Genome Canada has partnered with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to launch a funding opportunity to support a national network that will help maintain Canada’s leadership in enabling clinical geneticists who are identifying rare disease gene mutations to collaborate with model organism researchers with expertise in the cognate gene’s function, and to develop the capacity to study genes for which no suitable models can be identified in Canada with other countries with similar networks.
This opportunity builds on the success of the Research Catalyst Network: Rare Diseases program, launched in 2014. That funding led to the development of the Rare Diseases Models and Mechanisms Network (RDMM), a national consortium that enabled clinical geneticists identifying rare disease gene mutations to connect/collaborate with model organism researchers with expertise in the cognate gene’s function. This second edition of the program aims at maintaining Canada’s leadership while developing the capacity to study genes for which no suitable models can be identified in Canada with other countries with similar networks.
In particular the network will:
- Identify instances where Canadian model organism expertise is relevant to a newly discovered disease gene. When such instances are found, a research project would be initiated to explore the functional characterization of the gene. On an annual basis, it is anticipated that this network would catalyze between 15-20 catalytic research projects per year.
- Establish partnerships with and support the development of programs in other regions/countries that are modelled on the Canadian “Rare Diseases: Models & Mechanisms” Network funded through the first iteration of this program. These partnerships should allow genes for which no compatible model can be identified in Canada to be studied in other countries, and allow genes identified by clinicians in other countries to be studied by Canadian biomedical scientists.
- Develop and implement innovative knowledge translation strategies/activities to link the clinical genetics and model organism research communities together.
More details can be found here: Research Catalyst Network funding opportunity.