Gene Editing and Virus Facility

Cutting-edge genetic manipulation and viral vector production

The Gene Editing & Virus Facility works with researchers to produce bespoke mouse, cell and viral tools, aiming to create truly novel approaches to address specific biological questions.

Our services focus on the production of genetically modified mice, cells and custom viral vectors, with the resulting models enabling both discovery and translational research. 

In mice and cells, we utilise CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing to engineer gene on/off switches, genomic deletions, protein tags, point mutations and gene humanisations to recapitulate disease. These tools enable rapid hypothesis testing and assessment of multiple genomic targets, both in vivo and in vitro. 

Importantly, the established on-site pool of expertise and experience reduces and refines the number of mice required to generate these genetically altered lines.

Viruses are extensively used in biology for multiple purposes including delivering CRISPR reagents to genetically or epigenetically modify genes, and transporting various cargos to a wide variety of specific cells and tissues. 

This facility specialises in the design and engineering of viral vectors including recombinant AAV, lentivirus, and herpes virus (HSV). Using these customised vectors, we produce, purify and quantify viral stocks using protocols optimised for each virus type. In addition, we produce a wide range of DNA targeting constructs for genome engineering (e.g. knockout, knock-in, conditional knockout) and reagents for CRISPR/Cas9 editing.

The facility service arms are led by experienced Technical Officers, specialising in gene editing project design, mouse embryo targeting, ES cell manipulation and viral vector design and production.

Technological development

This facility is actively developing the technology platform, aiming to improve current services and create new tools for researchers, current supported projects include:

• To develop novel ways to use viruses to genetically or epigenetically engineer somatic cells and the mouse germline, with or without CRISPR

• Vector development to optimise delivery of CRISPR reagents including sgRNAs, HDR template and various Cas proteins

• Improve targeting to desired cell type using known and/or novel serotypes

• Enhance the integration of large DNA repair templates via homology-directed repair (HDR)• Develop novel ways of delivering HDR reagents to mouse embryos