Human diseases are characterized by complex interactions between genes (genotype) and physical traits (phenotypes). Because of the similarity between mouse and human genomes, scientists can study this interaction in mice to learn how genes function and which mutations cause disease and to develop improved treatments for these diseases.
The Toronto Centre for Phenogenomics (TCP) is the largest facility in Canada to provide scientists with the expertise and services they need to create mice with specific mutations and study their phenotypes, creating more than 250 such models each year. The TCP creates and distributes mouse models for researchers and helps analyze them with the same kinds of tests used on humans, such as vision tests and medical imaging. It also provides services to companies that are developing new drugs.
Among the services the TCP provides are: expert consultation and assistance to enable scientists to effectively execute their research projects; mutant model design and production to meet specific scientific needs; analysis of mouse models, including identification of abnormalities and study of how mutations affect tissue structure and cause disease; cryopreservation and distribution services, using state-of-the-art and stringent quality-controlled technologies; and informatics to provide online access to clients to assist them in project design, quality control and data analysis.
The TCP supports excellent research, helps companies succeed and trains and maintains highly skilled people, all in the interest of improving human health.