Biotechnology Programme

Transgenic Mice Core Unit

Head of Unit:  Sagrario Ortega

The laboratory mouse is the experimental model of choice for genetic studies and preclinical drug development in cancer. The Transgenic Mice Unit is dedicated to the genetic edition of the mouse germ line and to the generation of genetically modified mouse strains. Hundreds of mouse genes have been specifically modified at our Unit. In many cases, these modifications reproduce the genetic alterations found in human cancers and are introduced in the mouse to generate preclinical models of the disease, thereby contributing to the development of more efficient targeted therapies. In other instances, genetically modified mice are created for testing hypothesis in vivo, in a physiological context, with the aim of gaining new insight into the molecular mechanisms responsible for converting a normal cell into a malignant cell or for making a tumour grow and expand and subsequently invade other organs and become deadly. Cancer is an extremely complex disease that cannot be sufficiently studied in a tissue culture plate. The generation of genetically modified mice is one of the basic pillars on which cancer research at the CNIO is based.