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Jackson Laboratory receives grant from South Korea for cancer genomics project

According to a report in the Bangor Daily News (BDN), the Jackson Laboratory has been selected to receive a five-year, $7.5 million grant from the South Korean government for a cancer genomics project.

Jackson Lab will work with Seoul National University on the project, which will use the most up-to-date gene sequencing technology and special Jackson Lab mice that can host human tumors, Lab officials said in a prepared statement.

Charles Lee, director of the Lab’s Center for Genomic Medicine in Farmington, Conn., will lead the Lab’s efforts in the project and will work with Jong-Il Kim of Seoul National University’s College of Medicine and other academic collaborators, noted the BDN report. Besides Farmington, the Lab has major facilities in Bar Harbor, Maine, and Sacramento, Calif.

The Maine daily paper also reported that Kim and his colleagues will collect and store human tumors from patients with gastric, breast, colon, lung and rare cancers and will sequence the genomic signatures of those cancers. Lee will lead the development of hundreds of new correlating mouse models that will be made available to the worldwide biomedical research community.

Researchers hope to find genetic similarities among certain cancers that should help researchers conduct pre-clinical testing of which drug therapies may be the most effective for certain kinds of cancers, Jackson Lab officials said, according to the BDN report.

“This is a wonderful example of the international collaborations that [Jackson Lab] is building to rapidly advance its research mission; in this case, individualized cancer diagnosis and treatment,” Farmington's Lee said in the Jackson Lab press release. “This grant from the South Korean government shows there is international interest in the Jackson Laboratory’s approach to cancer research using [specialized mouse] models."

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