DATE: February 8, 2017
TIME: 12:00pm PT, 3:00pm ET
Large animal models have recently become a staple in biomedical research. The pig’s similarities to humans in terms of genetics, anatomy, and physiology have allowed the pig to gain momentum as a biomedical model. On a nucleotide basis, the pig genome is 3 times closer to the human than rodents are to humans. Although there are some anatomical differences between the human and pig, the pig is still becoming the model of choice for many human diseases. In 2003, the National Institutes of Health developed the infrastructure for a central resource center for swine models for human health and diseases. The National Swine Resource and Research Center (NSRRC) was developed to provide valuable swine models to investigators across the country. Currently, the NSRRC has 60 models available to the scientific community with an additional 15 models in various stages of production and characterization. Management of genetically modified swine models can range from standard housing to highly specialized housing which may be necessary for the disease model. Maintenance or breeding of genetically modified swine models also ranges from strains being maintained in the heterozygous/monoallelic state while others can be maintained in the homozygous/biallelic state. Although there may be specialized needs for some models, in general genetically modified swine models can be maintained as any other research pigs. Biomedical research for human health and disease has begun to incorporate the swine model as the large animal of choice.