Shared Ageing Research Models (ShARM): a new facility to support ageing research

Biogerontology. 2013 Dec;14(6):789-94. doi: 10.1007/s10522-013-9457-0. Epub 2013 Oct 2.


In order to manage the rise in life expectancy and the concomitant increased occurrence of age-related diseases, research into ageing has become a strategic priority. Mouse models are commonly utilised as they share high homology with humans and show many similar signs and diseases of ageing. However, the time and cost needed to rear aged cohorts can limit research opportunities. Sharing of resources can provide an ethically and economically superior framework to overcome some of these issues but requires dedicated infrastructure. Shared Ageing Research Models (ShARM) ( ) is a new, not-for-profit organisation funded by Wellcome Trust, open to all investigators. It collects, stores and distributes flash frozen tissues from aged murine models through its biorepository and provides a database of live ageing mouse colonies available in the UK and abroad. It also has an online environment (MICEspace) for collation and analysis of data from communal models and discussion boards on subjects such as the welfare of ageing animals and common endpoints for intervention studies. Since launching in July 2012, thanks to the generosity of researchers in UK and Europe, ShARM has collected more than 2,500 tissues and has in excess of 2,000 mice registered in live ageing colonies. By providing the appropriate support, ShARM has been able to bring together the knowledge and experience of investigators in the UK and Europe to maximise research outputs with little additional cost and minimising animal use in order to facilitate progress in ageing research.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aging* / genetics
  • Aging* / metabolism
  • Aging* / pathology
  • Animals
  • Biomedical Research / organization & administration*
  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • Geriatrics / methods
  • Geriatrics / organization & administration*
  • Interdisciplinary Communication
  • Interinstitutional Relations
  • Mice
  • Models, Animal
  • Models, Organizational
  • Tissue Banks / organization & administration*