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Seminars and Colloquia


International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium (IMPC) 
Wed, Jul 18, 2018,   11:00 AM to 01:00 PM at Multipurpose Hall, Guest House

Prof. Steve Brown
MRC Harwell UK

The International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium (IMPC) is an international effort to identify the function of every gene in the mouse genome. The entire genome of many species has now been published and whole genome sequencing is becoming relatively quick and cheap to complete. Despite these advancements the function of the majority of genes remains unknown.

This is where the IMPC comes in, with the goal to phenotyping all 20,000 or so protein coding mouse genes. To achieve this genes in the mouse genome are switched off, or ‘knocked out’, then standardised physiological tests across a range of biological systems known as ‘phenotyping tests’ undertaken. This data is then made freely available to the research community. As well as completing large scale comparative studies, the overall aim of the project is to create a platform for this data where researchers/clinicians can search for genes or diseases of interest to help them understand human health and disease.

IMPC data can be used in a variety of ways, such as to investigate basic biology mechanisms that can lead to new therapeutic targets or to narrow down a suspected list of genes in patients. In the last few years the IMPC have made major discoveries in parts of the genome that were hitherto unexplored, with new genes discovered relating to areas such as deafness, diabetes, and rare diseases. Summaries of five recent research articles that highlight the diversity of how IMPC data can be used are listed below. These include inferring mammalian gene function, studies on specific human conditions, sex differences in medical research, and even using IMPC data to help in wildlife conservation.