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Investigating the mechanisms of genetic disorders using the zebrafish model system (GEN-ZEMO)

Research project BL/02/IN13 (Research action BL)

Persons :

  • Dr.  DE PAEPE Anne - Universiteit Gent (RUG)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/1/2018-31/12/2020

Description :

The networking activities proposed aim to make important new connections between Ghent University (UGent) and Nitte University, with the goal of establishing a mutually beneficial relationship leading to further scientific collaboration related to the current active MoU between both institutes committed to a fruitful collaboration. The new network . capitalizing on the resources and technical expertise the respective partners , will coordinate staff and/or student exchanges, organize joint workshops, and plans attendance and presentations at conferences in Belgium and India. This will allow the partners to learn more about each other’s research programs and will enable them to learn valuable new techniques or tap into important new resources.
Research : Shared interest in the use of zebrafish as an experimental model for studying the consequences of genetic defects in the whole animal. *The Center for Medical Genetics Ghent (CMGG) is very experienced in gene editing (CRISPR-Cas9) tools and genotyping analysis via deep sequencing, as well as in other next generation sequencing applications including the study of the epigenome. Learning these techniques through several student and staff exchanges will be very valuable for the Indian partner in order to further their research program.

*The Indian partner has access to very rare resources in the form of compound libraries based on Indian traditional medicine, which are useful for high-throughput screening of zebrafish embryos. The Belgian partner can make use of this screening tool to test zebrafish-based disease models, while teaching the scientists at Nitte University how to set up and develop in vivo phenotypic high-throughput screens.

Given the interest of the clinical geneticists at the CMGG in rare heritable connective tissue disorders, it will be very helpful to gain access to the wealth of patient data and samples available from the Indian hospitals and genetic centers collaborating with Nitte University. This fits perfectly into the original mission of the BeMGI consortium, which aims at using the most advanced genomic tools to further the understanding of the mechanisms of disease. Staff exchange and visits to the Indian partner will enable scientists from UGent to explore the possibilities to tap into these resources for future collaborative research projects. The aim of this exchange would not only be to investigate interesting samples using the advanced technologies available at the CMGG, but also to help the Indian partner to develop their own genetic analysis pipeline up to and including mechanistic studies in zebrafish models.

Proposed networking activities are expected to not only further the on going research projects in both institutes, but also to lay the foundations for a long-term collaborative relationship between UGent and Nitte University

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