History of The Jackson Laboratory

The Jackson Laboratory has made fundamental contributions to biomedical research, including cancer genetics and establishing the mouse as the premier research animal model.

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  • George D. Snell of The Jackson Laboratory won the 1980 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for "discoveries concerning genetically determined structures on the cell surface that regulate immunological reactions."

    In fact, 26 Nobel prizes are associated with Jackson Laboratory research, resources and educational programs.

    Dr. Michael Festing of the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology Toxicology Unit, University of Leicester, England, traced 17 Nobel prizes (awarded before the year 2000), including Dr. Snell’s, to The Jackson Laboratory for an essay, “Mighty Mice,” he co-authored with Dr. Elizabeth Fisher, Department of Neurogenetics, Imperial College School of Medicine at St. Mary’s, London. The essay appeared in the journal Nature, vol. 404, page 815.

  • 1900

    Rediscovery of the papers of Gregor Mendel, the Austrian monk who had set out the rules of genetic inheritance in pea plants.
  • 1900

    Retired schoolteacher Abbie Lathrop begins breeding 'fancy' mice at her farm in Granby, Massachusetts. Initially sought as pets, the Granby mice become important in research.
  • 1902

    Mendelian inheritance, L. Cuenot
  • 1903

    Coat color genetics, W. E. Castle
  • 1908

    William Castle opens Harvard's Bussey Institution, where many early mouse geneticists get their start.
  • Illustrations from Clarence Cook Little's Harvard Thesis
  • 1909

    Clarence Cook Little begins to develop the first inbred strain, designated DBA for dilute, brown, and non-agouti.
  • 19131916

    Halsey Bagg develops the BALB/c (Bagg albino) mouse for behavioral experiments.
  • 19141919

    Lathrop sends mice that developed tumors to Leo Loeb at the University of Pennsylvania, who publishes pioneering papers on cancer.
  • 1915

    J. B. S. Haldane et al. Publish the first genetic linkage study, establishing the linkage between two coat-color mutations.
  • 1916

    Genetics of tumor transplantation, E. E. Tyzzer, C. C. Little
  • 1919

    Mouse genetics research begins in earnest at the Cold Spring Harbor Station for Experimental Evolution.
  • 1921

    L. C. Strong breeds a Bagg albino with an albino from Little's stock and starts the first of many tumor-prone strains, called the A strain, known for mammary and lung tumors.
  • 1921

    Using a pair of black mice from the Granby farm, Little develops the C57BL and C57BR strains.
  • 1923

    Clarence Cook Little, President of the University of Maine, holds the first summer laboratory session on Mount Desert Island with six students. (Camping trip for a field study project in natural history.)
  • 1923

    Radiation-induced mutations, C. C. Little, H. S. Bagg
  • 1926

    C58 leukemias, E. C. MacDowell
  • 1928

    L. C. Dunn breeds Strain 129, which later proves to have a high incidence of testicular cancer. The strain is now valued as a source of embryonic stem cells for making knockout mice.
  • 1929

    Chemical carcinogens, H. B. Andervont
  • 1929

    May 4: Clarence Cook Little starts The Roscoe B. Jackson Memorial Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine, with help from Detroit industrialists who had previously recruited him to the University of Michigan; Eight employees and $50,000, 'For research in cancer and the effects of radiation.' Land donated by George B. Dorr, family friend.
  • 1930

    C3H, CBA, I, L. C. Strong
  • 1930

    Staff consists of Clarence Cook Little, Elizabeth Fekete, Joseph Murray, Arthur Cloudman, Leonell Strong, Charles Green and John Bittner.
  • 1930

    Viral immunity, M. Theiler - Nobel Prize, 1951
  • 1931

    First summer students, including Caroline Silence.
  • 1933

    AKR leukemias, J. Furth
  • 1933

    First mouse sales.
  • 1935

    First successful transfer of fertilized ova is performed by Elizabeth Fekete.
  • 1935

    George Snell arrives.
  • 1936

    Mammary tumor virus, John Bittner and JAX staff
  • 1937

    Peter Gorer shows in mouse studies at JAX that transplant rejection is primarily governed by what he calls the H2 genetic locus, later described as the major histocompatibility complex, a key component of immunity.
  • 1937

    Staff consists of George Woolley, Bill and Elizabeth Russell, Clarence Cook Little, George Snell, Elizabeth Fekete, and Arthur M. Cloudman. First annual report is released.
  • 1938

