Research Catalyst Network: Rare Diseases

The goal of the “Research Catalyst Network: Expediting collaboration between basic and clinician scientists in functional studies of novel rare disease genes” is to establish a national consortium that will enable clinical geneticists who are identifying rare disease gene mutations to collaborate with model organism researchers with expertise in the cognate gene’s function. This program will build on Canada’s leadership in rare disease gene identification, extending its involvement into developing treatments and therapeutics for rare diseases. Many rare disease genes encode products that have not been well studied in humans, and research in model organisms is a highly efficient strategy to facilitate the functional characterization of such genes.

CIHR Institute of Genetics (IG), in partnership with Genome Canada, are pleased to announce this funding opportunity in support of a national network organized to:

· identify instances where Canadian model organism expertise is relevant to a newly discovered disease gene; and when such instances are found, a research project would be initiated to explore the functional characterization of the gene

· develop and implement innovative knowledge translation strategies/activities to link the clinical genetics and model organism research communities together

Please consult the funding opportunity
for more information.

I am also pleased to announce our involvement in the 7th Canadian Developmental Biology Conference
(March 17-20, 2014, Mont-Tremblant, Quebec). This popular biennial Canadian meeting showcases national and international excellence in developmental biology research, and is intended to foster better interactions within the developmental biology community through an engaging scientific program. To help bring the clinical genetics and model organism research communities together prior to the full application, IG will be holding a satellite workshop at the Canadian Developmental Biology Conference on March 18th, 2014. More information about this satellite event will be available later this fall.

Should you have any questions about the Rare Diseases Research Catalyst Network Funding Opportunity, or the satellite workshop at the Canadian Developmental Biology Conference, please do not hesitate to contact Stephanie Robertson, IG Assistant Director .