Glowing Mice Could Change Future of Medical Research

Doris Miocinovic
Doris Miocinovic

MANOA (KHNL) - There is a new development on the University of Hawaii's glowing mice. Some say it could change the future of medical research and put Hawaii at the forefront of biomedical developments.

If you see a little fury mouse in a cage at the University's Biomedical Research lab, you'd think it's just an average mouse. However, when you turn off the lights you'll see it glow in the dark.

It's a pet project for UH researcher Stefan Moisyadi.

A team of women getting their Masters in Business at UH Manoa have a big plan to bring his little mouse to the world of medicine.

"When we first started working with Dr. Moisyadi, we had to read a lot of complicated articles and learn a lot of biology," said team member Renata Matscheva.

The girl power team makes up a UH start up venture called Manoa Transgenics. Their assignment is to develop a business plan that will commercialize Moisyadi's invention.

"The small genes, the small mice, it can save a big grand life," said MBA student and team member Doris Miocinovic.  "I was really impressed by that."

It's called a transgenic mouse. Its special genetic structure can mimmick certain human diseases. Some believe it's a potentially powerful research tool that will someday be used at pharmaceutical companies to help find a cure for common diseases.

"I can see the whole technology going up one level where transgenic animals are going to be created and of course at the end to do human gene therapy," said Miocinovic.

Matscheva added, "It is very, very exciting for me personally."

They are proud that the potential breakthrough comes from Hawaii, an island paradise, that they hope will soon be known for "glowing" biomedical research.

"The tiny little things in a tiny little place can make the whole world spin a whole different ways," said Miocinovic.

The UH team was chosen to represent the United States.  They took 8th place in the world competition in Thailand last month. The team will participate in several other competitions including the UH business plan competition in less than 2 weeks.