Craig L. Franklin, DVM, PhD


Craig L. Franklin

Building Address:  N128 Discovery Ridge Building
Phone Number: (573) 882-6623


The overall goal of our laboratory is to support the needs of the Mutant Mouse and Rat Resource and Research Centers and biomedical community by performing research to understand how differing complex microbiota modulate animal models of disease and developing means to manipulate microbiota to ensure reproducibility of models being distributed.

The Mutant Mouse Resource and Research Center (MMRRC) and Rat Resource and Research Center (RRRC) at the University of Missouri (MU) are unique NIH-funded repositories that import, store and distribute a vast number of mutant mouse and rat strains and embryonic stem cells.  Genetically-engineered rodents (i.e., transgenics, knock-outs and knock-ins) are invaluable to almost all fields of medicine.  Tens of thousands have been created over the last two decades to facilitate better understanding of developmental biology and disease and to test and improve the function of drugs and therapeutics.  The specific aims of the MMRRC and RRRC are to 1) provide biomedical investigators with the rodent models and related reagents they require for their research, 2) provide value-added services to aid the biomedical research community, and 3) perform research that has broad application to all models distributed.  Services include cryopreservation, cryoresuscitation from embryos or sperm, rederivation, genotyping and assay development, marker-assisted genetic analysis for development of speed congenics, karyotyping, colony management, phenotyping, and microbiome analysis. 

Microbiota Research. There is abundant evidence that the composition of the gut microbiota (GM) has a strong influence on phenotypes of rodent models of disease.  This is of particular concern in the context of rederivation, as cryopreserved rodents will acquire the GM of their respective surrogate dam at birth, rather than the GM that was present in the ancestral line.  Moreover, abundant anecdote and emerging data suggest that factors in the rodent’s environment may influenced development and composition of GM.  With this in mind, the Comparative Metagenomics Laboratory has or is characterizing the effect of several variables (e.g. housing, diet, genetic background) on the GM of laboratory rodents, to provide users of the MMRRC and RRRC empirical evidence regarding the impact of these and other factors.  We are also evaluating practical means for users to manipulate the GM of rodents to a desired composition.  This includes development of Standardized Complex Microbiota colonies of mice that possess the broad array of GM that exist in contemporary laboratory rodent colonies as well as those that exist in wild populations. Mice from these colonies can be used for Complex Microbiota Targeted Rederivation (CMTR), a process where rodents of the desired genotype are rederived using embryo transfer into surrogate dams with one or more desired GM profiles.  The pups are then seeded with the GM of their respective surrogate dams, resulting in genetically identical animals with different, defined, complex GM.  Mice from these colonies can also be used as GM donors using a variety of approaches including co-housing, cross-fostering, and fecal microbiota transfer (FMT).  Concurrently, we are refining FMT procedures to optimize efficiency and completeness of transfer.  Last, we are assessing the impact of differing GM on several common models of disease including models of inflammatory bowel disease, colorectal cancer, diabetes and neurologic conditions. 

We have also participated in several collaborative projects that involve the study of rodent models of human disease.  The latter have included studies on multiple sclerosis, diabetes, asthma, neonatal immunity, autism and aging.


Basic and Advanced Immunology, Pathology of Laboratory Animals; Laboratory Animal Medicine; Grant and Manuscript Writing for Biomedical Researchers; Foundations in Veterinary Research and Discovery; and Communication, Collaboration and Conflict Resolution


