Established in 1995, the Center for Transgene Research at the University of Notre Dame was to develop and employ mice with designed gene alterations to study functions of components of the hemostasis system in a variety of genetic diseases. The Center was renamed the W. M. Keck Center for Transgene Research in 1998, after receipt of funding from the W. M. Keck Foundation to significantly expand its infrastructure.
The W. M. Keck Center for Transgene Research develops and uses gene-targeting technology to investigate the pathophysiological roles of the genes of the blood coagulation, anticoagulation, and fibrinolytic pathways in hemostasis, with associated relevance to embryonic development, cancer, infection, and inflammation.
Today, the Center consists of several complementary research programs. A key effort of Keck researchers is to use novel gene-targeting and transgenic strategies, as well as sophisticated genetic manipulations, to generate mice with partial and complete deficiencies, as well as modifications of several hemostasis genes.
The W. M. Keck Center maintains perhaps the largest collection of mice with modified hemostatic systems in the world. These hemostasis-altered animal models are employed to study several acute and chronic inflammatory diseases (particularly, sepsis, cardiac fibrosis, asthma, cancer, and neurodegenerative maladies) in order to understand mechanistically the basis of the critically important crosstalk between hemostasis and inflammation.
The Center's neurological program has led to the development of pharmacological and electrophysiological tools to study neuronal circuitry and intrinsic electrical functions of neurons, and how they are impacted during an ischemic stroke, which researchers believe will lead towards the development of effective therapeutic approaches.
Additionally, the W. M. Keck Center's translational program collaborates with Memorial Hospital trauma surgeons and emergency room physicians in developing models of traumatic brain injury to further characterize the associated coagulopathies of these injuries.
Ultimately, through research and scholarship, the Center aims to understand the molecular basis of diseases, which rank among the leading causes of mortality and morbidity of humans, with the expectation that novel diagnostic and subsequent interventional strategies can be designed for humans.
The W. M. Keck Center for Transgene Research is a part of Notre Dame Research.