Archive for the ‘co-sponsorhip’ Category

TT2014 abstracts: submission deadline is approaching (30 June)

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014
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TT2014 abstracts: submission deadline is approaching (30 June)

TT2014 abstracts: submission deadline is approaching (30 June)

From the International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) we warmly invite and encourage you all to submit your most recent and exciting results and developments in animal transgenesis to be presented at the forthcoming 12th Transgenic Technology (TT2014) meeting, which will be held in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, on 6-8 October 2014. Deadline for submitting abstracts for the TT2014 meeting is June 30.
To submit an abstract please visit this TT2014 meeting web page.

All TT2014 participants are encouraged to submit their work as an abstract for poster presentation at the TT2014 meeting. Authors are requested to submit an abstract with the following requirements:

  • Title (max. 25 words)
  • Name authors and affiliations (first author is the presenting author).
  • Text of the communication (max. 400 words).
  • Abstracts should be submitted no later than June 30, 2014.

Accepted abstracts will be published in the scientific journal Transgenic Research (Springer), to which the ISTT is associated.

Posters
Posters will be on display in the exhibition area throughout the duration of the meeting. Poster boards are 1.00m wide x 2.00m high and we recommend posters do not exceed 1.50m in length. A supply of Velcro tabs will be available at the venue. No screws or double-sided adhesive tape will be allowed due to the damage they can cause to the boards.

Best Poster Awards
All posters presented at the TT2014 meeting will be eligible for one of the ISTT Best Poster Awards, generously sponsored by Charles River, Inc.

Oral Presentations
A limited number of abstract submissions will be selected and invited to present their findings in the form of a short oral presentation within the main meeting program. Should you be interested in being considered to speak at the meeting please select the appropriate option when submitting your abstract.

Abstracts are invited on all aspects of Transgenic Technologies, including the conference themes as listed below:

  • New technologies in animal transgenesis
  • Embryo stem cells
  • Target nucleases or Editing nucleases (ZFNs, TALENs, CRISPRs)
  • Large-scale phenotyping
  • Animal Biotechnology
  • Imaging with transgenic animals
  • Mouse models of human disease
  • Zebrafish models of human disease and transgenesis
  • Animal ethics and welfare

We are looking forward to receiving your exciting works to discuss the latest development on animal transgenesis!. See you all in Edinburgh!

Submit your abstract(s) to the TT2014 meeting in Edinburgh: 30 June

Sunday, May 11th, 2014
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Submit your abstract(s) to the TT2014 meeting in Edinburgh: 30 June

Submit your abstract(s) to the TT2014 meeting in Edinburgh: 30 June

The submission of abstracts for the 12th Transgenic Technology (TT2014) meeting, to be held in Edinburgh (Scotland, UK), on 6-8 October, is OPEN. All TT2014 participants are encouraged to submit their work as an abstract for poster presentation at the TT2014 meeting. Authors are requested to submit an abstract with the following requirements: Title (max. 25 words), Name authors and affiliations (first author is the presenting author), and, Text of the communication (max. 400 words). Abstracts should be submitted no later than June 30, 2014. Accepted abstracts will be published in the scientific journal Transgenic Research (Springer), to which the ISTT is associated.

Posters
Posters will be on display in the exhibition area throughout the duration of the meeting. Poster boards are 1.00m wide x 2.00m high and we recommend posters do not exceed 1.50m in length. A supply of Velcro tabs will be available at the venue. No screws or double-sided adhesive tape will be allowed due to the damage they can cause to the boards. All presented Posters at the TT2014 meeting will be entitled to the Best Poster Awards, generously sponsored by Charles River.

Oral Presentations
A limited number of abstract submissions will be selected and invited to present their findings in the form of a short oral presentation within the main meeting program. Should you be interested in being considered to speak at the meeting please select the appropriate option when submitting your abstract.

