Jax Labs eBook - 9

IMPACTFUL SOLUTIONS CREATE INNOVATIVE SCIENCE

FISHER: Sure. I am rather surprised
at this late stage of my career to
see mouse genetics just exploding
again, and I think it is for two reasons.
Firstly, because we can now more
speedily and efficiently make new
models with CRISPR.
But also, because if we think
about what it means to be human, we
are really made up of four different
components (maybe five, depending
on your philosophy). We are a product
of aging, luck, what happens during
our life, our environment, and our
genetics-all of which can be modeled
in a mouse.
For aging, we can look at different
snapshots throughout the course
of a life to get a trajectory from the
earliest embryo through to old age.
Luck, we can now, using some of the
techniques from cancer genetics,
start to model somatic changes and
the effect of luck, again using mouse
models.
9 | GENengnews.com

But, if we go back to what most
people are thinking about, which
is environment and genetics, not
only do we have over 450 different
inbred lines, each of which will give a
slightly different phenotype, we also
have the recombinant inbred lines
currently available. And I will just
cite two papers from JAX, one from
Rob Burgess and the other one from
Catherine Kaczorowski, where they
have taken recombinant inbred mice-
animals that have a patchwork of
mosaics of different bits of genomes
within those animals in different
strains. If you put a mutation onto
each one of those strains, you will get
a slightly different phenotype. But
the important thing is you know the
genetics because each of those little
patches have already been sequenced.
What both Rob and Catherine's
labs have produced, and these were
published in 2017 and 2018, is to
take mutations that are important
for understanding neurobiology or, in

Elizabeth Fisher, Ph.D.
Professor of Neurogenetics,
Insitute of Neurology, Queen Square, UCL

Elizabeth Fisher is Professor of Neurogenetics
at the Institute of Neurology in Queen Square,
UCL. She has an undergraduate degree
from Oxford (1981), and a PhD from Imperial
College London (1986),
working in the labs of Steve
Brown and Mary Lyon (MRC
Harwell). After a postdoc with
David Page at the Whitehead
Institute, MIT she returned to
Imperial 1990 and moved to
University College London (UCL) in 2001. Her
lab focuses on making and analysing mouse
models of neurodegeneration, including a
novel humanised model of Down syndrome
(trisomy 21) and models of CMT (Gars),
dynein dysfunction as well as SOD1, FUS
and TDP-43 models. She is a Wellcome Trust
Senior Investigator (held jointly with Victor
Tybulewicz of the Francis Crick Institute),
a member of EMBO and a Fellow of the
Academy of Medical Sciences.


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Jax Labs eBook

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