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Tenth Transgenic Animal Research Conference, Tahoe City, California (USA), 9 – 13 August, 2015

Friday, June 26th, 2015


Plan to attend the 10th Transgenic Animal Research Conference (TARC X) in August of 2015.  At this international meeting you will learn the latest developments in the field of non-murine transgenic animals. In celebration of the 10th conference in this series the program will contain nine review talks, to be published in a special issue of Transgenic Research. Once again the conference will be held at the beautiful Granlibakken Resort and Conference Center, high in the Sierra Nevada Mountains adjacent to beautiful Lake Tahoe. This meeting is co-sponsored by the ISTT.

Rooms are limited, so plan to register early. The conference web site opened February 1, 2015 for registrations and submission of poster abstracts. The following list of speakers confirms again that this is conference not to be missed. Additionally, in conjunction with Recombinetics, Inc there will be a special one day program on August 13th for the livestock, poultry and aquaculture industries on the application of GE animals. A list of confirmed speakers and topics, as well as additional information, registration and poster submission forms may be found on the conference web site (  We invite you to join us for this interesting and important conference and learn more about the genetic future of the livestock industry.

Confirmed Speakers:


  • Elizabeth Maga/Jim Murray (UC Davis)  GE livestock for agriculture
  • Chris Rogers (Exemplar Genetics)  GE livestock for biomedical models
  • Heiner Niemann (Hannover) Xenotransplantation
  • Tim Doran (CSIRO, Australia) GE Poultry
  • Pablo Ross (UC Davis)  iPS/Stem cells
  • Jun Wu (Salk Institute) Organ complementation
  • Bruce Whitelaw (Edinburgh) Gene editing/gene targeting
  • Luciana Bertolini (Brazil) Production of pharmaceuticals
  • Kevin Wells  (Missouri) Regulation of transgenic animals

Additional speakers and topics

  • Maeve Ballantyne  (Roslin) African swine fever resistant pigs
  • Simon Bawden  (Australia) Huntington’s disease sheep model
  • Jayne Raper  (New York)  Cattle resistant to trypanosomiasis
  • Lydia Garas (UC Davis)  Effects of lysozyme milk on intestinal health
  • Jorge Piedrahita (NC State)  SCID pigs
  • Margarthe Cupurra (Sao Paulo)  GE mosquitos to control dengue fever
  • Lissa Herron (Roslin)  Pharmaceuticals from eggs
  • Eddie Sullivan (SABBiotherapeutics)  Targeting emerging infectious diseases through animal biotechnology
  • Hiro Nakauchi (Stanford) Interspecies blastocyst complementation

The 2014 ISTT calendar is ready to download!

Monday, December 30th, 2013
The 2014 ISTT calendar is ready to download!

The 2014 ISTT calendar is ready to download!

The new 2014 ISTT calendar has been created and is now ready to download for free, for anyone interested! The traditional ISTT calendar, highlighting a number of key deadlines, events, courses, workshops related to the ISTT activities, has been kindly prepared this year by Elizabeth Williams (TASQ, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia) with the appreciated contribution of ISTT Members Thom Saunders, Pawel Pelczar, Vicente José de Figueirêdo Freitas, Raija Soininen, Sagrario Ortega, Elizabeth Williams, Douglas Strathdee, Hsiao-hui Joyce Chang, Theresa A. Zwingman, Cassandra Du Boulay and Jacek Mendrychowski, who generously shared some of their pictures for illustrating the 2014 ISTT monthly calendar. The ISTT acknowledges them all and appreciates their collaboration for making this beautiful 2014 ISTT calendar, now ready to download, ready to be fixed on your walls, your offices, your labs, your units… Happy New Year! 

The ISTT wishes all of you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011
The ISTT wishes all of you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

The ISTT wishes all of you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

The International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) wishes all of you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!. The 2011 ISTT Christmas Postcard prepared this year uses a wonderful chimeric mouse picture, obtained by Benoît Kanzler (Freiburg, Germany), almost brought back to life, while Seasonal Greetings are displayed using most of the languages currently used in the 40 countries of origin where our ISTT members work, world-wide.

