MRC Harwell is at the international forefront of the use of mouse genetics to study the relationship between genes and disease. The models we create and study are used to understand the disease processes that occur when a gene goes wrong.

Sex reversal defect explained

Expression of the gene Map3k4 has rescued testes development in mice with a type of sex reversal, demonstrating the important role this gene plays in directing the development of the gonads.
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Syndrome’s genetic cause identified

A new intellectual disability syndrome has been described in patients. Using a mouse with remarkably similar characteristics, researchers now reveal how mutations in the β-catenin gene could cause it.
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IMPC virtues noted by Nature

MRC Harwell is part of the IMPC, a project to create a comprehensive catalogue of mammalian gene function – now a new Nature editorial explains why it’s so important.
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Studying mouse embryo development

We are using advanced 3D imaging techniques to track the changes that occur during mouse development and create a 3D 'atlas' of the embryo.
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Atmin critical for normal kidney development

Collaborative research between colleagues at Imperial College London and MRC Harwell into mice with a mutation in Atmin has shown how this gene plays and essential role in the early stages of kidney development.
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    MRC Harwell conducts research into numerous aspects of mouse genetics, from development to ageing. It is part of the International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium (IMPC), a large-scale collaborative effort to attach a phenotype to knockout mice for every gene in the genome.


    Our excellent facilities and extensive expertise in mouse functional genomics enable us to provide a multitude of services for the scientific community, including specialised techniques, mouse lines and genetic archives. All information gathered is made freely available on MouseBook.


    Training courses run throughout the year, on a set date and ad hoc basis. These are designed to equip participants with the skills required to breed, raise and study mutant and knockout mice, as well as provide instruction on specific techniques routinely used at MRC Harwell.

    News and Events

    In tribute to the eminent geneticist Mary Lyon and her role in developing the theory of X chromosome inactivation, a process implicated in disease inheritance, 100 researchers from nine countries attended a scientific meeting hosted by the Royal Society.
    Scientists at the MRC Harwell Institute and a team spanning eight different centres across the world have collaborated in an effort to identify and decipher the function of genes that are essential for life.
    In the first ever study of its size, scientists at the MRC Harwell Institute, led by Paul Potter, have conducted a large-scale genetic screen in mice to discover genes involved in age-related disease. The findings so far have been published in Nature Comm

    Mouse welfare

    Good mouse welfare is essential for good science. We strive to deliver both. Find out how on our mouse welfare page.


    This programme is targeted at the high throughput delivery of publically accessible mouse lines which will advance our knowledge of human disease and/or be of widespread use in biomedical science.

    To apply or find out more click here.

    The MRC Mouse Network is a forum for UK scientists to engage with the IMPC, an international program to determine the function of  every gene in the mouse genome.

    The MouseBook database provides free access to data from our ageing screen, imprinting genes and other resources. Search for a gene or phenotype to discover more about our lines and place an order.