National Facility for Gene Function in Health and Disease
The availability of a small animal research facility is critical to address basic biological as well as bio-medical questions relevant to disease biology. Experimentation in humans is restricted to availability of samples and critical interventions can not be done. Small mammalian models such as mice and rats are physiologically closer to humans and amenable to large numbers of experimental interventions. A central tool in small animal research is the ability to generate transgenic and gene knockouts tailored to meet the research requirements. In India, the facilities for generation of transgenic and knockout vertebrate models have been severely limited, therefore significantly affecting biomedical research in both academia and industry. The central limitation appears to be the lack of suitable, high quality, dedicated infrastructure and paucity of adequate numbers of trained personnel for both generation and maintenance of transgenic and knockout lines.
To eliminate these bottlenecks, we have set up a large facility measuring over 45,000 square feet at IISER Pune, well equipped to generate in-house transgenic/knock-out animals and also act as a repository of such animal models as a national facility. This has been facilitated through a special infrastructure grant from the Department of Biotechnology. Availability of such animal models would facilitate research focused on a variety of biologically important phenomena and diseases. Since 2019, this facility at IISER Pune is also a member of the International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium (IMPC).