2011 has been a fantastic year for the ISTT where many projects, initiatives and meetings have been successfully completed. Just to name a few: we published with Springer our first ISTT Manual on “Advanced Protocols for Animal Transgenesis“, edited by Shirley Pease and Thom Saunders; we were approved as a new AALAC’s member organization; we enjoyed a fantastic TT2011 meeting in Florida in October; we prepared a 10th TT Meetings Anniversary booklet; and, finally, and most importantly, we succeeded in moving the historical transgenic-list (tg-l) to the ISTT web server.  We ended up 2011 with 573 members registered which we hope will renew their memberships in 2012, and where yet another list of interesting initiatives around the generation and analysis of transgenic animals will be prepared or supported from the ISTT. In 2012 there will be no TT meeting. Next TT meeting has been already scheduled for 2013. The TT2013 meeting will be held in Guangzhou/Canton, PR China, on February 25-27, 2013, organized by Prof. Ming Zhao (SMU).

Francis Stewart will be awarded the seventh ISTT Prize in Berlin

Thursday, September 10th, 2009
A. Francis Stewart at the NorIMM meeting, June 2009

A. Francis Stewart at the NorIMM meeting, June 2009

The seventh ISTT Prize for outstanding contributions to the field of Transgene Technologies will be awarded to Francis Stewart, Professor of Genomics at the Biotechnology Center-TU Dresden (Germany). Francis Stewart will be awarded the ISTT Prize in Berlin, at the TT2010 meeting, where he will also deliver a talk. The ISTT Prize is generously sponsored by genOway.

The Prize Committee, formed by the ISTT President, present and former ISTT Vice President, the CEO of genOway, and the Chair of the TT2010 Meeting, assisted also by the previous ISTT Prize recipients, selected Francis Stewart for his innovative and pioneering work that allows regulated homologous recombination to take place in bacteria, enabling and establishing BAC recombineering, plus a wide range of invaluable tools for specifically modifying and assessing genetic modifications in plasmids, transgenes and genomes. These tools have become central in the functional postgenomic era and instrumental for the international mouse genome knockout consortia. Francis Stewart exemplifies excellence in our field by combining extraordinary molecular biology skills with exceptional vision.

Francis Stewart received his PhD at the University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia) in 1986. He then did postdoctoral work in Günther Schütz’s laboratory at DKFZ in Heidelberg (Germany) before becoming Group Leader at the EMBL-Heidelberg from 1991-2001. In 2000, he founded the company Gene Bridges GmbH, as a spin-off of EMBL. In 2001 he assumed his current position as Professor of Genomics at the Biotechnology Center TU Dresden (Germany).

Some of his many contributions to the field of Transgenic Technologies are:

A simple assay to determine the functionality of Cre or FLP recombination targets in genomic manipulation constructs.
Buchholz F, Angrand PO, Stewart AF.
Nucleic Acids Res. 1996 Aug 1;24(15):3118-9.

A new logic for DNA engineering using recombination in Escherichia coli.
Zhang Y, Buchholz F, Muyrers JP, Stewart AF.
Nat Genet. 1998 Oct;20(2):123-8.

Improved properties of FLP recombinase evolved by cycling mutagenesis.
Buchholz F, Angrand PO, Stewart AF.
Nat Biotechnol. 1998 Jul;16(7):657-62.

Rapid modification of bacterial artificial chromosomes by ET-recombination.
Muyrers JP, Zhang Y, Testa G, Stewart AF.
Nucleic Acids Res. 1999 Mar 15;27(6):1555-7.

Simplified generation of targeting constructs using ET recombination.
Angrand PO, Daigle N, van der Hoeven F, Schöler HR, Stewart AF.
Nucleic Acids Res. 1999 Sep 1;27(17):e16.

Creating a transloxation. Engineering interchromosomal translocations in the mouse.
Testa G, Stewart AF.
EMBO Rep. 2000 Aug;1(2):120-1.

Point mutation of bacterial artificial chromosomes by ET recombination.
Muyrers JP, Zhang Y, Benes V, Testa G, Ansorge W, Stewart AF.
EMBO Rep. 2000 Sep;1(3):239-43.

DNA cloning by homologous recombination in Escherichia coli.
Zhang Y, Muyrers JP, Testa G, Stewart AF.
Nat Biotechnol. 2000 Dec;18(12):1314-7.

Techniques: Recombinogenic engineering–new options for cloning and manipulating DNA.
Muyrers JP, Zhang Y, Stewart AF.
Trends Biochem Sci. 2001 May;26(5):325-31.

Efficient FLP recombination in mouse ES cells and oocytes.
Schaft J, Ashery-Padan R, van der Hoeven F, Gruss P, Stewart AF.
Genesis. 2001 Sep;31(1):6-10.

