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File:The Jackson Laboratory.jpg
The Jackson Laboratory is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institution, dedicated to contributing to a future of better health care based on the unique genetic makeup of each individual. With more than 1,500 employees in Bar Harbor, Maine, Sacramento, Calif. and a new genomic medicine institute in Farmington, Conn., the Laboratory's mission is to discover precise genomic solutions for disease and empower the global biomedical community in the shared quest to improve human health. [1] The institution is a National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center and has NIH centers of excellence in aging and systems genetics. The Laboratory is also a world source for more than 7,000 strains of genetically defined mice and is the home of the mouse genome database

Major research areasEdit

Jackson Laboratory research, represented by the activities of more than 40 laboratories, is largely sponsored by NIH grants and is focused in six major areas:

  • Bioinformatics: mouse genome informatics, comparative genomics
  • Cancers: bone, brain, leukemia, liver, lymphoma
  • Development and Aging-Related: birth defects, Down syndrome, osteoporosis, lifespan
  • Immune System and Blood Disorders: AIDS, anemia, autoimmunity, immune system disorders, tissue transplant rejection, lupus
  • Metabolic Diseases: atherosclerosis, diabetes, gallstones, hypertension, obesity, kidney disease
  • Neurological and Sensory Disorders: Alzheimer's disease, cerebellar disorders, deafness, epilepsy, glaucoma, neurodegenerative diseases

Historic research highlightsEdit

The Jackson Laboratory was founded in 1929 in Bar Harbor, Maine, by former University of Maine and University of Michigan president C. C. Little under the name Roscoe B. Jackson Memorial Laboratory.[2]

  • Established that cancer is a genetic disorder, a novel concept before the Laboratory’s founding in 1929.
  • Dr. Leroy Stevens first described cells that can develop into different tissues – today known as stem cells.
  • Dr. Elizabeth Russell performed the first bone marrow transplants in a mammal, leading to new treatments for blood and immunological diseases.
  • Dr. George Snell won the Nobel Prize in 1980 for providing an in-depth understanding of the immune system’s major histocompatibility complex, making organ transplants possible.
  • Dr. Douglas Coleman discovered the hormone leptin, central to obesity and diabetes research, earning him the Shaw Prize, the Albert Lasker Award, the Gairdner International Award, Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Biomedicine, and the King Faisal International Prize in Medicine.
  • Is pioneering the use of cancer avatars – mice with implanted human tumors – to test targeted therapies for cancer patients.

Recent research has provided insight into cancer stem cells and treatments for leukemia; progress with type 1 diabetes and lupus; and a breakthrough in extending mammalian life span.

Research resourcesEdit

  • Hosts the Mouse Genome Informatics database, the world’s source for information on mouse genetics and biology.
  • Distributes more than 3 million JAX® mice annually to more than 20,000 investigators in at least 50 countries for research and drug discovery.
  • Offers more than 7,000 genetically defined strains of JAX® mice to the international research community.
  • Provides animal husbandry, reproductive science and in vivo drug efficacy services in a wide range of therapeutic areas for biomedical researchers.
  • Conducts over 100 educational seminars and webinars yearly to educate and enable external biomedical researchers.

Educational programsEdit

  • Summer Student Program has brought thousands of talented high school and college students to campus over 89 years for mentoring, including three who later won Nobel Prizes: David Baltimore, Howard Temin and Jack Szostak. Every year, roughly 35 students are selected from throughout the world to participate in a ten-week research-intensive internship program. Students design and conduct research, culminating in a presentation of their findings to JAX faculty and other students, under the mentorship of a particular laboratory. Common research topics include cancer, neurobiology, bioinformatics, and reproductive biology.
  • About 1,000 students, researchers and physicians attend Laboratory courses, conferences and workshops annually.
  • Participates in three collaborative degree programs: the Tufts University Ph.D. program in Genetics, the Ph.D. program in Biomedical Sciences of the University of Maine, and the Master’s of Science in Teaching program of the University of Maine.
  • Offers predoctoral and postdoctoral training programs and a visiting scientists program.
  • Coordinates and hosts the Maine State Science Fair for high school students.


  1. About The Jackson Laboratory. Jackson Laboratory. URL accessed on 2 April 2013.
  2. The Jackson Laboratory Milestones: 1900 - 1929. The Jackson Laboratory Timeline. Jackson Laboratory. URL accessed on 2006-12-13.

External linksEdit

Template:University of Maine


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