Abstracts are invited on all aspects of Transgenic Technologies, including the conference themes as listed below:

  • New technologies in animal transgenesis
  • Embryo stem cells
  • Target nucleases or Editing nucleases (ZFNs, TALENs, CRISPRs)
  • Large-scale phenotyping
  • Animal Biotechnology
  • Imaging with transgenic animals
  • Mouse models of human disease
  • Zebrafish models of human disease and transgenesis
  • Animal ethics and welfare

The 3rd ISTT Young Investigator Award goes to Feng Zhang

Monday, April 28th, 2014
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The 3rd ISTT Young Investigator Award goes to Feng Zhang (picture kindly provided by the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard)

The 3rd ISTT Young Investigator Award goes to Feng Zhang (picture kindly provided by the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard)

The International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) is pleased to announce the awardee for the third (3rd) ISTT Young Investigator Award, generously sponsored by inGenious Targeting Laboratory (iTL). After careful evaluation of the nominated candidates, the Award Committee selected Dr. Feng Zhang (Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT; and the Departments of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, and Biological Engineering at MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA).

Zhang’s recent outstanding work in the development of the CRISPR-Cas technology has set the pace in this highly competitive field. Among his many seminal contributions to CRISPR-Cas technology is the engineering of the RNA-guided nuclease Cas9 for use in editing the mammalian genome. This and his other recently published works have clearly impacted the field of transgenic technologies. Moreover, Zhang has encouraged transparency in the development of CRISPR-Cas technology and has made his work accessible for use by the broader scientific community.

Zhang was born in Shijiazhuang (Hebei Province, China) in 1981 and moved to the USA in 1993, where he was educated and trained at various institutes, including the Human Gene Therapy Research Institute (Des Moines, IA, 1997-99) as a high school student and the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology (2000-2004) at Harvard University (Cambridge, MA), where he obtained before his A.B. degree in Chemistry and Physics. He then moved to Stanford University (Stanford, CA) to conduct his PhD work (2004-2009) under the supervision of Dr. Karl Deiseroth in the Department of Bioengineering,  obtaining his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry in 2009. As a graduate student, Dr. Zhang worked with Deisseroth to invent a set of technologies for dissecting the functional organization of brain circuits, using light-sensitive proteins from green algae and other microbes to develop a new “optogenetic” toolbox for controlling the activity of neurons in live organisms with light.

After finishing his Ph.D., he returned to Cambridge, MA, as a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows (2009-2010) and began his own laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2011 as an Assistant Professor. He has achieved great success and has shown strong leadership as a Core Member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; as an Investigator of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT; and as a W. M. Keck Career Development Professor in Biomedical Engineering, in the Departments of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Biological Engineering at MIT. Dr. Zhang provides an excellent example of how scientific questions lead to the development and utilization of new technologies, as is reflected by his widespread research as an investigator at these various institutions.

Dr. Zhang has already received numerous prizes, awards and distinctions, including: the Perl/UNC Prize in Neuroscience, the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, technology innovation awards from the McKnight and Damon Runyon Foundations, and the NSF Alan T. Waterman Award. He was also recently named one of the “Brilliant Ten” top minds in science by Popular Science, and also named by Nature as one of their top 10 scientists who mattered in 2013. Dr. Feng Zhang is also a co-founder of the popular non-profit molecular biology web app everyVECTOR.

The following articles represent only some of his recent research published in the last two years, highlighting his most recent contributions to the CRISPR-Cas field and related publications on other editing nucleases systems. These publications have had a tremendous impact in the animal transgenesis field and have rapidly become highly sought-after references for subsequent studies.

The 2014 ISTT Young Investigator Award Committee was formed by Dr. Lluis Montoliu (President of ISTT), Dr. Benoît Kanzler (Vice-President of ISTT, Chair) and Dr. Paul Sheiffele (iTL CEO). Dr. Feng Zhang was nominated by ISTT Member Dr. Jan Parker-Thornburg (MD Anderson Cancer Centre, Houston, TX, USA).

Dr. Feng Zhang will attend the next 12th Transgenic Technology (TT2014) meeting in Edinburgh (Scotland, UK, 6-8 October 2014) where he will receive the corresponding diploma and will deliver a talk summarizing the scientific achievements that led him to receive this 3rd ISTT Young Investigator Award, sponsored by inGenious Targeting Laboratory (iTL).