Engineering the mouse genome with bacterial artificial chromosomes to create multipurpose alleles.
Testa G, Zhang Y, Vintersten K, Benes V, Pijnappel WW, Chambers I, Smith AJ, Smith AG, Stewart AF.
Nat Biotechnol. 2003 Apr;21(4):443-7.

ET recombination: DNA engineering using homologous recombination in E. coli.
Muyrers JP, Zhang Y, Benes V, Testa G, Rientjes JM, Stewart AF.
Methods Mol Biol. 2004;256:107-21.

A reliable lacZ expression reporter cassette for multipurpose, knockout-first alleles.
Testa G, Schaft J, van der Hoeven F, Glaser S, Anastassiadis K, Zhang Y, Hermann T, Stremmel W, Stewart AF.
Genesis. 2004 Mar;38(3):151-8.

BAC engineering for the generation of ES cell-targeting constructs and mouse transgenes.
Testa G, Vintersten K, Zhang Y, Benes V, Muyrers JP, Stewart AF.
Methods Mol Biol. 2004;256:123-39.

A recombineering pipeline for functional genomics applied to Caenorhabditis elegans.
Sarov M, Schneider S, Pozniakovski A, Roguev A, Ernst S, Zhang Y, Hyman AA, Stewart AF.
Nat Methods. 2006 Oct;3(10):839-44.

Dre recombinase, like Cre, is a highly efficient site-specific recombinase in E. coli, mammalian cells and mice.
Anastassiadis K, Fu J, Patsch C, Hu S, Weidlich S, Duerschke K, Buchholz F, Edenhofer F, Stewart AF.
Dis Model Mech. 2009 Sep-Oct;2(9-10):508-15.

Previous awarded persons with the ISTT Prize were:

6th.- Brigid Hogan,  TT2008, Toronto, Canada, October 2008
5th.- Charles Babinet (1939-2008), TT2007, Brisbane, Australia, February 2007
4th.- Andras Nagy, TT2005, Barcelona, Spain, September 2005
3rd.- Qi Zhou, TT2004, Uppsala, Sweden, March 2004
2nd.- Kenneth J. McCreath, TT2002, Munich, Germany, October 2002
1st.- Teruhiko Wakayama, TT2001, Stockholm, Sweden, June 2001

VI Transgenic Animal Research Conference held in Tahoe

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009
VI Transgenic Animal Research Conference, Lake Tahoe, CA, USA
VI Transgenic Animal Research Conference, Lake Tahoe, CA, USA

The VI Transgenic Animal Research Conference, organized by Jim Murray (UC Davis, CA, USA) has been held at the Granlibakken Conference Center, Tahoe City, Lake Tahoe, California, USA, August 17-21, 2009. The meeting has been co-sponsored by ISTT. Various ISTT members from different countries attended this very interesting international meeting, full of excellent talks and lively discussions.

At this conference, invited speakers have discussed about the latest technical developments and applications in animal transgenesis, including: ES and iPS cell isolation from non-murine animal species, the use of Zinc-Finger Nucleases to target animal genomes by standard microinjection, the use of transposons in transgenesis, antibody production in transgenic animals, knockout zebrafish and rats, biosafety assessment of transgenic large animals, environmental risk assessment of transgenic fish, risk analysis of transgene transfer in transgenic pigs during rearing, breeding and lactation; assessment of well-being and behavior of transgenic dairy goats, protein purification from the milk of transgenic animals, developing welfare protocols for transgenic large animals, oocyte production in zebrafish, xenotransplantation, regenerative medicine, degenerative and diabetes disease models in transgenic pigs, murine models of retinopathies, and the use of RNAi for disease resistance and modulation of production traits in transgenic chickens.

The invited speaker’s list included: Louis-Marie Houdebine, Stefan Moisyadi, Dan Carlson, Eric Shulze, Jorge Piedrahita, Paul Verma, Ning Li, Imre Kacskovics, Justin Jones, Eric Hallerman, Matthew Wheeler, Elizabeth Maga, Reinhard Huber, Cassandra Tucker, Bruce Draper, Andrew Wong, Scot Wolfe, Roland Buelow, Barbara Glenn, Lars Bolund, Eckhard Wolf, Peter Humphries, David Ayares, Heiner Niemann, Tim Doran and Robert Etches.

The last day of the meeting was devoted to a US-FDA/CVM workshop on the regulation of rDNA constructs in genetically engineered animals, with the presence of various delegates of the US-FDA/CVM.