  1. Hart, M.L., A.C. Ericsson, K.C.K. Lloyd, K.N. Grimsrud, A.R. Rogala, V.L. Godfrey, J.N. Nielsen, C.L. Franklin. Development of outbred CD1 mouse colonies with distinct standardized gut microbiota profiles for use in complex microbiota targeted studies. Sci Reports 8:10107 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-018-28448-0, 2018.  PMCID PMC6031694.
  2. Montonye D.R., A.C. Ericsson, S.B. Busi, C. Lutz, K. Wardwell, C.L. Franklin. Acclimation and Institutionalization of the Mouse Microbiota Following Transportation. Front Microbiol. 2018 May 28;9:1085. PMCID PMC5985407.
  3. Bidot W.A., A.C. Ericsson, C.L. Franklin. Effects of water decontamination methods and bedding material on the gut microbiota. PLoS One. 2018 Oct 25;13(10):e0198305. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone .0198305. eCollection 2018. PMCID PMC6201873.
  4. Ericsson, A.C., J. Gagliardi, D. Bouhan, W.G. Spollen, C. L. Franklin. The influence of caging, bedding, and diet on the composition of the microbiota in different regions of the mouse gut. Sci Reports 8:4065 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-018-21986-7, 2018.  PMCID PMC5840362
  5. Korte, S.W., C.L. Franklin, R.A. Dorfmeyer, A.C. Ericsson. Effects of fenbendazole-impregnated feed and topical moxidectin during quarantine on the gut microbiota of C57BL/6 mice. J Amer Assoc Lab Anim Sci 57(3):229-235, 2018. PMCID PMC5966229.
  6. Toth, L.A., R.A. Trammell, T. Liberti, S. Verhulst, M.L.Hart, J.E. Moskowitz, and C. Franklin. Influence of chronic exposure to simulated shift work on disease and longevity in disease-prone inbred mice. Comp Med 67(2):116-126, 2017. PMCID PMC5402731.
  7. Kinney, M.E., A.C. Ericsson, C.L. Franklin, R.E.H. Whiting, and J.W. Pearce. Ocular Findings and Select Ophthalmic Diagnostic Tests in Captive American White Pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos). J Zoo Wildlife Med 48(3):675-682, 2017 PMID 28920779. PMCID in progress.
  8. Brodeur, A.C., A.M. Roberts-Pilgrim, K.L. Thompson, C.L. Franklin, and C.L. Phillips. Transforming growth factor-b1/Smad3-independent epithelial-mesenchymal-transition in type I collagen glomerulopathy. Int J Nephrol Renovas Dis 10:251-259, 2017. PMCID PMC5587152.
  9. Techasintana, P., J. Ellis, J. Glascock, M. Gubin, S. Ridenhour, J.D. Magee, M.L. Hart, P. Yao, H. Zhou, M.S. Whitney, C.L. Franklin, J.L. Martingdale, M. Gorospe, W.J. Davis, P.L. Fox, X. Li and U. Atasoy. The RNA binding protein HuR posttranscriptionally regulates IL-2 homeostasis, CD4+ Th2 differentiation and is necessary for allergen induced airway inflammation. ImmunoHorizonsl (1(6):109-123, 2017. PMCID PMC6052877.
  10. Hart, M.L., A.C. Ericsson, C.L. Franklin. Differing complex microbiota alter disease severity of the IL-10-/- mouse model of inflammatory bowel disease. Front Microbiol, 8:792, 2017 PMCID PMC5425584.
  11. Ericsson, A.C., D.R. Montonye, C.R.Smith, C.L. Franklin. Modeling a superorganism – considerations regarding the use of “dirty” mice in biomedical research. Yale J Biol 90:361-371, 2017 PMCID PMC5612181.
  12. Franklin, C.L. and A.C. Ericsson. (invited review) Microbiota and Reproducibility of Rodent Models. Lab Anim (an official Nature Research Journal) 46(4):114-122, 2017. PMID 28328896.