    Earl Green a summer student.
  • 1938

    First grants from National Cancer Institute to John Bittner.
  • 1938

    First postdocs taken on.
  • 1938

    Rockefeller wing added to Unit 1.
  • 1939

    1939 International Committee on Standardized Nomenclature for Mice begins, bringing order to the naming of mice and their genes.
  • 19401950

    First successful transplantations of ovaries between female mice are performed by William Russell at JAX.
  • 1941

    Biology of the Laboratory Mouse, 1st Edition. First book devoted to mouse biology and genetics.
  • 1941

    U.S. government requests mice for research.
  • 19411942

    Hamilton Station animal barns donated by Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton.
  • 1943

    Aldersea estate given to the laboratory for faculty housing by the heirs of Mary Coles of Philadelphia.
  • 1945

    Rockefeller Foundation funds dog research at Hamilton Station.
  • 1945

    Unit 2 completed.
  • 1946

    Conference on Genetics and Social Behavior.
  • 1946

    Federal funds enable expansion and building addition, Unit 3.
  • 1946

    George Snell and Peter Gorer publish H-2 discovery.
  • George Snell
  • 19461949

    George Snell develops congenic strains of mice - identical but for a small chromosomal segment - by breeding for differences only at the H2 locus. This opens new areas of immunological research and earns Snell a Nobel Prize in 1980.
  • 1947

    A fire destroys most of The Jackson Laboratory and its mice. Researchers rally to rebuild stocks.
  • 1947

    Britain launches the Medical Research Council (MRC) Radiobiology Unit - now known as the MRC Mammalian Genetics Unit and the U.K. Mouse Genome Centre - in Harwell, U.K., using radiation to carry out large-scale mutagenesis experiments. Harwell becomes Europe's hotbed of mouse genetics.
  • 1947

    October 19-23: Bar Harbor fire. JAX and 90,000 mice destroyed.
  • 1947

    Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the United States do radiation studies. The mutant mice lead to major advances in mouse genetics.
  • 1948

    Board of Trustees created.
  • 1948

    Major histocompatibility complex, George D. Snell, Peter A. Gorer, B. Benacerraf - Nobel Prize, 1980
  • 1948

    JAX newly rebuilt from donations and mice from around the world. Unit 3 and student quarters built.
  • 1949

    August 21: Dedication of Unit 4 and the new laboratory complex.
  • 1949

    Dr. Leslie Dunn becomes President of Board of Scientific Directors.
  • 1949

    Richard W. Jackson, son of Roscoe B. Jackson, becomes President of Board of Trustees.
  • 1949

    First donation from Ladies Auxillary of Veterans of Foreign Wars (LAVFW).
  • 1949

    Formation of lab chapter of Sigma Xi.
  • 1949

    Formation of The Jackson Laboratory Corporation.
  • 1949

    The informal Mouse News Letter begins its 40 years of publication under that name. At its peak, some 60 labs contribute to it.
  • 1950

    Immune tolerance, F. M. Burnet, P. B. Medawar - Nobel Prize, 1960
  • Obese Mice
  • 1950

    Obese mouse is discovered at JAX. The first animal model for obesity, the mouse later proves to have a key mutation in the leptin gene.
  • Unit 4, Jackson Laboratory
  • 1950

    Unit 4 completed and slate-tiled courtyard added.
  • 1951

    Arrival of mouse box washer, bottle washer, and bottle filler.
  • 1951

    Conference on the Effects of Early Experience on Mental Health.
  • 1951

    Dedication of Lochner Quadrangle by LAVFW.
  • 1951

    Margaret Dickie discovers the obese mutation.
  • High Seas Jackson Laboratory
  • 1951

    Morris / Hawkes estate donates Highseas.
  • 1951

    Murine leukemia viruses (MuLV), L. Gross
  • 1952

    'Curtain Call' and 'Project Mouse' published.
  • 1952

    Eosinophil Conference
  • 1952

    1st children's Christmas party for all laboratory personnel.
  • 1952

    1st issue of TRBJML Quarterly.
  • 1953

    DNA double helix, J. D. Watson, F. H. C. Crick, M. H. F. Wilkins - Nobel Prize, 1962
  • 1954

    Classification of lymphomas, T. B. Dunn.
  • 1954

    Foundation Stocks building added.
  • Leroy Stevens
  • 1954

    Leroy Stevens develops an ovary transplant procedure that enables mutant strains to be propagated even if the mutation causes the animal to die before it can reproduce.
  • 1954