Download this Press Release as a PDF document

CARD-RPCI Mouse Sperm and Embryo Cryopreservation Course, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY, USA, September 15th-19th, 2014

Monday, March 31st, 2014
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CARD-RPCI Mouse Sperm and Embryo Cryopreservation Course, Buffalo, NY, USA, September 15-19, 2014

CARD-RPCI Mouse Sperm and Embryo Cryopreservation Course, Buffalo, NY, USA, September 15-19, 2014

The International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) has agreed to co-sponsor another CARD Cryopreservation Course. This time, for the first time, the CARD methods will be taught in North America: the CARD-RPCI Mouse Sperm and Embryo Cryopreservation Practical Course will be held at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) in Buffalo, NY USA. The course will be held September 15th-19th, 2014, and will be a hands-on intensive workshop.

The course is organized by Naomi Nakagata (CARD-Kumamoto University, Japan, Coordinator of CARD), Aimee Stablewski (Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY, USA, Co-Director of the Gene Targeting and Transgenic Resource) and Jan Parker-Thornburg (MD Anderson, Houston, TX, USA, Director of the Genetically Engineered Mouse Facility).

This course is open to anyone interested. Pre-application will be required, including, at least, a recent CV, completion of this application questionnaire, and a letter prepared by the intended participant describing how the applicant will benefit by attending this course and how relevant is the course material to his/her work. Additional documents are welcome, at the discretion of participants, including supporting letters by supervisors (where appropriate), reference letters, etc… Pre-applications should be submitted by email to: buffalo_card_cryocourse@transtechsociety.org

The maximum number of participants attending this course will be 18, distributed among countries and institutions, and according the documentation provided and the interests expressed. Pre-applications will be accepted starting April 1st, 2014 and will close on May 31st, 2014. The review and selection of participants will be done by the Organizers from June 1st-15th, 2014. Registrations and payments for selected participants will be accepted from June 16th, 2014 to August 31st, 2014. If required, an ordered waiting list will be prepared and any cancellation or unpaid registration by August 31st, 2014 will be readily substituted by the first available person from this waiting list, starting on September 1st, 2014.

The course registration fee is $1300 USD (with a reduced fee of $1100 USD for ISTT members). This fee includes participation in the entire course, all materials and reagents, lunches over the 5 days and one course official dinner. Hotel costs are not included in the registration fee but booking assistance will be provided, if required, at a hotel on Roswell Park Cancer Institute’s campus, where all instructors and lecturers will be also lodged, hence further promoting interaction from breakfast to dinner. The official language of the course will be English.

COURSE INFORMATION: Recent developments from the laboratory of Prof. Naomi Nakagata (CARD-Kumamoto University, Japan) have boosted the mouse cryopreservation field with improved methods for fresh and frozen sperm techniques and associated optimized IVF methods that have resulted in unparalleled increased efficiencies for the cryopreservation and rescue of relevant mouse lines.

The aim of this course is to introduce the new CARD methods to researchers and technicians involved in managing mouse archiving and/or transgenic facilities and willing to implement these new methods, directly taught by the team which devised them. Each participant will have one stereomicroscope and the entire set of tools, reagents and animals required to learn and practice all the methods included in the program of this course. In addition to practical sessions, the course will also include several lectures of related interesting topics for the participants delivered by experts in each field. The number of instructors and lecturers appointed is 17.

Hands-on topics that will be covered during this cryopreservation course:

  • Isolating unfertilized mouse oocytes
  • Isolating and cold storage/shipping of mouse cauda epididymis
  • Isolating and cold storage of embryos
  • Freezing/thawing mouse sperm and IVF using CARD frozen sperm and legacy sperm
  • Fresh mouse sperm and IVF
  • Cold Storage sperm and IVF
  • Freezing/thawing 2-cell IVF-derived mouse embryos
  • Vitrification of mouse oocytes and embryos
  • IVF of vitrified mouse oocytes
  • Ovary transplantation/ovary freezing
  • Embryo transfer techniques in mice (oviduct, uterus via NSET)

Additional lectures on the following topics:

  • Historic and Scientific perspectives of embryo and sperm cryopreservation
  • Comparing current embryo and sperm cryopreservation methods
  • Vitrification of oocytes and their use for IVF
  • New US Guidelines for the use of animals in research/IACUC
  • Cold storage and transport of germplasm
  • Large archiving and distribution centers- challenges and solutions
  • Shipping mice, refrigerated and frozen material
  • CRISPR/Cas9
  • Freezing and transplantation of ovaries
  • NSET: non-surgical embryo transfer
  • Breeding strategies for cohort generation of GEM’s
  • CARD

