Lab milestones


  • The Laboratory is one of 10 founding members of The New York Genome Center, providing access to DNA sequencing capabilities and expertise.
  • John Eppig, a pioneer in developmental and reproductive biology, is elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences.
  • The Laboratory appoints Edison Liu, M.D., an international leader in cancer biology, genomics, human genetics and epidemiology, as its president and CEO.
  • The Jackson Laboratory is voted one of the top 15 "Best Places to Work in Academia" in the United States in a poll conducted by The Scientist magazine.


    Douglas Coleman wins the Lasker Award, "America's Nobel," for his diabetes and obesity research.


  • Douglas Coleman receives the Shaw Prize—the "Nobel of the East"—for his work with leptin, an enzyme that controls appetite and is involved in obesity and type 2 diabetes.
  • JAX—West expands into a new, larger facility in Sacramento, Calif. Its payroll exceeds 100 employees.
  • David Harrison leads a study that documents, for the first time, a drug (rapamycin) that leads to a longer life span in mammals.


  • David Serreze receives the Gerold & Kayla Grodsky Basic Research Scientist Award from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Dr. John Eppig receives the Pioneer in Reproduction Research Award from the Frontiers in Reproduction Research Program.
  • Bo Chang collaborates with colleagues at the University of Florida to use gene therapy to restore sight in mice with achromatopsia, a form of hereditary blindness.


2006: Shaoguang Li and colleagues discover a reason why some patients do not respond well to Gleevec, a drug that has dramatically improved clinical treatment of many leukemias. Li also isolates leukemic stem cells in the mouse for the first time.


  • Simon John and Douglas Gould discover a genetic link to porencephaly, a rare but devastating neurological condition in newborns that weakens blood vessels in the brain.
  • Research in Beverly Paigen’s lab led by Xiaosong Wang identifies gene that increases susceptibility to high-fat diet-induced atherosclerosis.


  • Jackson researchers led by Derry Roopenian identify a novel therapeutic target, FcRn, for treating autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Barbara Knowles and Jackson Laboratory colleagues shed light on the genetic events that help orchestrate changes at the earliest stages of life, when mammalian eggs are fertilized and become embryos.


David Serreze leads a team that develops a way to protect engrafted pancreatic beta cells in diabetic mice, opening the possibility of reversing type 1 diabetes without putting patients on immunosuppressive drugs.


  • The laboratories of Jürgen Naggert and Patsy Nishina announce the first human gene discovered at The Jackson Laboratory. A mutation in the gene causes Alström syndrome, a very rare condition but with implications for understanding common human conditions including obesity and diabetes.
  • Susan Ackerman and colleagues pinpointed the molecular basis for why a particular strain of mice is a useful model for late-onset neurodegenerative disease, suggesting an emerging hypothesis for Alzheimer's disease.


The Jackson Laboratory—West is established in Sacramento to better serve the large West Coast biomedical research market.


John Eppig publishes breakthrough research on the world's first mammals produced using primordial oocytes taken from newborn mice and grown and fertilized completely outside the body.


With colleagues at Johns Hopkins, Muriel Davisson publishes findings on the Down syndrome mouse model she developed.


  • A team led by Dr. Leonard Shultz successfully transplants human immune system cells into the scid (severe combined immune deficiency) mouse, generating an important new model for AIDS research.
  • Simon John develops the first mouse models for glaucoma.


Joseph Nadeau and Ben Taylor's analysis of 83 genes in mice and humans indicates that the mouse genome is an extremely good model for the human genome—but with 150 rearrangements.


The National Cancer Institute designates The Jackson Laboratory as a Cancer Center.


George D. Snell, Senior Staff Scientist Emeritus, accepts the Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology for the discovery of the major histocompatibility complex, paving the way for organ and tissue transplantation.


Douglas Coleman initiates a series of landmark experiments that reveal a genetic basis for obesity and type 2 diabetes.


The official name of the institution changes to The Jackson Laboratory.


  • The Laboratory helps conduct the first Medical Genetics Short Course for scientists, physicians and students.
  • Jackson's Elizabeth Russell pioneers the use of bone marrow transplantation to cure a blood disorder in a mouse.


Leroy Stevens discovers stem cells in cancer tumors, laying the groundwork for modern-day research in stem cell biology.


A fire destroys most of the Jackson Memorial Laboratory. The global science community rallies to rebuild the Laboratory one year later.


The first successful transfer of fertilized ova is achieved by Elizabeth Fekete.


The Jackson Laboratory hosts its first summer students.


Clarence Cook Little ends his term as president of the University of Michigan and founds the Roscoe B. Jackson Memorial Laboratory in Bar Harbor. Support came from Detroit industrialists such as Edsel Ford and Jackson, president of the Hudson Motorcar Company, with land donated by family friend George B. Dorr.


The Jackson Laboratory main site
Subscribe to e-news