Model organisms

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

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Technology platform services

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.

Service providers

Tampere
Zebra fish laboratory at BMT Tampere
Drosophila laboratory at BMT Tampere

Helsinki
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.

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.

More information about GM mouse work in Finland: www.FinGMice.org

International Mouse projects with Finnish participation: www.Infrafrontier.eu, www.NorIMM.org, www.EMMAnet.org

Generation, analysis, and archiving of GM mice

Service providers

Helsinki
Helsinki GM Mouse Unit

Oulu
Biocenter Oulu TG/GM Core facility

Turku
Turku Center for Disease Modeling (TCDM) Mouse Biology and Genetics Unit

Systematic phenotyping of GM mice

Service providers

Helsinki
Neuroscience Center Mouse Behavioural Phenotyping Facility (MBPF)

Kuopio
BCK Phenotyping Center

Turku
Turku Center for Disease Modeling (TCDM)

Oulu
Biocenter Oulu TG/GM Core facility

Mouse pathology

Finnish Centre for Laboratory Animal Pathology (FCLAP) provide expertise in mouse pathology.

Tissue Engineered Disease Models (TEDM)

TEDM is an emerging technology platform focusing on development of complex ex vivo and in vivo tissue models compatible with genetic and chemical biology approaches. The targeted tissues are mammary gland and lung epithelial organs, and vascular and lymphoid systems.

TEDM interacts with the existing core facilities and develops systemic, intraductal, and orthotopic somatic cell-based transplantation methods using donor cells from GEMMs or human diseases, direct virus-mediated engineering of cells in animal tissues and ex vivo organoid surrogates. In Biocenter Finland, TEDM's focus complements existing virus, drug discovery and animal models networks.

For more information, please contact:

Helsinki
Juha Klefström (chair of TEDM consortium, Institute of Biomedicine and Genome Scale Biology Program, Univ. Helsinki); Emmy Verschuren (FIMM); Pipsa Saharinen (BCH, Translational Cancer Biology Research Program, Univ.Helsinki); Sergey Kuznetsov (FIMM)

Turku
Jukka Westermarck (BioCity) (co-chair); Johanna Ivaska (BioCity)

Kuopio
Petri Mäkinen (BCK)

Contact persons & Feedback

Models organisms service user surveys
Contact persons

Coordinator of BF Model organisms infrastructure network
Raija Soininen / tel. +358 8 537 6135 / raija.soininen (at) oulu.fi
Biocenter Oulu, University of Oulu
Biocenter Oulu TG/GM Core facility

BF Mouse models technology platform partners:
Raija Soininen Biocenter Oulu, Transgenic Animals Core Facility; Eero Lehtonen and Petra Sipilä, BCH, Helsinki GM Mouse Unit; Eero Castren, BCH, Neurophenotyping Center (with BCK); Antti Sukura, Finnish Centre for Laboratory Animal Pathology; Heikki Tanila, BCK, Neurophenotyping Center (with BCH); Matti Poutanen, BioCity, Turku Center for Disease Modeling TCDM

BF Non-mammalian model organisms technology platform partners:
Mika Rämet, BMT (chair of consortium), Pertti Panula, Neuroscience Center Zebrafish Unit Helsinki, Mataleena Parikka, BMT, Tampere Zebrafish Core Facility; Susanna Valanne, BMT, Tampere Drosophila Core facility; Osamu Shimmi, Helsinki Drosophila facility

TEDM technology platform partners:
Juha Klefström (chair of TEDM consortium), Institute of Biomedicine and Genome Scale Biology Program, Emmy Verschuren (FIMM); Pipsa Saharinen (BCH); Sergey Kuznetsov (FIMM); Jukka Westermarck (BioCity) (co-chair); Johanna Ivaska (BioCity); Petri Mäkinen (BCK)