A Mitochondria-Focused Mouse Model (DRP-1-/- mouse) to Accelerate Gastrointestinal Pathophysiology Research

Case ID:

This invention is a transgenic DRP-1-/- mouse model that will help address the central role of mitochondrial structure-function dynamics in the mammalian intestine. This mouse model harbors an intestine-specific disruption in DRP-1, a key mitochondrial membrane-associated protein, which will be useful in assessing how mitochondrial structure/interaction influences enteric pathogen disease and basic intestinal cell biology. Specifically, the transgenic mouse can be used by internal and external stakeholders to study gastro-intestinal energetics in the context of infection, nutrition, cancer, metabolic diseases, diabetes, gut-microbiome interactions and One Health. 

Transgenic (genetically engineered) mice as a model organism have expanded the breadth of knowledge available to research professionals. However, the relationship between mitochondrial structure function and its dynamics to the mammalian intestine is severely lacking. Currently, the studies exploring this relationship use a different model organism that lacks appropriate physiological context to push any application of the research towards clinical studies. The growing trend of a focus on personalized healthcare calls for the rise of mice as model organisms, as well as the rise of chronic disease such as cancer and diabetes. 


  • Mammalian intestinal research
  • Gastrointestinal energetics in the context of:
    • Infection 
    • Cancer 
    • Metabolic diseases 
    • Gut-microbiome interactions 
  • One Health
  • Basic intestinal cell biology
  • General biomedical research
  • Anti-infective drug development 


  • Multiple research applications 
  • Best physiological context out of all model organisms 
  • Can be investigated over the full lifespan
  • Addresses a critical and underdeveloped resource 
  • Can be used by internal and external stakeholders
Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Tod McCauley
Assistant Director of Licensing, CALS
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
Virinchipuram Viswanathan
Gayatri Vedantam
Jean Wilson
Jennifer Lising