The Champalimaud Scientific Animal Model Platforms are shared facilities that host technical and scientific infrastructures essential for research development at the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, providing word-class specialised services to investigators that preform basic research using animal models.
The advent of model organisms where genetic manipulations became standard procedures revolutionized biomedical research. Among these organisms, fruitflies (Drosophila melanogaster), zebrafish (Danio rerio), and mice (Mus musculus) have been the most widely used, contributing unequivocally to fundamental findings both in basic and applied research. Therefore, supporting research in these genetically modified organisms and developing new technologies is of the utmost importance for biomedical sciences. Congento (Consortium for Genetically Tractable Organisms) was born as a response to the need of an organized infrastructure to support research in these organisms in Portugal. Congregating the efforts of four Portuguese research institutions – Champalimaud Foundation (CF), Gulbenkian Institute of Science (IGC), Molecular Medicine Institute (iMM), and Chronic Diseases Research Center (CEDOC) – Congento gathers and integrates the expertise in fruitflies, zebrafish and mice in one research supporting facility. The aim is to provide state-of-the-art services in the three models in three main domains: 1) Maintenance and stocking of genetically modified lines (both live or cryopreserved), 2) Generation of new lines and development of new technologies, 3) Knowledge transfer and continuous education and certification in animal research and technology.