  13. Ericsson, A.C., A.R. Personett, G. Turner, R. Dorfmeyer, C.L. Franklin. Reciprocal Fecal Microbiota Transfer between Mice with Low and High Richness Microbiota Using Fresh or Frozen Feces or Fresh Fecal Contents. Front Microbiol 2017 Feb 23;8:196. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2017.00196. eCollection 2017.  PMCID PMC5322181.
  14. Khairallah, M-T., J. Astroski, S.K. Custer, E.J. Androphy, C.L. Franklin, C.L. Lorson. SMN Deficiency Negatively Impact Red Pulp Macrophages and Spleen Development in Mouse Models of Spinal Muscular Atrophy.  Hum Mol Genet 26(5):932-941, 2017. PMCID PMC6075362.
  15. Burton, E.N., E. O’Connor, A.C. Ericsson and C.L. Franklin. Evaluation of Fecal Microbiota Transfer as Treatment for Post-Weaning Diarrhea in Research Colony Puppies. J Amer Assoc Lab Anim Sci 55(5):582-7, 2016 PMCID PMC5029830
  16. Ericsson, A.C., J.W. Davis, W. Spollen, N. Bivens, S. Givan, C.E. Hagan, M. McIntosh and C.L. Franklin. Effects of Genetic Background on the Composition of the Gut Microbiota of Inbred Mice. PLoS One. Feb 12;10(2):e0116704, 2015 PMCID PMC25675094.
  17. Lloyd, K, C. Franklin, C. Lutz and T. Magnuson. Reproducibility: Use Biobanks or Lose Them. Nature 522:151-153, 2015, PMCID PMC4636083.
  18. Ericsson, A.C., D.J. Davis, C.L. Franklin and C.E. Hagan. Exoelectrogenic Capacity of Host Microbiota Predicts Lymphocyte Recruitment to the Gut. Physiol Genomics 47:243-252, 2015, PMCID PMC4491528.
  19. Ericsson, A.C., C.L. Franklin. (invited review) Manipulating the Gut Microbiota: Methods and Challenges. ILAR J 56(2):205-17, 2015. PMCID PMC4554251.
  20. Ericsson, A.C., C.L. Franklin. Isolation of Segmented Filamentous Bacteria from a Complex Gut Microbiota. BioTechniques 59(2):94-98, 2015. PMCID PMC5762113.
  21. Ray, A., S. Basu, R.Z. Gharaibeh, L.C. Cook, R. Kumar, E.J. Lefkowitz, C.D. Morow, C.L. Franklin, T.L. Geiger, N. Salzman, A. Fodor, and B.N. Dittel. Gut Microbial Dysbiosis Due to Helicobacter Drives an Increase in Marginal Zone B Cell Development in the Absence of IL-10 Signaling in Macrophages. J Immunol 195(7):3071-85, 2015. PMCID PMC4575870.
  22. Ericsson, A.C., S. Akter, M.M. Hanson, S.B. Busi, T.W. Parker, R.J. Schehr, M.A. Hankins, C.A. Ahner, J.W. Davis, C.L. Franklin, J.M. Amos-Landgraf, E.C. Bryda. Differential Susceptibility to Colorectal Cancer Due to Naturally Occurring Gut Microbiota. Oncotarget 6(32):33689-704. PMCID PMC4741795.
  23. Miller, P.G., M.B. Bonn, C.L. Franklin, A.C. Ericsson, and S.C. McKarns. aTNFR2 Deficiency Acts in Concert with Gut Microbiota to Precipitate Spontaneous Sex-Biased Central Nervous System Demyelinating Autoimmune Disease.  J Immunol 195(10):4668-4684, 2015. PMID 26475926; PMCID in progress.
  24. Alvarado, C.G., A.G. Kocsis, M.L. Hart, M.J. Crim, M.H. Myles and C.L. Franklin. Pathogenicity of Helicobacter ganmani Infection in Mice Susceptible and Resistant to Infection with H. hepaticus. Comp Med 65(1):15-22, 2015.  PMCID PMC 4396925..
  25. Ericsson, A.C., C.E. Hagan, D.J. Davis, and C.L. Franklin. Segmented Filamentous Bacteria: Commensal Microbes with Potential Effects on Research. Comp Med 64:90-8, 2014. PMCID PMC3997285.
