Blog Post May 18, 2020

Ready, Set, Go! Maintaining Research Continuity post-COVID-19

Ready, Set, Go!

Like a race car revving, its engine at the starting line, many researchers are eager to get back into the race for discoveries while adapting to their “new normal.” As there is a sense of maintaining research continuity, scientists may be picking up where they left off, investigating new research questions, or exploring new directions for their research. This brings up a vital aspect of research: what options are available to set you up for success and get back in the race as quickly as possible?

Start to plan, plan, plan

An essential part of any study or research project, especially when it involves animal models, is to plan. As part of any study plan, it is an excellent idea to cryopreserve unique strains you’re using. Cryopreservation protects valuable strains from unforeseen circumstances, as well as from genetic drift. For researchers unable to go into the lab or experiencing some downtime, it’s also an excellent time to learn about which mouse models would be optimal to use in your study, such as emerging models or reevaluating your currently used models. Networking with colleagues or deep-diving into scientific research are great ways to find out more about various models available and which would be most optimal for your specific research goals.

Get Support

As you start to review potential models, JAX Technical Information Scientists are available to help answer specific questions about the model you are considering or help you find what model could work for you based on your research question. Most people are aware of JAX as a mouse provider, with over 11,000 strains in the portfolio all readily available either as live colonies or cryopreserved. Furthermore, if your facility isn’t prepared to accept delivery of mice just yet, you can place an order and have it put on hold for when you are ready for the delivery. That way, JAX can generate a study-ready cohort by breeding for you, or get a cross between two strains started for you, so you can ensure your projects get back on track when you are ready.

A great example of the breeding capabilities at JAX is with our newly imported hACE2 model. When COVID-19 virus became prevalent in China, our JAX team in China scoured the literature and found the hACE2 mouse model, which may show great promise in COVID-19 research, as it was designed for testing on other coronaviruses. The team at JAX did what they do best: they quickly began working on building a colony that would meet the high demand of researchers worldwide. And now, we anticipate that study-ready cohorts of this model will be available in June to researchers (visit the JAX hACE2 mouse page to learn more).

Keep timelines in mind

Don’t forget that it can take 13 weeks, on average, to generate a few breeding pairs if you:

  • cryopreserve your strain and need have breeders or study-ready cohorts sent back, or,
  • if you decide to use a model that JAX has cryopreserved.

If you choose either of the above scenarios, the model will need to undergo a re-derivation process. Many mouse providers, like JAX, work on a first-come, first-serve basis, so it’s prudent to place an order for those mice so that they are ready when you are.

Get Set and Go!

If you’re thinking about your preclinical research milestones and find your research halted due to the current pandemic, one way to keep them on track is through JAX preclinical in vivo services. JAX study directors will work with you to design an appropriate study that will answer your unique questions and get you accurate data.

Summary

Unforeseen circumstances can always occur, from natural disasters to personal circumstances that prevent you from getting into the lab. Planning for losses, including cryopreservation and the ability to ramp up colonies quickly, can be set up to mitigate unforeseen events. Rest assured that JAX is here to help support your research projects with options to set you up for success.

Visit the JAX Research continuity page, as well as our Livestream event, to learn more.

Recommended Resources

JAX Research continuity page

JAX Livestream

JAX Cryopreservation page

Breeding and Derivation Services

Blog: Disaster Proofing Your Knowledge House: Tips to prepare your in vivo research for the worst