Animal Biotechnology

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

Animal Biotechnology is an educational video, for outreach purposes, prepared by Alison L Van Eenennaam and colleagues of the Department of Animal Science, University of California, Davis, California, USA. This 30 min. video describes the development of various animal biotechnologies, including cloning and genetic engineering, and discusses both biomedical and agricultural applications addressing also some of the science-based and ethical concerns that are associated. The video includes the opinions and comments from leading academic and industry scientists in the field, conducted at the UC Davis Transgenic Animal Conference in 2007.

Shanna Maika

Monday, April 20th, 2009
Shanna Maika at the Gala Dinner of the TT2008 meeting

Shanna Maika at the Gala Dinner of the TT2008 meeting

It is with great sadness that I have to inform about the recent loss of our dear colleague Shanna Maika. Shanna passed away earlier this month from metastatic breast cancer.  Shanna Maika was RSA IV and Manager of the Mouse Genetic Engineering Facility of the University of Texas at Austin (TX, USA). Shanna had been a very committed and supportive member of ISTT since the foundation of our Society, in 2006. As a tribute in her memory, we have created this post at the ISTT blog where we will be publishing all comments received from people about Shanna.

Shanna was a very kind, generous and most respected person and scientist. At the International Society for Transgenic Technologies, where she was an active and most collaborative member since its foundation, we will deeply miss her a lot . On behalf of the ISTT, I want to express our most sincere condolences to her family and friends.
Lluis Montoliu

This very, very sad news.  Shanna was indeed a joyful soul, it seemed to me, and a very warm and kind person.  Such a loss…..
Shirley Pease

We miss her greatly.  She was a wonderful friend, mentor and co-worker.
Deborah Surman

I am so stunned and sad to hear this. Shan was so wonderful.
Richard Behringer

I just heard of Shan’s passing and thought I would write a few words. I had the pleasure of meeting Shan back in the mid-nineties when she came to UT Austin to work in the Transgenic core we had just started there. She was always such a good person to be around, so soft spoken and laid back but with a fantastic sense of humor. She was also an incredible source of knowledge you could go to anytime with your questions. She will be greatly missed.
Chad Smith

I got to know Shan when she approached me at a meeting to discuss a protocol we were using.  I really appreciated her willingness to share ideas. She had a wonderful quiet way that was backed up by a wicked, dry wit.  She will be greatly missed in the Texas transgenic community.
Jan Parker-Thornburg

What a chok. I met Shanna at the ISTT meeting in Toronto. We where exchanging experience in mikroinjections and blastocyst injections wich was very richfull to me. She was a very nice person who made an impression.
Lisbeth Ahm Hansen

So sorry to hear about Shanna. What a terrible loss to the TG community. We will miss her at the next meeting, she had such a great personality.
Aimee Stablewski

Oh, what sad news. I met Shan when she came to Jax to take one of our cryo courses. She was indeed a lovely person, as everyone has said, and I shall miss seeing her at meetings and chatting with her on the phone.
Carlisle Landel

Shan Maika visiting Brinsters lab in Philly (1995) (Picture by Bob Hammer)

Shan Maika visiting Brinster's lab in Philly (1995) (Picture by Bob Hammer)