  26. Cook, L.C., A.E. Hillhouse, M.H. Myles, D.B. Lubahn, E.C. Bryda, J.W. Davis and C.L. Franklin. The Role of Estrogen Signaling in a Mouse Model of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. PLOS ONE 9(4):e94209, 2014. PMCID PMC3978010
  27. Lee, K., D.N. Kwon, T. Ezashi, Y.J. Choi, C. Park, A.C. Ericsson, A.N. Brown, M.S. Samuel, K.W. Park, E.M. Walters, J.H Kim, C.L. Franklin, C.N. Murphy, R.M. Roberts, R.S. Prather and J-H. Kim. Engraftment of human iPS and allogeneic porcine cells into pigs with inactivated RAG2 and accompanying severe combined immunodeficiency.  PNAS 111(30):7260-5, 2014. PMCID PMC4034252.
  28. Gubin, M.M., P. Techasintana, J.D. Magee, G.M. Dahn, R. Calaluce, J.L. Martindale, M.S. Whitney, C.L. Franklin, C. Besch-Williford, J.W. Hollingsworth, K. Abdelmohsen, M. Gorospe, and U. Atasoy. Conditional Knockout of the RNA-Binding Protein HuR in CD4(+) T Cells Reveals a Gene Dosage Effect on Cytokine Production. Mol Med 20(1):93-108, 2014. PMCID PMC3960399
  29. Ericsson, A.C., M.J. Crim and C.L. Franklin. A Brief History of Animal Modeling. Mo Med 110(3):201-5, 2013. PMCID PMC23829102
  30. Franklin, C.L. One Medicine: Collaborative Research on Human & Animal Disease for the Betterment of Both. Mo Med 110(3):195-6, 2013.
  31. McCoy, A., C.L. Besch-Williford, C.L. Franklin, E.J. Weinstein, and X. Cui. Creation and Characterization of a Tp53 Knockout Rat. Dis Mod Mech 61(1):269-78, 2012. PMCID PMC3529357
  32. Donahue, L.R., M. Hrabe de Angelis, M. Hagn, C. Franklin, K.C.K. Lloyd, T. Magnuson, C. McKerlie, N. Nakagata, Y. Obata, S. Read, W. Wurst, A. Hörlein, and M.T. Davisson. Centralized Mouse Repositories. Mamm Genome 23(9):559-71, 2012. PMCID PMC3709583
  33. Livingston, R.S., C.L. Besch-Williford, M.H. Myles, C.L. Franklin, M.J. Crim and L.K. Riley. Pneumocystis carinii infection causes lung lesions historically attributed to rat respiratory virus. Comp Med 61(1):1-8, 2011. PMCID PMC3060427
  34. Hillhouse, A., J. Taylor, E. Bryda, M. Myles and C. Franklin. Quantitative trait loci in a bacterially induced model of inflammatory bowel disease. Mamm Genome 22:544-555, 2011. PMCID PMC3804127
  35. Roberts-Pilgrim, A., E. Makareeva, M.H. Myles, C.L. Besch-Williford, A.C. Brodeur, A.M. Walker, S. Liekin, C.L. Franklin, and C. Phillips. Deficient degradation of homotrimeric type I collagen [a1(I)3] glomerulopathy in oim mice. Mol Genet Metab 104:373-382, 2011. PMCID PMC3205245
  36. Stellato, C. M.M. Gubin, J.D. Magee, X. Fang, J. Fan, V. Casolaro, D.M. Tartar, J. Chen, G.A. Jackson, C. Franklin  and U. Atasoy. Coordinate regulation of GATA3 and Th2 cytokine gene expression by the RNA-binding protein HuR.  J Immunol 187(1):441-9, 2011. PMID21613615
  37. Divekar, R., C. Haymaker, J Cascio, F. Guloglu, J. Ellis, D. Tartar, C. Hoeman, C. Franklin, B. Zinselmeyer, J. Lynch, M. Miller and H. Zaghouani. T Cell Dynamics During Induction of Tolerance and Suppression of Experimental Allergic Encephalomyelitis. J Immunol 187(8):3979-86, 2011. PMCID PMC3186833
  38. Ericsson, A., M. Myles, W. Davis, L. Ma, M. Lewis, L. Maggio-Price and C. Franklin. Non-invasive detection of inflammation-associated colon cancer in a mouse model. Neoplasia 12:1054-1065. (featured article), 2010. PMCID PMC3003140