    25th anniversary, William E. Castle as guest.
  • 1954

    Woodlands buildings donated by Curt Reisinger.
  • 1955

    Formation of the Alumni Association.
  • 1956

    Acquisition of Morrell Park from Louise Drexel Morrell. (Built in 1898 as Robin Hood Park; used for carriage, harness and flat racing; changed to Morrell Park as a memorial to Louise Morrell's husband in 1919.)
  • 1956

    Retirement of Clarence Cook Little and appointment of Dr. Earl Green as new director.
  • 1957

    Bookkeeping mechanized.
  • 1957

    First stainless steel boxes arrive; total conversion to steel racks and water delivery tubes.
  • 1957

    Plastic mouse boxes introduced at Foundation Stocks Laboratory.
  • 1958

    Live Linkage map created for Montreal Conference by Margaret Green.
  • 1958

    Margaret Green at JAX starts a card-file database of mouse linkages and loci, which forms the foundation of the Mouse Genome Database. Eventually, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) begins supporting the database.
  • 1959

    Filters for the tops of the stainless steel mouse cages introduced - built by MDI Workshop.
  • 1959

    Morrell Park animal facility finished on November 8th.
  • 1960

    The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1960: Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet and Peter Brian Medawar, "for discovery of acquired immunological tolerance"
  • 1960

    Animal Health Research Laboratory construction begins.
  • 1960

    Ethylene oxide gas sterilizer at Morrell Park Laboratory.
  • 1960

    First Medical Genetics Short Course, organized by Victor McKusick and John Fuller.
  • 1960

    Mrs. J.J. O'Brien (Louise Webber Jackson) dies.
  • 1960

    New animal rooms in rabbit laboratory.
  • 19601970

    Dr. Elizabeth Russell pioneers the use of bone marrow transplantation to cure a blood disorder in a mouse.
  • Douglas Coleman
  • 19601973

    Douglas Coleman initiates a series of landmark experiments, postulating in 1973 that the ob mouse has a genetic defect in its 'satiety factor' and that the db mouse has a genetic defect in its 'satiety center.' His theories lead to the successful cloning of the genes behind the ob and db defects by researchers at Rockefeller University in 1995.
  • 1961

    Genetic code, M. W. Nirenberg, R. W. Holley, H. G. Khorana - Nobel Prize, 1968
  • 1961

    Harwell's Mary Lyon proposes X-chromosome inactivation, in which one chromosome in an X-chromosome pair shuts down to maintain the right balance of gene activity.
  • 1961

    John Joseph Bittner dies, December 14.
  • 1961

    Unit 5 finished. 5th Woodlands cottage opened.
  • 1962

    Dr. C.K. Chai to Formosa.
  • 1962

    Dr. William Castle dies.
  • 1962

    IBM punch cards for Biometrics Laboratory, Gunther Schlager; new bottle washer in Radiobiology Lab.
  • 1962

    Lymphocyte subsets, J. F. A. P. Miller, J. Gowans
  • 1962

    Plasmacytoma induction, M. Potter
  • 1962

    The nude mouse, lacking hair, is discovered in Ruchill Hospital, Glasgow, U.K. Several years later, scientists realize that its lack of a thymus means it produces no T cells. It becomes an important tool for immunological studies.
  • 19621969

    Biostatistician Gunter Schlager, Ph.D., joins the research staff after earning master's and Ph.D. degrees in genetics from the University of Kansas, with training in mathematical statistics and biostatistics. He returns to the University of Kansas in 1969 for a 29-year teaching career.
  • 1963

    Aldersea estate sold.
  • 1963

    September 18: Name change to The Jackson Laboratory.
  • 1963

    Tax case brought by Kendall Young.
  • 1963

    35th Anniversary Symposium (on radiation).
  • 1964

    Capital Fund drive for Mammalian Genetics Lab and Library Conference Center.
  • 1964

    375 employees.
  • 1964

    2nd edition of Biology of Laboratory Mouse.
  • 1964

    6th Woodlands cottage built.
  • 1964

    The Jackson Reporter begins (newsletter).
  • 1966

    The db (diabetes) mouse is discovered at the Laboratory by Douglas Coleman.
  • 1967

    2009 Nobel Laureate Jack Szostak begins his research career at JAX's Summer Student Program as a high school student.
  • 1967

    Temporary mouse breeding in the old Otter Creek school house.
  • 1968

    End of dog behavior program at Hamilton Station. (Jackson Reporter, July 5th)
  • 1968

    Grants reach $2 million a year.
  • 1969

    Construction begins on Morrell Park addition. Radioactive waste incinerator added.
  • 1969

    Isozyme typing, J. J. Hutton, T. Roderick, D. Coleman
  • 1970

    Restriction enzymes, H. O. Smith, D. Nathans, W. Arber - Nobel Prize, 1978
  • 1970

