Scientists at Lobachevsky University (UNN) model human diseases such as schizophrenia and epilepsy in transgenic animals. The Centre for Genetic Collection of Laboratory Animals is planned to open in 2017. The Centre will aim to make a major step forward in finding treatments for human diseases caused by genetic mutations.

“Various human diseases will be modeled in animals – mice and rats – by making changes to genome. We can create the pathological condition of the animal by ‘turning off’ exactly the same gene as the gene of a patient with a genetic disease (epilepsy, schizophrenia) and develop treatment,” Prof. Irina Mukhina, Head of the University’s translational research centre, said.

UNN Centre for Genetic Collection of Laboratory Animals will be one of five such centres that will be set up in the country. 500 million rubles of funding will be allocated to establish the centre.

This will extend and complement work already initiated by UNN SPF Vivarium, which was established last year. Researchers use specific pathogen free (SPF) animals with genome changes to study mutations in the brain’s cortex, cancer and other diseases. They develop a ‘line’ of mice that allows address a particular disease. The expected results will significantly advance treatment of patients.