BETHESDA, Md--Forget about a better mousetrap, the National Cancer Institute wants to build better mice.
The Institute plans to fund the "Mouse Models for Human Cancer Consortium," consisting of up to six research teams with the necessary scientific and technical expertise to develop new mouse strains or improve existing mouse strains for cancer research.
The aim is to seek new animal models "to test current and future therapeutic or prevention strategies, or for early detection or diagnostic imaging," Cheryl Marks, PhD, of the NCIs Division of Cancer Biology told the National Cancer Advisory Board.
The NCI expects to solicit and review applications, and have the consortium up and running in the spring of 1999. The consortium concept aims to encourage teams "to pursue their most innovative ideas and to implement new technologies" and to "stimulate interactions among the teams in the consortium, the NCI, and the cancer research community," Dr. Marks said.
The mouse models consortium is the first major recommendation from NCIs Preclinical Models for Cancer Working Group. NCI is currently pursuing how best to implement other recommendations from the working group.