Novel embryonic stem cell technology to accelerate genetic research

December 2, 2011

Dr. Bill Stanford collaborated with Dr. Josef Penninger and other colleagues in Austria to develop and analyze “haploid” mouse embryonic stem cells that have just a single copy of each chromosome, as opposed to the regular two copies. These cells allow researchers to conduct powerful genetic screens very easily, because only one copy of a gene has to be “knocked out” to determine its function. Previously, this kind of research was only possible in yeast, which is not an ideal model for humans. This new technique could dramatically accelerate research into genes involved in many different diseases, and help with the development of new therapies. See Cell Stem Cell for details.

This research was supported by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, the Canada Research Chairs Program, the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme, the European Research Council, the Austrian Ministry of Sciences, the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Betty Moore Foundation. All research at OHRI is also supported by The Ottawa Hospital Foundation.