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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    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

    Collaborative research between colleagues at Imperial College London and MRC Harwell into mice with a mutation in Atmin has shown how this gene plays an essential role in the early stages of kidney development.
    On 17 July 2014, MRC Harwell hosted the training course 'Bioinformatics of Mouse Mutant Resources', which proved to be a great success.
    The Mary Lyon Centre’s tenth year was celebrated by staff on the 3rd July with tea, cakes and cricket. Staff from MRC Harwell sat, chatted and enjoyed the sun with cake and drinks before getting kitted up for cricket.

    Mouse welfare

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


    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.