    Richard Gardner of Cambridge, U.K., performs surgery on mouse embryos, opening the way to embryo transfer, embryonic stem cell research, and transgenic mouse technology.
  • 1971

    Chromosomal banding, U. Franke, M. Nesbitt
  • 1971

    Clarence Cook Little dies December 22.
  • 1971

    Construction begins on Mammalian Genetics Laboratory and Library-Conference Center.
  • 1971

    Donald Bailey develops the first recombinant inbred strains of mice by crossing two inbred strains. The resulting inbreds prove useful for genetic mapping and gene hunting.
  • 1972

    Endogenous MuLV, W. P. Rowe
  • 1972

    Move into new library (2nd floor of C.C. Little Library and Conference Center).
  • 1972

    Recombinant DNA, P. Berg - Nobel Prize, 1980; S. Cohen, H. Boyer
  • 1972

    U.K. researcher David Whittingham shows that frozen mouse embryos can survive thawing, making it possible to preserve strains without continuous breeding.
  • 1973

    Composite linkage map, M. Green
  • 1974

    MHC restriction, R. M. Zinkernagle, P. C. Doherty - Nobel Prize, 1996
  • 1974

    National Research Act becomes law.
  • 1974

    The Mouse Genetics Laboratory (MGL) dedicated and named for Earl Green on his retirement.
  • 1975

    The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1975: David Baltimore (member, Jackson Laboratory Board of Trustees; alumnus of Jackson Summer Student Program), Renato Dulbecco and Howard Martin Temin (alumnus of The Jackson Laboratory's Summer Student Program), "for their discoveries concerning the interaction between tumour viruses and the genetic material of the cell"
  • Jackson Laboratory Summer Program
  • 1975

    David Baltimore and Howard Temin (JAX summer students in 1952) are awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology for their discoveries concerning the interaction between tumor viruses and the genetic material of the cell.
  • 1975

    Earl Green retires, Doug Coleman appointed interim director. 2nd ed. of Biology reprinted.
  • 1975

    Monoclonal antibodies, G. J.F. Koehler, S. Milstein - Nobel Prize, 1984
  • 1975

    Morrell Park annex built.
  • 1976

    Antibody diversity, S. Tonegawa - Nobel Prize 1987
  • Richmond Prehn
  • 1976

    Richmond Prehn is appointed the third director of what is now the world's largest center of mammalian genetics research: 450 employees, 700,000 mice, $9 million budget.
  • 1976

    Rudolf Jaenisch, now at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), uses a virus to transfer DNA to mouse embryos, the first report of success in creating a transgenic mouse.
  • 1977

    DNA sequencing, W. Gibert, F. Sanger - Nobel Prize, 1980
  • 1978

    Comparative mapping, B. A. Taylor, J. H. Nadeau
  • 1978

    Construction begins on biomedical and research animal laboratories.
  • 1978

    Eva Eicher, Wesley Whitten, and Wesley Beamer publish a report on the BALB/c strain as the first animal model for some human sex chromosome abnormalities.
  • 1978

    François Bonhomme in France breeds two species, Mus spretus and Mus musculus, enabling geneticists to build the first comprehensive linkage map of the mouse genome. This makes the mouse a 'formidably efficient system for genome mapping,' notes mouse geneticist Phil Avner.
  • 1979

    National Ladies Committee formed, Jannecke Neilson.
  • 1979

    50th anniversary
  • 1979

    The Frozen Embryo Repository (today known as the Cryopreservation Resource) is established, directed by Larry Mobraaten.
  • 1979

    William Russell of Oak Ridge proves that the chemical ethylnitrosourea (ENU) is effective in generating mouse mutations. Oak Ridge and other labs that had been studying radiation effects begin producing ENU mutants.
  • 19791980

    Using microinjection to insert DNA into a mouse egg, six labs independently demonstrate that foreign DNA can be put into the mouse genome.
  • 1980

    The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1980: Baruj Benacerraf, Jean Dausset and George D. Snell, "for their discoveries concerning genetically determined structures on the cell surface that regulate immunological reactions"
  • 1980

    Adoption of PIV rodent caging system designed by Senior Staff Scientist Dr. Ed Les.
  • 1980

    Biomedical Research and Animal Research Laboratories are completed (Snell Wing).
  • 1980

    Charity Waymouth appointed interim director.
  • George Snell
  • 1980

    Dr. George D. Snell, Senior Staff Emeritus, accepts Nobel Prize for medicine.
  • 1980

