for assistance call: 1-888-673-3444
Microbiota Characterization Now Offered
July 07, 2014
The RRRC now offers a full line of NGS-related services including fecal DNA extraction, 16S rRNA gene sequencing, and informatics analysis to researchers using rat models.  For more information, please see here or contact
Need a New Rat Model?
March 21, 2017
Need a new rat model?  The RRRC in conjunction with the MU Animal Modeling Core (AMC) can assist with the generation of transgenic rats, create knock-out and knock-in rats using CRISPR/Cas9 technology and genetically manipulate rat embryonic stem cells to make chimeric animals.  Contact us to discuss your rat model needs and how we can help.
RRRC at American Society of Human Genetics
October 16, 2017
Stop by Booth 949 (Research Resources in Metagenomics and Animal Models) in the Exhibitor Hall at ASHG 2017 in Orlando, FL on Oct 18-20 to discuss how we can help facilitate your research.  
Animal Characterization at Discovery Ridge
November 06, 2017
Discover what our team is doing related to metagenomics and the animal resource centers at MU including the RRRC, the MU MMRRC, the NSRRC and the MU Animal Modeling Core and the MU Metagenomics Center.
Rat Genome and Model Resources
November 10, 2017
Review of available rat resources.  Shimoyama, M, Smith, JR, Bryda, E, Kuramoto, T, Saba, L, Dwinell, M. (2017) Rat Genome and Model Resources. ILAR J 58 (1):42-58.
Precision Mouse Modeling: Translation to Human Disease Symposium
August 12, 2019
NIDA Center for Genetic Studies of Drug Abuse in Outbred Rats
August 22, 2019
The NIDA Center for Genetic Studies of Drug Abuse in Outbred Rats (P50DA037844) is calling for applications for Pilot Studies in HS Outbred Rats Supporting Drug Abuse Research.
Remembering Dr. Mary Shimoyama
March 04, 2020
The faculty and staff of the Rat Genome Database are deeply grieved to announce the recent passing of Dr. Mary Shimoyama, principal investigator of RGD.
COVID-19-related Disruptions
March 19, 2020

Due to the current situation with COVID-19, we are operating with reduced staffing and there may be delays in responding to emails and phone calls at this time.  In addition, because of institutional restrictions and uncertainty with courier services and transportation, the RRRC is currently shipping and receiving live animals on a case-by-case basis.  For new requests, please contact us to discuss your needs.  For ongoing orders, we will continue to communicate frequently to keep you apprised of the status of your order.  Thank you for understanding.

RRRC Fully Operational
June 14, 2020
The RRRC is fully operational at this time and we are excited to be able to assist researchers with all their rat-related needs. 
Rats on the rise
July 20, 2021
Rats on the rise.  Ellen P. Neff (Lab Animal, 2021). After a genetic revolution in the 80s, mice overtook rats as the laboratory animal of choice for many researchers. But in recent years, the gene editing capabilities that had lagged a little for the larger rodent have been coming up to par with their murine cousins. Is a return to rats on the way?
NIH Extrinsic Factors Workshop
August 09, 2022

Enhance Rigor and Reproducibility in Animal Research by Managing Extrinsic Factors

When: September 23, 28, and 30, 2022

Venue: Zoom


The workshop will be a forum to discuss the current status of and needs for understanding extrinsic environmental factors; their potential impact on animal research outcomes; and how facilities may optimally manage, monitor, and report these extrinsic factors in an effort to enhance reproducibility and rigor in animal research. The focus of this workshop will be on identifying gaps, opportunities, and new approaches in husbandry of commonly and widely used animal models; relevant environmental factors and conditions; and the need for novel instruments, equipment, and infrastructure for animal research core facilities (e.g., modern design of research core facilities, high-throughput equipment, telemetry for behavioral research).

Exciting Job Opportunities
April 03, 2023
The RRRC is looking to expand its team!  We have positions available in colony management, data curation, cryobiology, reproductive biology, and customer service.  We are also looking for individuals interested in post-doctoral training with both a service and research emphasis.  Interested in learning more?  Contact Dr. Elizabeth Bryda at

Happy World Rat Day!
April 04, 2023
April 4, 2023 is World Rat Day!  The RRRC would like to acknowledge the important contributions to science and medicine made possible by the use of rats in biomedical research.
GRCr8: A new rat reference assembly is now available.
February 05, 2024
GRCr8 (GenBank NCBI # GCA_036323735.1) is the latest version of the rat reference genome assembly. See the Genome Reference Consortium (GRC) blog for more details.
RRRC at Allied Genetics Conference (TAGC24)
February 20, 2024
Stop by Booth 626 in the Exhibitor Hall at the Allied Genetics Conference (TAGC24) in National Harbor/Washington DC Metro Area on March 6-10, 2024 to discuss how the RRRC can help facilitate your research.

Remembering Dr. Mary Shimoyama
March 04, 2020

The faculty and staff of the Rat Genome Database are deeply grieved to announce the recent passing of Dr. Mary Shimoyama, principal investigator of RGD.

Dr. Shimoyama has been involved with the Rat Genome Database since she first began working at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) in 2000, helping it evolve into the leading resource for rat genomic, genetic, phenotype and disease data. She earned her PhD in biomedical informatics from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2011 and became an assistant professor of surgery at MCW. In 2016, she was promoted to associate professor in the Marquette University and MCW Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Shimoyama was exceptionally, and justifiably, proud of becoming the principal investigator for the Rat Genome Database and leading it through a recent competitive renewal. She was also honored to be the Vice Chair of Research and Clinical Affairs for the department this past year.

Dr. Shimoyama was a strong proponent of the use of model organism data and bioinformatic methods to support research into human disease and was a passionate advocate for the creation and use of data standards, which led to her involvement as a founding principal investigator with the Alliance of Genome Resources. The primary mission of the Alliance is to develop and maintain sustainable genome information resources that facilitate the use of diverse model organisms in understanding the genetic and genomic basis of human biology, health and disease.

Beyond her work in genome research and bioinformatics, Dr. Shimoyama was the co-director of the bioinformatics graduate program, and she was always eager to engage undergraduate and graduate students in informatics research. As an educator, she also served as an adjunct professor and instructor in the College of Health Sciences and Biomedical and Health Informatics at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

In her free time, Dr. Shimoyama enjoyed cooking for friends and family, gardening, spending time with her dog, Dexter, and seeing the flowers and displays at the Mitchell Park Domes and the animals and exhibits at the Milwaukee County Zoo with her children and grandchildren. She also liked going to brunch with her sisters and family and attending the various ethnic festivals around Milwaukee, especially the International Folk Fair.

Dr. Shimoyama is survived by her sons, Takuma (Miku), Naoki (Shannon) and Makishi; daughter, Keito; grandchildren, Kai and Mei; and sisters, Anne (John) Gorski and Pat Walsh (Sarah Morgan). 

Dr. Shimoyama’s family welcomes memorial gifts to support Women in Science or the Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR) online at (Gift Designation = Other; Type = Women in Science OR SPUR). Checks can be made out to the “MCW – Women in Science” or “MCW – SPUR” and sent to the Medical College of Wisconsin, Attn: Office of Development, 8701 Watertown Plank Road, Milwaukee, WI 53226.

A visitation and memorial service will take place Saturday, March 28, at the Hartson Funeral Home in Hales Corners, WI.