University of Bristol joins a new UK genetics network aimed at better linking mouse genetics research to clinical advances

University of Bristol joins a new UK genetics network aimed at better linking mouse genetics research to clinical advances

(PRESS RELEASE) BRISTOL, 19-Apr-2022 — /EuropaWire/ — University of Bristol, a red brick research university, has announced that it is joining UK’s new National Mouse Genetics Network, a distributed challenge-led research clusters working with the Mary Lyon Centre to accelerate understanding of human disease using mouse models.

The MRC National Mouse Genetics Network is a major new £22 million investment in mouse genetics for disease modelling that will capitalise on the UK’s excellence in the biomedical sciences.

The Mary Lyon Centre at MRC Harwell will act as the central hub of the Network, sharing access to specialist facilities, resources, data, and training with all other Network members, and is receiving £5.5 million to support this role. The partnerships established by the Network will enable integration of basic science research with clinical findings in order to accelerate our understanding of human disease and translation to patient benefit.

The seven cluster themes are: Cancer, led by Prof Karen Blyth at the CRUK Beatson Institute/University of Glasgow and Prof Louis Chesler at the Institute of Cancer Research, Congenital Anomalies, led by Prof Karen Liu at King’s College London, Degron Tagging, led by Dr Andrew Wood at the MRC Human Genetics Unit at the University of Edinburgh, Haem, led by Dr David Kent at the University of York, Microbiome, led by Prof Fiona Powrie at the University of Oxford, Mitochondria, led by Dr Robert Pitceathly at the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, and MURIDAE (Modalities for Understanding, Recording and Integrating Data Across Early life), led by Prof Anthony Isles at the MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics at Cardiff University.

Dr Michael Ashby from University of Bristol’s School of Physiology, Pharmacology & Neuroscience is a member of the MURIDAE (Modalities for Understanding, Recording and Integrating Data Across Early life) cluster. This cluster is receiving £2.7 million of MRC investment, which aims to establish new approaches for studying the early postnatal period in mouse models of neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disease. The key to this will be linking changes in behaviour in early life with changes in brain development through integration of home-cage behavioural monitoring data with measures of brain structure and physiology, all guided by clinical partners to ensure relevance to human disease.

University of Bristol labs will play a key role in testing how brain activity is altered in the next-generation mouse models of neurodevelopmental disorders like schizophrenia and autism. Dr Michael Ashby, who leads Bristol’s part in the Network, said: “Integrating the well-established expertise of Bristol Neuroscience researchers with this new national organisation will not only drive fresh insight into the ways that the young brain is altered in genetically-driven psychiatric disorders, but will also provide a platform for future collaborations for many years to come.”

Owen Sansom, Network Director, said: “We’re excited to announce this first set of research clusters forming the MRC National Mouse Genetics Network and to synergising our efforts to deliver impactful preclinical science through comprehensive sharing of data, resources, and expertise.

“By building connections between researchers working in such diverse fields and through development of comprehensive data-sharing infrastructure, the Network will create a platform that better links mouse genetics research to clinical advances.”

For more information about each of the clusters, visit the MRC website.

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SOURCE: University of Bristol


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