    First transgenic. J. Gordon, F. Ruddle
  • 1981

    Barbara H. Sanford named new director.
  • 1981

    Martin Evans and Matt Kaufman in Cambridge, U.K., isolate mouse embryonic stem cells, which can develop into the full range of tissues.
  • 1982

    By inserting rat growth hormone gene into a mouse, R. D. Palmiter et al. create an extra-large transgenic mouse - and a media splash. The same year, U.S. officials loosen restrictions on DNA cloning in mammals, and the book Molecular Cloning: A Laboratory Manual ushers in the era of transgenics.
  • 1982

    End of rabbit research at Hamilton Station, property for sale.
  • 1983

    CORE Grant from National Cancer Institute. (JAX is the only mammalian laboratory so designated.)
  • 1983

    Genetic imprinting, J. McGrath and D. Solter
  • 1983

    PCR, K. B. Mullis - Nobel Prize, 1993
  • 1983

    SCID mutation, M. Bosma
  • 1983

    The SCID mouse, which lacks an immune system, is discovered and becomes a valuable tool for studying human tumors transplanted into mice.
  • 1984

    The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1984: Niels K. Jerne, Georges J.F. Köhler and César Milstein, "for theories concerning the specificity in development and control of the immune system and the discovery of the principle for production of monoclonal antibodies"
  • 1984

    Brian Sauer's introduction of the Cre-loxP system for temporal control of transgenic gene expression draws little attention at San Francisco meeting, but 5 years later causes quite a stir when he and DuPont obtain a patent on it.
  • 1984

    Joseph Nadeau and Ben Taylor's analysis of 83 genes in mice and humans indicates that the mouse genome is an extremely good model for the human genome - but with 150 rearrangements.
  • 1985

    First alumni reunion.
  • 1985

    FISH, D. M. Kranz, F. Ruddle, S. Tonegawa
  • 1985

    Harwell's Bruce Cattanach describes genetic imprinting in mice, an epigenetic phenomenon now known to occur in humans as well. Imprinted genes are differentially expressed in the offspring depending on the parental origin of the chromosome.
  • 1985

    Oral History Project by Susan Mehrtens.
  • 1986

    The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1986: Stanley Cohen and Rita Levi-Montalcini, "for their discoveries of growth factors"
  • 1986

    First gene targeting, M. R. Capecci, O. Smithies
  • 1987

    The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1987: Susumu Tonegawa, "for his discovery of the genetic principle for generation of antibody diversity"
  • 1987

    Mario Capecchi's team at the University of Utah describes a method for making knockout mice, as does Oliver Smithies's group at the University of Wisconsin.
  • 1988

    Frank Clark (first lab employee) dies.
  • 1988

    Harvard mouse patented.
  • 1989

    The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1989: J. Michael Bishop and Harold E. Varmus (Honorary Jackson Laboratory Trustee), "for their discovery of the cellular origin of retroviral oncogenes"
  • 1989

    Foundation Stocks building completed, to be dedicated to Elizabeth Russell and Margaret Dickie.
  • Ken Paigen
  • 1989

    Ken Paigen becomes new Director in May.
  • 1989

    May 10: Fire in mouse production facility (Morrell Park). 500,000 mice lost (1/4 of stock).
  • 1989

    Quantitative trait loci, E. S. Lander, D. Botstein
  • 1990

    Clean Process Facility opens.
  • 1990

    Mouse News Letter becomes a peer-reviewed journal, Mouse Genome, marking an increase in formality in the mouse community. In 1997, that journal is folded into Mammalian Genome.
  • 19902000

    A team, including JAX scientists, successfully transplants human immune system cells into the SCID (severe combined immune deficiency) mouse, generating an important new model for AIDS research.
  • Simon John
  • 19902000

    Dr. Simon John, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute assistant investigator at JAX, develops the first mouse models for glaucoma. He studies the physiological mechanisms involved in the disease, with the goal of developing new preventative measures and treatments.
  • 19902000

    Dr. Wayne Frankel identifies the gene that is defective in a new mouse model known as 'slow-wave epilepsy.' This is considered to be the most effective model yet for petit mal epilepsy in humans. His group also identifies the gene for the epilepsy mutation in mice known as 'stargazer' and reports that it produces a defect in a neuronal calcium channel that may play a key role in petit mal epilepsy.
  • 19902000

    Dr. Wesley Beamer and colleagues discover genetic variability in adult bone density among different kinds of mice. For the first time, researchers are able to use a range of new mouse models for osteoporosis research.
  • Patsy NIshina, Jurgen Nagger
  • 19902000

