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History and Development of the Mouse Model System


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Full course description

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MiniCourse Overview

This MiniCourse is self-paced and takes 3 to 5 hours to complete. At the end of this MiniCourse you will have examined the historical context that led to the mouse becoming the preeminent animal model system. You will receive a certificate and digital badge for completing the MiniCourse. In order to claim a certificate or badge for this MiniCourse, you must go through the Core Content module and take the self-review quiz (scoring at least 70%).

The following topics will be discussed:

  • Phylogenetic history of Mus and laboratory strains
  • Classical 19th century genetics
  • The Jackson Laboratory and the inbred mouse
  • Landmark classical experiments in mouse genetics
  • Latest genetic and genomic research discoveries

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the MiniCourse, you will be able to:

  1. Examine the Mus species complex through phylogenetic data
  2. Describe the history of the inbred mouse model system
  3. Identify the instrumental mouse genetic discoveries that helped build the array of resources and tools available for using mice for biomedical research, i.e., the biomedical tool box
  4. Identify instrumental mouse genetic discoveries made during the Molecular Revolution
  5. Outline the advent of knockout (KO), transgenic (Tg), and knockin (KI) model systems, as well as the underlying technologies and potential applications
  6. Identify the latest tools and technologies of the genomic era such as SNP arrays and high throughput sequencing
  7. Point out advances leading to Collaborative Cross (CC), Diversity Outbred (DO), and Patient Derived Xenograft (PDX) mouse models
  8. Appraise readings with historical perspectives on mouse genetics (optional)


Target Audience

This MiniCourse is designed to meet the needs of graduate and post-doctoral students, research assistants, advanced undergraduate students, and advanced animal care technicians.

About our Education Offerings

Founded in 1929, The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institution with more than 2,300 employees who are passionate about our mission: to discover precise genomic solutions for disease and to empower the global biomedical community in the shared quest to improve human health.

While we are not an accredited higher education institution, we offer a variety of education programs — including our non-credit bearing MiniCourses — designed to educate current and future scientists and to provide critical resources, data, tools and services to researchers worldwide.

MiniCourses are created and reviewed by multiple JAX faculty, scientists, educators and other experts, and include interactive content based on the live lectures delivered in our on-campus Courses, Conferences and Workshops.

MiniCourses are available to learners individually and in topical program collections, which are organized around both foundational content and the research areas in which The Jackson Laboratory has earned a reputation for scientific leadership and excellence.

Hardware and Software Requirements

  • Audio speakers or headphones
  • Screen resolution of 800X600 or higher
  • Adobe Reader 5.0 or higher
  • JavaScript enabled
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 2GHz processor

Check the basic computer specifications and supported browsers

Should you have questions regarding the content of the MiniCourse or if you need technical support, please email Online and Digital Education at The Jackson Laboratory.