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The GMC History

The first mouseclinic with open access

"The German Mouse Clinic" was founded 2001 at the Helmholtz Zentrum München in Munich/Neuherberg (supported by the NGFN). In these times the human genome sequence and the mouse sequence were just completed. The need for systemic determination of gene functions emerged in order to understand the role of a gene or gene product in the context of the whole organism.

The German Mouse Clinic was the first facility world wide to conduct systemic phenotyping in a primary screen as an open access platform for the scientific community. Systemic phenotyping can be defined as the comprehensive functional and molecular characterisation of mouse lines in all relevant organ systems and disease areas. The high enquiry of scientists from all over the world and the success showed and shows the rising demand for institutions of such kind. The German Mouse Clinic was a partner together with other mouseclinics in Europe for optimization and standardization of phenotyping methods, e.g. at the MRC Harwell (UK), ICS (France) and Sanger Institute (UK). All four European large-scale phenotyping platforms collaborated in the European Mouse Disease Clinic consortium. EUMODIC was the first mouse genetics project of its kind, and set the stage for an international effort to investigate the functions of 20,000 mammalian genes, a vision now being realised by the International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium (IMPC). At the beginning mutant lines from the EUCOMM resource (IKMC) were analyzed in a joint effort using standardized protocols (European Mouse Phenotyping Resource of Standardised Screens, EMPReSS), and this is continued and promoted at an international level by IMPReSS.These phenotyping standards represent the basis for the paneuropean collaboration within the Infrafrontier network. The main goals of the Infrafrontier initiative are to generate the needed capacities for systemic phenotyping, archiving and distribution of mouse models.

In the GMC, we have brought together specialists from various fields of mouse phenotyping and from different institutions in Germany: scientists from the Universities of Bonn and Heidelberg, the Ludwig-Maximilians-University and the Technical University Munich, and the Helmholtz Zentrum München (HMGU) work close together, everyone contributing his or her specialised knowledge.