The JAX Cancer Center (JAXCC) is a National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center complemented by institutional education, resource and service initiatives that support cancer research worldwide. The Cancer Center is dedicated to discovering precise genomic solutions for cancer by making basic discoveries with human impact.
The JAX Center for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Research focuses on the origins, progression, and treatments of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias using the mouse as a model organism. The JAX AD center aims to develop an integrated approach to studying AD that includes multi-scale comparative analyses, innovative technologies, broad experimental designs and expanded clinical study frameworks.
The Center for Addiction Biology aims to identify the biological relationships between the stages and patterns of addiction and behaviors that predict drug abuse. To uncover these relationships, JAX utilizes advanced mouse genetic tools that enable holistic study of genes, biological molecules and behaviors.
The JAX Center for Aging Research focuses JAX’s diverse expertise in biology and genomics on the problems and disorders associated with aging, employing a systems-wide approach to understand the aging processes.
The JAX Center for Precision Genetics (JCPG) works to extend the use of cutting-edge technologies and expertise to develop and disseminate new, precise animal models for genetically complex human diseases. The models incorporated into the program test therapeutics and their translation to the clinic, providing a complete preclinical program within the Center.
By definition, a rare and orphan disease is one that affects fewer than 200,000 individuals in the United States. Due to the small population afflicted by any one illness, funding to investigate causes and treatments tends to be limited, slowing the discovery of potential therapies. 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 for rare diseases.
The Roux Family Center for Genomics and Computational Biology enables scientists to harness the full power of innovative genomic technologies and computational strategies, using them to analyze the human genome and discover new and better ways of preventing and treating disease.
The Drs. Ken and Bev Paigen Endowment was created to honor Kenneth ‘Ken’ Paigen (1927-2020) and Beverly ‘Bev’ Paigen (1938-2020) who served as the director (the role now designated president and CEO) from 1989 to 2003 and professor of JAX from 1989 to 2020, respectively. The Paigen Endowment benefits the Laboratory’s postdoctoral program, specifically the Paigen Endowed Fellows.
The Charles E. Hewett, Ph.D., Leadership Excellence Endowment was established in 2018 by Charles E. Hewett, Ph.D., JAX Trustee and former executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Laboratory, and his wife Jackie. The fund provides a biennial lecture on non-profit leadership and supports development programs to promote a culture of opportunity, support, and collaboration at JAX.
The Employee Crisis Support Endowment Fund provides financial assistance to eligible JAX employees who experience a financial hardship due to an emergency situation beyond their control (examples include, but are not limited to, uninsured medical expenses caused by severe illness or accident; uninsured expenses incurred by the death of the employee’s immediate family member; or uninsured losses for damage to an employee’s primary residence caused by fire, crime, flood, or other disaster).
The Jackson Laboratory provides exceptional opportunities for research and training in a unique scientific environment through its postbacc, Ph.D. and postdoctoral programs. Postbaccs undertake an independent research project under the guidance of one of JAX's outstanding scientists.
The Jackson Laboratory provides exceptional opportunities for research and training in a unique scientific environment through its postbacc, Ph.D. and postdoctoral programs. Postdoctoral associates conduct cutting-edge research on the complex diseases impacting human health.
The President’s Fund allows the Laboratory’s president and CEO to deploy philanthropy where most needed in support of the JAX mission and scientific discovery. The president and CEO is responsible for the Laboratory’s global vision, strategic direction, research and operations. Internationally recognized human geneticist and demonstrated leader in academic, pharma and biotech research, Lon Cardon, Ph.D., FMedSci, joined The Jackson Laboratory as president and chief executive officer in November 2021. Previously, he was chief scientific officer and chief scientific strategy officer at BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc., a rare disease biotechnology company, where he led a strategic repositioning from ultra-rare genetic diseases to broader genetic disorders between 2017 and 2021. Read more about Cardon here.
The Director’s Innovation Fund provides crucial seed money for novel and creative research ideas for JAX scientists willing to take risks and explore new directions. It affords JAX researchers the time and resources to rigorously explore and test their concepts. This approach empowers them to advance their most ambitious and innovative research projects to the point that they show sufficient proof-of-concept, progress to generate data for publication or external funding applications. These activities have directly led to the launch of large-scale projects at JAX which can then be supported by the NIH and other external sources for funding.
JAX education programs range from high school summer programs, like the flagship Summer Student Program, to postbacc and postdoc programs. JAX education programs are focused on continuing education for scientists, students and teachers and programs for the general public about the unfolding promise of genetics and genomics.
The Summer Student Program is designed for students who want to immerse themselves in genetics and genomics research. It emphasizes laboratory discovery, communication of knowledge, and professional growth. Students participate in an ongoing research program with the support of an experienced scientific mentor. They develop an independent project, implement their plan, analyze the data, and report the results. At the end of the summer, they present their findings to researchers, other students, and parents.
Using specialized mouse models and the latest technology, JAX scientists are working to curb one of the most common chronic diseases affecting people worldwide: diabetes. The term “diabetes” actually covers two very different diseases, categorized as type 1 and type 2. Both types involve insufficient levels of the hormone insulin, which the body uses to transport glucose into cells, where it serves as the primary energy source. Lack of insulin results in too much glucose in the blood, which has a long list of negative consequences, including stroke, heart disease and damage to organs. JAX scientists are working to extend healthy life spans by manipulating genes that may block diabetes from developing.
The services and collections of the Joan Staats Library support The Jackson Laboratory's mission to discover precise genomic solutions for disease and empower the global biomedical community in the shared quest to improve human health. Nearly 5,600 electronic journal titles, 80 print journal titles and a book collection of more than 4,000 volumes comprise the collection, while the Reprint Collection numbers over 46,000 journal articles.
The Maine Cancer Genomics Initiative (MCGI) is an alliance of Maine oncology providers, led by JAX, aimed at making precision medicine, innovative clinical trials, access to targeted therapies and novel technology available for cancer patients throughout Maine.
We depend on a vast army of microbes to stay alive: a microbiome that protects us against germs, breaks down food to release energy, and produces vitamins. Disruptions of the microbial ecosystem are linked with human diseases including autoimmune diseases, inflammatory disorders, and obesity. JAX research is revealing the powers of our own microbes, from those located in our stomachs to those on our skin,to fundamentally change our understanding of diseases of all kinds.
At JAX, our mission is to discover precise genomic solutions for disease and empower the global biomedical community in our shared quest to improve human health. Our faculty collaborate to integrate mouse genetics and human genomics to understand the underlying causes of human health and disease. The result is a multi-disciplinary, impactful research program that provides a broad scope for inquiry and catalyzes discovery across the spectrum of basic, translational and preclinical research.
Glaucoma research at JAX focuses on the connections between Alzheimer's disease and glaucoma – treating the eye as a window to the brain. JAX scientists are particularly interested in blood vessel health in the brain and hypothesize that in Alzheimer's, retinal vessels may decline in a similar fashion to brain vessels. If proven, it would allow researchers to use retinal vessel health as a proxy for brain vessel health to identify those at risk of Alzheimer's disease before dementia-like symptoms develop.
The JAX Endowment for Diversity Initiatives aims to ensure that individuals across the organization—trainees, faculty, researchers and staff—feel valued, included and empowered to do their best work. The endowment supports programming to foster a culture of inclusivity at JAX and to build a diverse scientific community through specialized mentorship for trainees from groups that are underrepresented in science.
If you would like to give to another area of research at the Laboratory, please write your desired designation in the “other designation” box on the giving form. We thank you in advance for your support of our mission.