Mary Lyon Centre at MRC Harwell

From Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s through to diabetes and hearing loss, MRC Harwell helps the scientific community to better understand, diagnose and treat human diseases and degenerative conditions. MRC Harwell is a world-leader in the use of mammalian modelling to study genetics and human health.

What is it?

The Mary Lyon Centre is an internationally-renowned centre at the forefront of the generation and use of mouse models for the study of human disease and part of the UK Medical Research Council (MRC). The world-class mouse facility, the Mary Lyon Centre (MLC), offers a range of mouse services to support researchers with generation and characterisation of mouse models of disease and archiving and distribution of existing models. It is also home to the Advance Training Centre, offering practical and theoretical training courses and fully-equipped labs and training rooms for hire.

The Mary Lyon Centre is working to improve our understanding of human disease through the study of mouse models and providing services to scientists around the world working on related challenges. These services include mouse model generation through the use of CRISPR, microinjection of mutated ES cells into blastocysts, and transgene delivery, characterisation of mouse models, archiving, and distribution. Breeding mice as part of scientific programmes allows researchers to not only explore the function of single genes but also more complex systems and diseases caused by the interaction of multiple genes. Many human diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, are caused by the interplay of hundreds of genes, so such experiments are vital.

The Mary Lyon Centre adheres to the highest welfare standards and is proactively committed to implementing the 3Rs – the refinement, reduction, and replacement of the use of animals in research.. Our objective is to deliver knowledge that will hopefully benefit the lives of people in future, but we do so with an awareness that we have commitments to the animals in our care, and commitments to both minimising their pain and suffering and to improving their welfare.

The Mary Lyon Centre will act as the hub in the new National Mouse Genetics Network, distributing mouse generation and modelling services to challenge-led research clusters across the UK.

MRC Harwell is also home to Advance, a newly designed training centre purpose-built to deliver our world-class practical and theoretical training courses. Our laboratories and training rooms are also available to hire.

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