The International Knock-out Mouse Project is a worldwide effort to generate knock-out mutations in every gene in the mouse genome – and is widely considered to be the next most important step following the Human Genome Project. This project aims to identify and characterize the functions of mouse genes to better understand the role of genetic changes in the development of human diseases. The team will establish cell lines in which all mouse genes of interest are knocked out and will make them available to the scientific and biotech communities. In addition, the team will establish cell-based and computer-based applications linked to target genes associated with disease and form a distribution centre so that Canadian biomedical research projects, whether public or private, can more easily benefit from this knowledge base. The genetically altered cell lines developed by this project will allow researchers to address the exact role of genetic changes in the development of specific human diseases. This in turn is expected to accelerate the rate at which new medical discoveries are translated into possible therapeutic interventions, and then moved into health care delivery.