    Drs. Patsy Nishina and Jürgen Naggert, and researchers from Sequana Therapeutics, find a candidate gene for the tubby mutation in mice, providing a potentially important model for middle-age obesity in humans.
  • 1991

    Gene trapping, G. Friedrich, P. Soriano
  • 1991

    Publication of Encyclopedia of the Mouse Genome software.
  • 1992

    New Morrell Park opens.
  • 1992

    Researchers at MIT and at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston describe a knockout mouse lacking the p53 tumor-suppressor gene, an instant sensation among researchers.
  • 1992

    The U.S. District Court rules that mice, rats, and birds are not excluded from the Animal Welfare Act of 1971. Although the ruling has no immediate impact, activists are now arguing that the decision requires stricter controls on rodent use.
  • Ken Paigen
  • 1993

    North Research Building (NRB) completed.
  • 1993

    The NIH starts supporting a new repository to make genetically engineered mutant animals widely available to the research community. With molecular geneticist Harold Varmus at the helm, NIH takes even more notice of mice.
  • 1994

    JAX's Dr. John Sundberg collaborates with 2008 Nobel Laureate Harald zur Hausen in sequencing the dog oral papillomavirus. This virus and experiments designed by Dr. Sundberg provide the proof of concept for the recombinant human cervical cancer vaccine.
  • 1994

    SSLP, W. F. Dietrich, E. S. Lander
  • 1995

    Earl Green dies January 18, Margaret Green dies January 16.
  • 1995

    Mouse Genome Database, Jackson Laboratory
  • 1996

    The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1996: Peter C. Doherty and Rolf M. Zinkernagel, "for their discoveries concerning the specificity of the cell mediated immune defence"
  • 1996

    Chromosome painting, T. Ried
  • 1996

    George Snell and Ed Birkenmeier die.
  • 1996

    Eric Lander's group at MIT publishes a map of the mouse genome with more than 7000 markers.
  • 1996

    'Humanized' mice, P. T. Xu, J. R. Gilbert
  • 1996

    John Eppig publishes breakthrough research on the world's first mammals produced using primordial oocytes taken from newborn mice and grown and fertilized completely outside the body.
  • 1997

    The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1997: Stanley B. Prusiner, "for his discovery of Prions - a new biological principle of infection"
  • 1997

    Allen Salisbury and Marianna Cherry die.
  • 1997

    Merck Genome Research Institute funds the creation of 150 new mutant mouse types at Lexicon Genetics for restriction-free distribution to the basic research community.
  • 1998

    Cre-Lox, B. Sauer
  • 1998

    Doug Coleman elected to National Academy of Sciences.
  • 1998

    NIH Director Harold Varmus launches a Trans-NIH Mouse Initiative.
  • 1998

    Researchers in Munich, the United Kingdom, and later Australia, launch large-scale ENU mutagenesis projects to provide the research community with thousands of new mutants by 2001.
  • 1998

    Ryuzo Yanagimachi's team in Hawaii clones mice from somatic cells by using nuclear transfer and discovers how to freeze-dry sperm for future use. (JAX's Ken Johnson on paper.)
  • 1999

    Expression profiling, P. O. Brown
  • 1999

    In Japan, Yoshihide Hayashizaki's group determines the first set of full-length mouse complementary DNAs, 20,000 of which have been put on microarrays for analyses of gene expression. NIH eventually gains access to the full database for intramural scientists; others hope to do the same.
  • 1999

    The 40th anniversary of the Short Course closes with a major genetics symposium.
  • 1999

    Work begun on the Genetics Research Building (GRB).
  • 2000

    A $16.3-million, five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health provides funding for a major new research program at JAX to increase the number and availability of mouse models for human neurological diseases such as epilepsy, addiction, and neurodegenerative disorders. In addition to boosting research at the Laboratory, the program will provide scientists worldwide with unrestricted access to new resources.
  • 2000

    Consomic strains, J. H. Nadeau, E. S. Lander
  • 2000

    July: Genetics Research Buiulding (GRB) opened.
  • 2000

    Mouse genomics takes off.
  • 2000

    SNPs, K. Lindblad-Toh, E. S. Lander
  • 2000

    The National Institutes of Health awarded a four-year, $14-million grant to The Jackson Laboratory to establish a center for mouse models of heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders. The center has two key goals: (1) developing new models and databases for biomedical researchers worldwide, and (2) advancing the understanding of the genetic mechanisms underlying healthy function and diseases of the heart, lungs, and blood, as well as the physiology of sleep.
  • 2000

