History

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. In the meantime the German Mouse Clinic is 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 collaborate in the EUMODIC consortium to analyze up to 500 mouse models from the EUCOMM resource. 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.

Creating a complete puzzle from single jigsaw pieces

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 Marburg, Bonn and Heidelberg, the Ludwig-Maximilians-University and the Technical University Munich, and the Helmholtz Zentrum München (HMGU) work side by side at one place, everyone contributing his or her specialised knowledge.
The German Mouse Clinic is a large, SPF area with a modular structure of eleven units and rooms for shared infrastructure. Each unit consists of a laboratory and an adjacent mouse room equipped with IVC (isolated ventilated cage) racks.

Phenotyping of mutants of all resources like knock-outs, ENU, genetrap mice and transgenes is offered.

GMC I and GMC II – facing new challenges

Nowadays the GMC consists of two sections to reveal the role of the genes and environment on development, morphology, physiology, metabolism, behaviour and pathology: GMC I and GMC II. In the GMC I we offer a detailed characterization and interpretation of mouse models in a so called primary screening. In the GMC II we implemented challenge platforms focusing on major environmental risk factors for human health.

The efficient use of cutting-edge technology and data management tools provides novel insights into gene function and creates a basis for new therapeutic approaches and disease prevention strategies.