Discovering and understanding the function of genes and abnormalities in genes (“mutations”) that cause disease in children and adults remains a major challenge. Researchers use mouse models to evaluate the impact of these mutations, but need access to state-of-the-art services to enable their research. Since 2007, The Centre for Phenogenomics (TCP) has been providing these services, designing and producing customized mouse models, determining the functional consequences of genetic abnormalities, validating a phenotype (”observable characteristics that result from a mutation”) comparable to the human disorder, and investigating the underlying molecular pathways. It also supports translational services to reverse the effect of the mutations through genetic or pharmaceutical approaches. In the past five years, TCP has provided more than 40,000 services to 615 clients, generating nearly $13 million in revenue. A Canada Foundation for Innovation review panel called TCP “the best facility of its kind in Canada and … among the top five in the world.”
TCP brings together a unique Canadian critical mass of infrastructure, expertise, interaction and technology. Over the coming five years, it will expand its research services to infectious diseases and inflammatory conditions, both of which are common and major health and economic burdens to Canada. To support Canadian scientists’ efforts to understand gene function and the genetic changes that cause disease, TCP will provide Canadian scientists with unparalleled access to leading-edge genomic services in disease model production and evaluation. TCP will also continue to develop new technologies and enhance existing ones to deliver state-of-the-art services, thereby maintaining its competitiveness and that of its users.