Shan Maika’s passing this month from metastatic breast cancer brought great, great sadness to the members of my laboratory, the UT Southwestern Medical Center, UT Austin and the broader Texas animal communities using genetically engineered rodents in their research programs. Shan joined my laboratory at UT Southwestern as an entry-level technician in May of 1987 and was assigned general duties, which included setting up timed matings, tailing mice and genotyping putative founders by dot blotting. It quickly became very clear to me that Shan really enjoyed animal work and had the intellectual curiosity, patience and manual dexterity to learn and master the array of techniques needed to successfully manipulate rodent embryos as well as perform all of her other lab duties. When Shan joined my laboratory there were no other labs at UT Southwestern practicing these techniques and needless to say we were completely inundated with requests to collaborate with every lab that wanted to generate any transgenic mouse. Shan, David Clouthier, a graduate student in the lab, and I were generating all of the genetically modified mice at the time and needless to say we were overwhelmed with requests for information and continued, never ending assistance. I recall that when we were completely swamped with requests that we simply could not fulfill in a timely manner, Shan would invariably respond to me in her typical style which was “let’s just piece away and we will get through this”. She was a remarkable individual, kind to a fault, gentle and so full of an appreciation for the small treasures in life. She truly enjoyed the process of discovery and the camaraderie that it created. She was as excited by a beautiful dot blot, a great set of pronuclear eggs, a successful caesarian section and fostering as well as having a Swirl (margarita with a sangria swirl) with the “girls” at a local watering hole or listening to Guy Clark at a local Dallas venue. She brought a spirit and zest to my laboratory that was irreplaceable.
When I would discuss new opportunities for investigation with Shan she would always exclaim a level of enthusiasm that was simply contagious. Shan was instrumental in extending transgenisis to rats and by the time she left my lab in 1998 to become the manager of the Mouse Genetic Engineering Facility of the University of Texas at Austin, we had introduced over 40 different transgenes into the rat genome. Given our success with rat transgenisis, I naively assumed that we might be able to generate a pluripotent line of rat embryonic stem cells with which we could create rats harboring select mutants. Of course Shan loved the idea of trying to isolate rat es cell lines and for the next 6 years she worked tirelessly trying an array of cooked-up strategies to pull this off. We got very, very close but ultimately never fully succeeded. Her work schedule on this project included being in lab 7 days a week despite living a little more than an hour from the lab. While most, if not all, individuals would certainly have shrunk from the overwhelming sense of chronic failure on this project, Shan just became ever more determined. In the end she created several mouse embryonic stem cell lines from both 129S6 and B6 strains, one that bears her initials (SM1s), which have been used to target more than 500 different genes at UT Southwestern and UT Austin. Shan was an individual that one meets very infrequently in life. She always had time for those individuals in my lab and other labs that needed a shoulder to cry on. She was markedly unpretentious and reserved yet insightful and fully engaged in the discovery process. She embraced a philosophy that we affectionately referred to in the lab as the “Mole Philosophy”. The philosophy espoused an intense, focused, and dogged approach to a scientific pursuit without distractions until some measure of success had been achieved. Shan captured the essentials of this philosophy in a cartoon in which she sketched a mole excavating underground in pursuit of the Promised Land some distance away. The mole poked his head up once along his journey to gather some air, look around and ask- Am I still going in the right direction? She simply left the cartoon on my desk without exchanging any words. None were necessary!
I can truly say that I never had more fun in my lab than when Shan and I were microinjecting rat eggs in the early evening while listening to “her” Texas Rangers on the radio and anticipating heading out with the rest of the lab for a meal at one of her favorite restaurants after we finished up with transferring the embryos. For those of us who had the good fortune to know Shan, she was just an amazing woman. She will be remembered not only for her many scientific accomplishments but most importantly for her genuine, undying sense of friendship, her uncanny appreciation for good story telling, her smile and laugh, her many sly, poignant, pithy sayings and her incredible work ethic. We will all miss her.

Robert Hammer
Graydon Heartsill Professorship in Medical Science
Dept. of Biochemistry
Green Center for Reproductive Biology
University of Texas Southwestern Medical School
Dallas, Texas, USA

8th Annual Meeting of the Complex Trait Community

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

Complex Trait Community
8th Annual Meeting
Manchester, 2nd-5th May 2009
Meeting Website at

Michael Smith Building
University of Manchester

New Jax sperm cryopreservation protocol published

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

The Jackson Laboratory

The new Jackson Laboratory mouse sperm cryopreservation protocol has just been published in PloS ONE today (July 30, 2008). The title and authors of this publication are:

Conserving, Distributing and Managing Genetically Modified Mouse Lines by Sperm Cryopreservation

G. Charles Ostermeier (1,2), Michael V. Wiles (1), Jane S. Farley (2), Robert A. Taft (2)

(1) Technology Evaluation and Development, The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, Maine, United States of America.  (2) Reproductive Sciences, The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, Maine, United States of America


ISTT has more than 250 members world-wide

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

Current continental distribution of ISTT Members

The International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) has reached 250 Members in June 2008. Our Society was founded in 2006, although the initial discussions towards the foundation of ISTT started right after the TT2005 Meeting held in Barcelona.

We finished our first year, 2006, with 125 members, increased to 220 members in 2007, when we had the TT2007 Meeting, held in Brisbane (Australia), and now, in June 2008, we have doubled our initial number of members and we are currently more than 250 members distributed world-wide.

Membership evolution at the ISTTT

The ISTT is a very active Society, organising, promoting and sponsoring meetings, symposia, courses and workshops. Among other activities, from the ISTT we have promoted/co-organised or co-sponsored events in: Brisbane, London, Houston, Sao Paulo, Montevideo and Toronto.

The next Transgenic Technology (TT2008) meeting, the main activity of ISTT, will be held in Toronto (Canada), on October 27-29, 2008. We look forward to meeting all of you there.

If you would like to become ISTT Member, please visit this WEB site and follow the indications.

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