Rare Diseases: Models and Mechanisms Network

May 8, 2015: The network is inviting applications from clinicians and clinician scientists who have discovered novel genes in patients with rare diseases and wish to collaborate with a model organism investigator who is able to carry out functional analysis on an orthologous gene in a model system.

Funds Available:

A maximum of $25,000 will be awarded for each catalyst grant.


Applications may be submitted by any investigator associated with a Canadian Institution.

Relevant Research Areas:

Three categories of Connection applications will be considered:

  1. Novel gene supported by genetic evidence (mutations in the same gene in unrelated patients with a similar phenotype) and functional data is being rapidly sought prior to publication.
  2. Candidate gene for a rare disease in a single patient/family/isolated population such that additional functional data is necessary to support disease-causation. Two types of candidate genes will be considered:
    • Candidate gene has not previously been associated with disease; and,
    • Novel mutation in known disease gene causing a very distinct disease secondary to a presumed alternate mechanism.
  3. Known disease gene that is of therapeutic or biological interest to a unique Canadian population or community (e.g. Hutterite, First Nation, French Canadian, patient advocacy group etc.).
    • Therapeutic opportunities will include projects that propose to develop a model asset for drug screening or develop a model to evaluate efficacy of a treatment; and,
    • Biological interest will include those genes published by a Canadian group for which further study has the potential to impact a new area of biology.


There is no deadline. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.

Application Process:

A Connection Application may be submitted to the RDMM Network info@rare-diseases-catalyst-network.ca.

All the information about the RDMM network can be found at the network website.


Kym Boycott
Philippe Campeau

Co-Chairs, Clinical Advisory Committee
info@rare-diseases-catalyst-network.ca    rare-diseases-catalyst-network.ca

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