    The President of the United States announced completion of the 'rough draft' of the human genome - 30,000 genes.
  • 2001

    Elizabeth Shull Russell dies May 28.
  • 2001

    Genome sequenced, Mouse Genome Sequencing Consortium (including JAX scientists), Celera and C. Venter.
  • 2001

    Ken Paigen announces new research facilities expansion February 26.
  • 2001

    Tatyana Golovkina discovers that I/LnJ mice - first derived by L.C. Strong at JAX in 1926 - are impervious to mammary tumors caused by retrovirus infections.
  • 2002

    A draft of the mouse genome is published in Nature by the publicly supported Mouse Genome Sequencing Consortium, including Jackson scientists Carol Bult and Wayne Frankel.
  • 2002

    Rick Woychik named Director.
  • 2002

    Susan Ackerman and colleagues pinpoint the molecular basis for why a particular strain of mice is a useful model for late-onset neurodegenerative disease, suggesting an emerging hypothesis for Alzheimer's disease.
  • 2002

    The laboratories of Drs. Jürgen Naggert and Patsy Nishina announced the first human gene discovered at JAX. A mutation in the gene, ALMS1, causes Alström syndrome, a very rare condition. This discovery may open new pathways for understanding common human conditions including obesity and diabetes.
  • 2003

    David Serreze leads a team that develops a way to protect engrafted pancreatic beta cells in diabetic mice, opening the possibility of reversing type 1 diabetes without putting patients on immunosuppressive drugs.
  • 2004

    The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2004: Richard Axel and Linda B. Buck, "for their discoveries of odorant receptors and the organization of the olfactory system"
  • 2004

    Barbara Knowles and JAX colleagues shed light on the genetic events that help orchestrate changes at the earliest stages of life, when mammalian eggs are fertilized and become embryos.
  • 2004

    JAX staff reaches 1,301. FY05 budget is $130.1 million.
  • 2004

    JAX researchers led by Derry Roopenian identify a novel therapeutic target, FcRn, for treating autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • 2005

    Research in Beverly Paigen's lab led by Xiaosong Wang identifies gene that increases susceptibility to high-fat diet-induced atherosclerosis.
  • 2005

    Simon John and Douglas Gould discover a genetic link to porencephaly, a rare but devastating neurological condition in newborns that weakens blood vessels in the brain.
  • 2006

    Employing the unprecedented resolution of the 4Pi microscope, researchers led by Joerg Bewersdorf are able to visualize the initial cellular response—“first aid”—to DNA damage.
  • 2006

    Shaoguang Li and colleagues discover a reason why some patients do not respond well to Gleevec, a drug that has dramatically improved clinical treatment of many leukemias. Li also isolates leukemic stem cells in the mouse for the first time.
  • 2007

    The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2007: Mario R. Capecchi, Sir Martin J. Evans and Oliver Smithies, "for their discoveries of principles for introducing specific gene modifications in mice by the use of embryonic stem cells"
  • 2007

    Bo Chang collaborates with colleagues at the University of Florida to use gene therapy to restore sight in mice with achromatopsia, a form of hereditary blindness.
  • 2007

    David Serreze receives the Gerold and Kayla Grodsky Basic Research Scientist Award from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Dr. John Eppig receives the Pioneer in Reproduction Research Award from the Frontiers in Reproduction Research Program.
  • 2008

    The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2008: Harald zur Hausen, "for his discovery of human papilloma viruses causing cervical cancer"
  • George Szostak and Edison Liu
  • 2009

    The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2009: Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Carol W. Greider and Jack W. Szostak, "for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase"
  • 2009

    David Harrison leads a study that documents, for the first time, a drug (rapamycin) that leads to a longer life span in mammals.
  • 2009

    Douglas Coleman receives the Shaw Prize—the "Nobel of the East"—for his work with leptin.
  • 2010

    In research that could lead to new methods of male contraception as well as insights into male infertility, JAX Vice President for Research Bob Braun, Ph.D., and colleagues show that sperm precursor cells have several different paths to becoming sperm.
  • 2010

    JAX Associate Professors Kevin Mills, Ph.D., and Joel Graber, Ph.D., discover telltale variations in mRNA processing—the cell’s protein-building function—that correspond to cancer. The team show that they can distinguish among similar tumor subtypes with at least 74 percent accuracy, a dramatic increase over current molecular cancer diagnostics.
  • 2010

    Researchers including Jackson Professor Leonard Shultz, Ph.D. announce the first mouse model for typhoid fever. The model will allow researchers to study typhoid fever and to develop new treatments and vaccines to battle this serious threat to health in the developing world.
  • 2011

