The Centre for Phenogenomics (TCP), a world class facility that develops mouse models of human diseases, has been awarded a grant of $15.41 million over the next 5 years from the Canada Foundation for Innovation. TCP is jointly operated by Mount Sinai Hospital’s Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute and the Research Institute of The Hospital for Sick Children and is Canada’s preeminent research facility for design, generation, and analysis of models of disease including neurodegeneration, cancer, diabetes, and developmental disorders such as autism. The Centre includes multiple imaging capabilities, a behavioural and learning assessment lab, and uses the latest gene editing methods to create precise models with the same genetic defects identified in human patients. The facility is available to all Canadian researchers, hence providing state-of-the-art technology services to users across the country.
The new grant will facilitate research into common, complex, and rare human disorders, ensure national researchers have access to TCP, and enable the latest technologies developed at the facility to be available to any Canadian researcher. The lead scientist on the application, Dr. Colin McKerlie, noted the importance of the grant: “This funding will accelerate progress in understanding of biology, the genetic and molecular mechanisms that contribute to many disease areas, and support the discovery and development of new approaches to prevention or treatment by ensuring Canadian researchers who need our help have access to the leading-edge infrastructure and methods our team has developed.”
Jim Woodgett, the Director of Research at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, acknowledged the foresight of the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Federal government in recognizing the need to provide operational support for world class Canadian facilities. “While it is always wonderful to cut the ribbon on new things, those assets then need support to fully realise their initial investment”, he said, “Indeed, TCP is a glowing example of how to keep Canadian health research both competitive and relevant on the world stage”.