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Model organisms


Coordinator of the Network
Raija Soininen / tel. +358 8 537 6135 / raija.soininen (at)
Biocenter Oulu, University of Oulu
Transgenic Animals Core Facility - Biocenter Oulu


Genetically modified organisms are widely used in studies of development and genetic diseases, and also in studies of complex diseases like cancer and diabetes.


Non-mammalian model organisms

Most important physiological mechanisms are conserved in evolution, and therefore it is possible to use genetically tractable model organisms such as the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) and zebrafish (Danio rerio) to study genetic diseases, and also complex diseases like cancer, cardiovascular diseases or diabetes. These non-mammalian research models have several benefits, such as their short developmental time and scale for genetic analysis. Moreover, several molecular genetic techniques, including RNA interference (RNAi) for Drosophila and morpholino injection technique for zebrafish, are readily available.


- Zebra fish laboratory, BMT Tampere

- Drosophila laboratory, BMT Tampere

- Zebra fish laboratory, Helsinki


Mammalian model organisms

Genetically modified (GM) mice have become the most important model organisms to understand the molecular basis of health and disease in man and to serve as suitable animal models for human disease. They thus have an important role in the development of new therapeutic approaches to human diseases. Work with GM mice requires high level of expertise, and specific ethical and legistlative issues have to be followed.


Core facilities with experienced personnel provide high quality service in generation, analysis, and archiving of GM mice. Large international projects to systemically produce mutations in all genes in the mouse genome will facilitate work with GM mice. Local infrastructure is essential for providing services in customized mutagenesis and expertise in all aspects of mouse related issues, such as generation and archiving of mutant mouse lines, as well as in training.


GM core facilities:

- Helsinki GM Mouse Unit
- Biocenter Oulu TG/GM Core facility
- Turku Center for Disease Modeling (TCDM) Mouse Biology and Genetics Unit


Highly specialized personnel and modern facilities are also required in systematic phenotyping of GM mice. Currently, services are provided by the Neurophenotyping Center (NCP) in Helsinki and Kuopio, Turku Center for Disease Modeling, and Biocenter Oulu.

- Neuroscience Center Facility
- Biocenter Kuopio Facility/Phenotyping Center
- Turku Center for Disease Modeling (TCDM)
- Biocenter Oulu


Finnish Centre for Laboratory Animal Pathology (FCLAP) will provide expertise in mouse pathology, and the nationwide Training Program in Disease Model Pathology, organized by TCDM together with The Palmenia Center for Continuing Education, started in 2009.


More information about GM mouse work in Finland:

International Mouse projects with Finnish participation:,,