    The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2011: Bruce A. Beutler and Jules A. Hoffmann, "for their discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity"; Ralph M. Steinman, "for his discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity"
  • 2011

    A research team led by JAX Professor and Howard Hughes Medical Investigator Simon John, Ph.D., design an analysis technique that detects early stages of glaucoma in mice, and successfully block the disease by targeting some of the molecular events in those early stages.
  • 2012

    A JAX research team led by Professor and Howard Hughes Medical Investigator Susan Ackerman, Ph.D., discovers a defect in the RNA splicing process in neurons that may contribute to neurological disease.
  • 2012

    JAX researchers led by Professor John Eppig, Ph.D., find a gene that controls multiple processes essential to building a viable mammalian egg, making it a master regulator of egg development.
  • 2012

    Probing human genomic data with a variety of computational tools—including some borrowed from social media networks—JAX Professor Yijun Ruan, Ph.D., and colleagues discover that interactions vital to transcriptional regulation are organized in a large-scale, three-dimensional network.
  • 2013

    A research team led by JAX Professor David Harrison, Ph.D., report that acarbose, a drug that is frequently prescribed in Europe for type 2 diabetes, extends the lifespan of mice, with male mice showing a more pronounced effect than the females.
  • 2013

    A research team led by National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins, M.D,, Ph.D., and including JAX Assistant Professor Michael Stitzel, Ph.D., publish a report on the important role of "stretch enhancers"—long genomic sequences that act as a kind of rheostat to amp up gene expression levels—in coordinating cell type-specific regulatory programs.
  • 2013

    JAX Associate Professor Kevin Mills and colleagues identify a molecule that prevents repair of some cancer cells, providing a potential new "genetic chemotherapy" approach to cancer treatment that could significantly reduce side effects and the development of treatment resistance compared with traditional chemotherapy.
  • 2013

    JAX researchers led by Assistant Professor Gareth Howell use gene profiling for the first time to detect early brain changes in the hypothalamus and early changes to insulin signaling in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • 2014

    A research team led by JAX Professor and Howard Hughes Investigator Susan Ackerman, Ph.D., pinpoint a surprising mechanism behind neurodegeneration in mice, one that involves a defect in a key component of the cellular machinery that makes proteins, known as transfer RNA or tRNA.
  • 2014

    Krishnakumar Kizhatil, Ph.D., an associate research scientist in the laboratory of Simon W.M. John, and colleagues report on an exhaustive exploration of an eye structure known as Schlemm’s canal, a key gatekeeper for the proper flow of eye fluid, presenting a number of insights relevant to glaucoma and other diseases.
  • 2014

    A JAX research team led by Professor Lenny Shultz, Ph.D., report that a protein, iRhom2, involved in wound healing and tumor growth could be a potential therapeutic target. By introducing mutations in Rhbdf2, the gene that encodes the iRhom2 protein, the researchers extend the protein’s duration and wound-healing power.
  • 2016

    National Institute on Aging makes $25 million grant to The Jackson Laboratory and Indiana University to create a new Alzheimer's Disease Center.
  • Dendritic cell and T cell
  • 2017

    Two subsets of dendritic cells work together to activate T cells against a virus, reports a research team led by JAX Professor Karolina Palucka
  • Candy diagram
  • 2017

    A JAX-led research team detects gene expression patterns distinct from those of the surrounding immune cells, and characterizes the effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
  • Word art of multiple sclerosis in DNA strand
  • 2017

    Research by Yanjiao Zhou will explore microbiome mechanisms leading to MS and preventive potential of intermittent fasting.
  • JAX Assistant Professor Duygu Ucar, Ph.D>
  • 2017

    Research by Duygu Ucar will explore why our immune system deteriorates as we age.
  • JAX Assistant Professor Zhengqing Ouyang, Ph.D.
  • 2017

    Zhengqing Ouyang will analyze role of RNA structure in neurological disorders, cancer and other diseases.
  • Ryan Tewhey
  • 2017

    New JAX assistant professor Ryan Tewhey, PhD., explores genetic variants that affect gene regulation.
  • JAX Assistant Professor Catherine Kaczorowski, Ph.D.
  • 2017

    Catherine Kaczorowski will use National Institute on Aging funding to seek targets for treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Cancer researcher Roel Verhaak, The Jackson Laboratory
  • 2017

    Professor Roel Verhaak, Ph.D., is focused on the analysis of cancer genomics data to improve our understanding of cancer biology.