Blog Post February 25, 2014

JAX, UC Davis partner on shared research infrastructure education initiatives

Sacramento, Calif. – The Jackson Laboratory and UC Davis are expanding their 15-year collaboration to provide mutual support in research infrastructure and educational programs.

The new agreement will enable UC Davis to fully utilize The Jackson Laboratory’s Sacramento-based infrastructure to reduce long-term capital and operating expenses to the University, while providing flexibility to the UC Davis investigators and administration in pursuit of their research results.

“This new memorandum of understanding between JAX and UC Davis not only stretches research dollars through collaboration, but also enables two nonprofit organizations with similar missions to recruit world-class scientists and contribute to the Sacramento region’s life sciences momentum,” said Auro Nair, Ph.D., general manager of JAX clinical and research services. “UC Davis has been a key ally over the last decade as we grew from 50 employees in 2008 to nearly 200 employees at our Sacramento facility.”

Harris Lewin, Ph.D., UC Davis vice chancellor of research, said, “As UC Davis grows to meet its strategic imperatives, The Jackson Laboratory’s world-class mouse infrastructure and scale in Sacramento can provide a measure of capital and operating flexibility for the University, which should result in more innovative, efficient and scientifically substantive collaborations in the future.”

Under a new memorandum of understanding, the institutions will launch several new initiatives in the coming year:

Research Mouse Importation Program

UC Davis intends to recruit hundreds of new researchers over the next decade. JAX will assist newly recruited UC Davis investigators by picking up their mouse colonies at their previous institution, establishing new breeding colonies to meet stringent JAX health standards and then delivering the mice to UC Davis (or holding them at JAX if space is not yet available on the UC Davis campus). This initiative will enable the new investigators to resume their research programs as soon as they arrive on campus, in many cases accelerating their scientific contributions by several months. This strategy also will reduce the level of new capital projects required by the University in an era of tight fiscal constraint.

Educational programs

JAX will design and run on-site seminars for proper selection of research models in areas of special interest to UC Davis researchers. UC Davis students, faculty and staff will continue to have access to JAX’s courses, conferences and other educational programs.

Research Infrastructure: Both institutions hope to reduce costs by sharing mouse-based core services, such as UC Davis strong imaging capabilities and JAX’s production-scale mouse cryopreservation facilities.

The JAX-UC Davis relationship goes back to 1999, when JAX established a small research animal facility on the UC Davis campus to expand the university’s then-new mouse biology program. In the following years, JAX established a mouse-production facility in West Sacramento and moved to larger space in Sacramento in 2009.

Today the two institutions’ collaborations include scientific and clinical research on primary cancer tumor xenografts, collaborations among individual scientists, and projects related to the National Institutes of Health Knockout Mouse Project (known as KOMP).

The Jackson Laboratory is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institution and National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center based in Bar Harbor, Maine, with a facility in Sacramento, Calif., and a new Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine institute in Farmington, Conn.