David Threadgill and Colleagues at UNC Awarded U01 Grant to Establish a Systems Genetics Research Consortium

Most disease and disease susceptibilities result from a combination of many genes and environmental factors that are not effectively modeled by isolated gene studies on fixed genetic backgrounds in mouse.  The 5-year, $5.6M project funded by the NCI was awarded to use and develop genomic and statistical tools to derive a mouse resource that mimics the variable genetic backgrounds found in the human population. The Collaborative Cross is a large panel of recombinant inbred mouse lines derived from eight genetically diverse strains that will ultimately capture almost 90% of the known variation present in laboratory mice and will provide a genetic reference population for modeling human disease.

The specific aims of the proposal are to:

  1. Develop the Collaborative Cross and associated husbandry and phenotype databases.  This will be achieved by developing an optimal breeding design to randomize the
    genetic variation present within eight genetically diverse founder mouse inbred strains. 

  2. Genotype the Collaborative Cross during its development using a high-density genotyping platform to identify incompatible allele combinations and a set of SNPs that can
    be used to quality control the breeding and maintenance of the Collaborative Cross.

  3. Develop a web portal for the Collaborative Cross to provide community access to data and analytic programs. 

David Threadgill (CCGS/Genetics) is the lead PI for the grant and will be working in collaboration with three other UNC faculty members, Fernando Pardo-Manuel de Villena (CCGS/Genetics), Wei Wang (CCGS/Computer Science) and Leonard McMillan (Computer Science) to generate this important community resource.

For more information on the Collaborative Cross:

The Collaborative Cross, A Community Resource for the Genetic Analysis of Complex Traits. The Complex Trait Consortium. Nat Genet. 2004 Nov;36(11):1133-7.

Genetic dissection of Complex and Quantitative Traits: From Fantasy to Reality via a Community Effort. Threadgill DW, Hunter KW, Williams RW. Mamm Genome. 2002 Apr;13(4):175-8.

September 28, 2007