Mandy first heard of ShARM at a meeting for members of The MRC-Arthritis Research UK Centre for Integrated research into Musculoskeletal Ageing (www.cimauk.org) where she met Adele Duran (facility coordinator) and Ilaria Bellantuono (principal investigator). Mandy was impressed with ShARM's aim to accelerate research and ethical approach to the use of mouse tissues, especially because of her background in animal care.
As Mandy required tissues for her own research and is keen to promote the ethical and efficient use of mice, she purchased stifle joints and serum from ShARM as an alternative to having additional mice. As a customer Mandy found the service to be "brilliant, very well updated, with good mouse husbandry and the regular information on offers and new mice tissue is extremely helpful". It was also useful to access both aged and young control tissues.
Having been a customer of ShARM Mandy has a few helpful tips; it's important to know exactly what you need and to think about future studies for example a validation study. Furthermore if the tissue is frozen or paraffin embedded you need to consider the types of experimental testing you will carry out and how suitable the tissues are for those techniques.
After being a member of the ShARM community for a while, Mandy has recently been elected to be a part of the management board, the team that decides the strategic direction for ShARM. She aims to make fellow researchers, especially those local to her in Liverpool, aware of what ShARM is and what it has to offer. Also, having a veterinary surgeon background and being a customer, she has a different perspective that she can bring to the ShARM organization.
You can read more about the other board members and their work here.