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Jackson Laboratory Launches Precision Genetics Center with $10M NIH Grant

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    The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) will partner with several collaborating institutions to establish a new Center for Precision Genetics, to be launched through a five-year, $9,971,936 grant from the NIH.

The new center will work toward the goal of finding solutions for life-threatening and genetically complex human diseases through new approaches to developing precision models of disease, the Laboratory said.

    JAX said yesterday it envisions the Center as the hub of an international, multidisciplinary team that includes geneticists and genetics technology experts, molecular and computational biologists, clinical experts in specific disease areas and global leaders in the development of precision mouse models of disease.

    Collaborators will include researchers from Emory University, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, University of California San Diego, Columbia University Medical Center, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, University of Massachusetts Medical School, and University of California San Francisco.

    “The Center will generate new disease modeling processes and pipelines, data resources, research results and models that will be swiftly shared through JAX’s proven dissemination pipelines to accelerate translation to medical benefit,” Jackson Laboratory President and CEO Edison Liu, M.D., said in a statement.

    The new center will draw upon JAX expertise in mammalian genetics and disease modeling, as well as the human clinical samples, data, and collaborations generated by The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine in Farmington, CT, which opened its $111 million permanent facility last year.

    The NIH grant is envisioned as “startup” money for the new Center. The first year’s funding of $1,993,006 will launch six projects, and will pay for several JAX core scientific services including a bioinformatics pipeline, to improve the precision of disease models and the efficiency of preclinical pipelines.

    “In order to advance the paths to therapies for previously incurable diseases, we intend to embrace a full range of technologies from reliable yet cutting-edge technological platforms to ambitious high-risk, high-reward platforms that are required to get the job done,” added JAX Professor Wayne Frankel, Ph.D., principal investigator of the grant.

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