Our Research Focus

By definition, a rare and orphan disease is one that affects fewer than 200,000 individuals in the United States. Because of the small population afflicted by any one illness, funding to investigate causes and treatments tends to be limited, slowing the discovery of potential therapies. Yet with over 7,000 recognized rare diseases, an estimated 350 million people worldwide are affected at any given time.

The Rare and Orphan Disease Center brings together global mouse resources and the expertise of scientists at the Jackson Laboratory for a start-to-finish approach to model development.  A cure for any disease will not happen without concerted effort from people around the world. We partner with foundations, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, and other scientists worldwide to facilitate research into treatments of these less common diseases. 


  • Model Research: The Rare and Orphan Disease Center at The Jackson Laboratory

    The Jackson Laboratory works with foundations and scientists from around the world to facilitate research into treatments of rare and orphan diseases.

  • Building preclinical models

    We engineer new models and enhance existing models through genetic standardization and characterization to ensure reproducibility of data across labs over time.