The Jackson Laboratory Cancer Center Bar Harbor, Maine
The Jackson Laboratory was started in 1929 and in 1983 it was designated as an NCI cancer center. The Jackson Laboratory Cancer Center (JLCC) conducts basic research using the mouse as a research tool since mice and humans share 95 percent of the same genes and basic physiology.
The Lab’s mission is to discover the genetic basis for pre-venting, treating, and curing human disease, and to enable broader research in the global biomedical community. To accomplish this mission, JLCC conducts genetic research, provides scientific services and genetic resources to laboratories around the world, and educates students through courses, internships, and other programs. Examples of scientific services include techniques, software, and data for scientists in other laboratories. The Lab also breeds and manages colonies of mice to supply other research institutions and laboratories.
The work of JLCC is grounded in the genomics and basic biology of the mouse. Using mouse models, the Lab develops preclinical models for human cancers as a proving ground for target identification and validation. These models permit sophisticated genetic manipulation in the context of defined genetic backgrounds, thus reproducing molecular aberrations associated with human tumors. The construction of these mouse models is informed both by clinical research that identifies critical features of human cancers and by the biology and genetics of the mouse.
The Lab has a single, overriding research program: modeling cancer from stem cells to therapy. Some researchers work on stem/progenitor cells, focusing on aspects of genome organization, cell nuclear architecture, and nuclear reprogramming, genome instability and programmed cell death in normal and transitional cells. Additional research investigates mechanisms involved in disease progression and host response, such as angiogenesis, immune recognition, metabolic regulators, and processes of aging. Further research involves targeting signal transduction pathways, bone marrow transplantation, and complications of cancer and therapy that become health issues for survivors, such as bone loss, reproductive failure, and anemia.
JLCC scientists are pursuing two major research themes. One is to understand how the genome is organized and functions to direct cancer susceptibility and progression. The second theme is to identify and learn how to disrupt molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlie cancer initiation and progression.
As part of the international cancer research effort, scientists at the Lab participate in numerous projects and consortia, such as the Gene Ontology Consortium, the Mouse Phenome Project, the Complex Traits Consortium, and others. JLCC’s basic research results in new mouse models for human cancer research that are made widely available to the scientific community.
* This cancer center is one of seven cancer centers that only conduct laboratory research and do not provide patient care.
* This profile was provided by the Jackson Laboratory Cancer Center.