NIH-Funded Study at UT Austin Opens New Doors for Neuropathic Pain Treatment with MMRRC Models.

In a significant development, researchers at the University of Texas at Austin, supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), have identified a promising new approach to treating neuropathic pain. Highlighted by the NIH's new director, Dr. Monica M. Bertagnolli, the study utilized mice from the Mutant Mouse Resource & Research Centers (MMRRC) and the Knockout Mouse Program (KOMP) to explore innovative treatment methods.

The research focused on a specific molecule capable of binding to a protein closely involved in the mechanisms of neuropathic pain, a condition that affects millions worldwide. This binding has been shown to reduce the hypersensitivity to pain caused by nerve damage, offering a beacon of hope for those suffering from this chronic condition.

Dr. Bertagnolli emphasized the importance of this discovery, noting the critical role of NIH-funded research in advancing medical science and improving patient outcomes. The use of MMRRC mice was pivotal, demonstrating the value of these resources in facilitating high-quality research.

This breakthrough represents a vital step in developing more effective treatments for neuropathic pain, underscoring the significance of collaboration and investment in scientific research.

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The Mutant Mouse Resource & Research Centers (MMRRC) has again demonstrated its pivotal role in advancing biomedical research. A recent review spanning a decade has highlighted the significant strides made in citation practices for research resources, particularly in the context of transgenic animals and antibodies, with the MMRRC at the forefront of this progress.

In biomedical research, resources like transgenic animals and antibodies are essential. Their effective utilization and tracking hinge on the accuracy and consistency of citation practices. Historically, this has been a challenge due to inadequate systems for tracking resource usage, leading to approximately 50% of these resources being not easily findable in academic literature.

The RRID Initiative and MMRRC's Role
The Resource Identification Initiative (RRID) has collaborated with journals and resource providers to refine citation practices to address this crucial gap. The MMRRC, a key player in this initiative, has been instrumental in promoting the use of RRIDs (Research Resource Identifiers) among the scientific community.

Key Findings from the Review
The review, covering ten years of citation data from five university-based stock centers, revealed:

  • There is a significant shift in citation methods, with researchers moving from non-specific nicknames to more precise identifiers like RRIDs, stock numbers, or full names.
  • This shift increased 'findable' citations from around 50% to approximately 85%.
  • Notably, studies using MMRRC mice showed an increased adherence to NIH rigor criteria, as evidenced by the rise in the Rigor and Transparency Index.

Impact and Future Outlook
This advancement in citation practices, championed by the MMRRC, not only facilitates better tracking and reproducibility of research but also aligns with the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) emphasis on research rigor and transparency. The MMRRC's efforts reflect a broader commitment to enhancing the quality and reliability of biomedical research.

"We are proud to be at the vanguard of this significant change in the research community," said a spokesperson for the MMRRC. "Improving the way we cite and track research resources is not just about better record-keeping; it's about enhancing the integrity and reproducibility of scientific research, which is at the heart of our mission."

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Welcome to the Mutant Mouse Resource & Research Centers (MMRRC) Website

The MMRRC is the nation’s premier national public repository system for mutant mice. Funded by the NIH continuously since 1999, the MMRRC archives and distributes scientifically valuable spontaneous and induced mutant mouse strains and ES cell lines for use by the biomedical research community. The MMRRC consists of a national network of breeding and distribution repositories and an Informatics Coordination and Service Center located at 4 major academic centers across the nation. The MMRRC is committed to upholding the highest standards of experimental design and quality control to optimize the reproducibility of research studies using mutant mice. The MMRRC is supported by the Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP) in the Office of the Director at NIH. More than 60,000 mutant alleles are maintained as live mice, cryopreserved germplasm, and/or mutant ES cells. Live mice are supplied from a production colony, from a colony recovered from cryopreservation, or via micro-injection of ES cells. An MMRRC facility may offer cryopreserved material for resuscitation at the recipient scientist's institution.