease models. 

The grant for the Mouse Genome Database comes on the heels of another move designed to step up murine research. Recently, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory increased funding for its Mouse Biology Program located in Monterotondo, Italy. 

Established in 1999, the Monterotondo facility is now in the process of doubling the number of its research groups to six, with the possibility of adding more in the near future. The facility is planning to conduct research in a variety of areas and to link all of the mutant mouse centers throughout Europe as part of a larger effort to standardize the way mouse phenotypes are catalogued.

The Jackson Laboratory is the world's largest mammalian genetics research institution. The nonprofit lab employs more than 1,050 people and received a budget of $97.8 million for fiscal year 2001. The Jackson Lab has been collecting genetic information on the mouse for more than 35 years.

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