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Interspecific Modeling Interest Group

Researchers studying diseases in animals are often asked, "How is an animal study connected to humans?" Or simply, "Animal models are not human". Indeed, animals represent humans very well since they are evolutionary related. Mouse and human have almost the same embryogenesis process. Fly and human share the same neural transmission physiology. Fish and humans have very similar blood vessel formation. On the perspective of evolution, we and animals are all cousins. Scientists commonly employ the principle “what is conserved in evolution must be important” to identify key genes, functions and mechanisms of biological processes.

Researchers at NIH use a broad variety of animal models, including mouse, zebrafish, chicken embryo, frog, flatworm, etc. We asked if we can pool all our results from different models together, may we find the “most crucial” factors in development or disease? Even more importantly, will such findings have more potential to be extrapolated to human being? In recognition with such promise, eight NIH researchers gather to create the Interspecific Modeling Interest Group (ISMIG):

Amy LeBlanc (Senior Scientist, NCI)- dog clinical trials
Laura Kerosuo (Investigator, NIDCR)- chicken embryo
Kandice Tanner (Investigator, NCI)- zebrafish
Meera Murgai (Investigator, NCI)- pericytes in development and metastasis in mouse
Kerrie Marie (Research Fellow, NCI)- melanocyte development in mouse
Eva Perez Guijarro (Postdoc, NCI)- melanoma mouse models for immunotherapy
Christina Ross (Research Fellow, NCI)- mouse genetics in metastasis
Chi-Ping Day (Staff Scientist, NCI)- data translation

These eight founding members will form the scientific committee of ISMIG, which will promote collaboration among researchers who work on developmental and disease models of different species via (1) technical expertise exchange; (2) comparative analysis of multi-species data sets; (3) functional cross-validation; and (4) cross-validation with clinical sets. Dr. Kent Hunter (Acting Chief, Laboratory of Cancer Biology and Genetics, NCI) will serve as Advisor for ISMIG. For routine activities, we will invite potential collaborators for panel discussion and organize workshops for learning technologies required for interspecific modeling. Our goals are:

1. Constructing a scientific niche for young researchers.
2. Creating a field as developmental cancer biology.

Please join us in the coming panel discussion and workshop. We look forward to seeing you for brainstorming, exchange of information, and discussion!

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To join the Interspecific Modeling Interest Group mailing list, please visit the Interspecific Modeling Interest Group Listserv home page, then click the “Subscribe or Unsubscribe” link in the right sidebar.



The page was last updated on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 - 9:59am