Trans-NIH Mouse Initiative
* NIH Statement on Sharing and Distributing Mouse Resources


I. NIH Statement on Sharing and Distributing Mouse Resources

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) supports and encourages the timely sharing and distribution of mouse resources generated using NIH funding so that other researchers can benefit from these resources. Sharing and distributing mouse resources promotes many goals of the NIH research endeavor, allowing scientists to expedite the translation of research results into knowledge, products, and procedures to improve human health. This statement applies to NIH intramural investigators as well as to extramural scientists funded by extramural grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts.

The term "mouse resources" includes genetically modified mice, inbred mouse strains, mutagenesis protocols, as well as DNA vectors and murine embryonic stem cells used in the production of knockout mice. Genetically modified mice are mice in which mutations have been induced by chemicals, irradiation, and transgenesis (e.g., knockouts and injection of DNA into blastocysts), in addition to mice that have had spontaneously occurring mutations.

There are many reasons to share mouse resources generated using NIH funds. Sharing reinforces open scientific inquiry, encourages diversity of analysis and opinion, promotes research, and allows testing of new or alternative methods for analysis and replication of results. Sharing enables the exploration of topics not envisioned by the initial investigators. By avoiding the duplication of very expensive efforts to generate mouse models with genetic changes, the NIH is able to support more investigators than it could do if these useful mouse models had to be generated in duplicate by more than one NIH grant applicant.

There are two ways to make genetically modified mouse strains available to the research community after publication in a peer-reviewed journal. The investigator can respond to requests from other laboratories to provide access to a genetically modified mouse strain. Alternatively, the mouse strain can be placed in a mutant mouse repository, such as those maintained by The Jackson Laboratory ( or the Mutant Mouse Regional Resource Centers (MMRRC) supported by the National Center for Research Resources (

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