Instructors:

  • Naomi Nakagata (CARD-Kumamoto University, Japan)
  • Toru Takeo (CARD-Kumamoto University, Japan)
  • Shuuji Tsuchiyama (CARD-Kumamoto University, Japan)
  • Kiyoko Fukumoto (CARD-Kumamoto University, Japan)
  • Yukie Haruguchi (CARD-Kumamoto University, Japan)
  • Tomoko Kondo (CARD-Kumamoto University, Japan)
  • Yumi Takeshita (CARD-Kumamoto University, Japan)
  • Yuko Nakamuta (CARD-Kumamoto University, Japan)
  • Tomoko Umeno (CARD-Kumamoto University, Japan)
  • Jan Parker-Thornburg (MD Anderson, Houston, TX, USA)
  • Aimee Stablewski (Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY, USA)
  • Dawn Barnas (Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY, USA)
  • Amar Dasani (Taconic, Germantown, NY, USA)
  • Andrea Dunn (Taconic, Germantown, NY, USA)
  • Kristy Williams (USA)
  • Barbara Stone (ParaTechs, Lexington, KY, USA)
  • Jorge Sztein (Barcelona, Spain)

Additional lectures by:

  • Naomi Nakagata (CARD-Kumamoto University, Japan)
  • Toru Takeo (CARD-Kumamoto University, Japan)
  • Sandra Sexton (Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY, USA)
  • Jorge Sztein (Barcelona, Spain)
  • Barbara Stone (ParaTechs, Lexington, KY, USA)
  • Lluis Montoliu (CNB-CSIC, Madrid, Spain)
  • Carlisle Landel (Transposagen Inc., Lexington, KY, USA)
  • Amar Dasani (Taconic, Germantown, NY, USA)

Updated scientific and workshop programmes for the TT2014 meeting in Edinburgh

Friday, January 10th, 2014
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Upades scientific and workshop programmes for TT2014 meeting in Edinburgh: Please, register today!.

Upades scientific and workshop programmes for TT2014 meeting in Edinburgh: Please, register today!.

The scientific and zebrafish transgenesis hands-on workshop programmes prepared for the 12th Transgenic Technology (TT2014) meeting, to be held in Edinburgh (Scotland, UK), on October 6-8 (workshop on October 8-10) 2014,  have been recently updated by the Organizers, chaired by Douglas Strathdee (Glasgow, UK). These rewarding updates further increased the already high quality and interest for this popular conference series, promoted from the International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT), the most important forum where to discuss the state-of-art of animal transgenic technology, to share new developments, to review the deployment of the new methods that have recently being devised and, in summary, an excellent arena where to easily meet, face-to-face, the most relevant key-players in the field while providing a wonderful excuse to gather and ex-change experiences with the entire ISTT family of members.

The updated list of confirmed invited speakers attending the TT2014 meeting (6-8 October 2014) includes:

  • David Adams, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK
  • Ignacio Anegon, Center for Research in Transplantation and Immunology, Nantes, France
  • James Bussell, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK
  • Ian Chalmers, MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine, The University of Edinburgh, UK
  • Stephen Ekker, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA
  • Anna-Katerina Hadjatonakis, Developmental Biology Program, Sloan-Kettering Institute, New York, USA
  • Peter Hohenstein, The Roslin Institute and Royal Dick School of Vetinary Studies & MRC IGMM, University of Edinburgh, UK
  • Rudolf Jaenisch, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Nine Cambridge Center Cambridge, USA
  • Jos Jonkers, Division of Molecular Pathology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Keith Joung, Molecular Pathology Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, MA, USA
  • Alexandra Joyner, Developmental Biology Program, Sloan-Kettering Institute, New York, USA
  • Koichi Kawakami, Division of Molecular and Developmental Biology, National Institute of Genetics, Shizuoka, Japan
  • Michael McGrew, Division of Developmental Biology, The Roslin Institute and Royal Dick School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh, UK
  • Daniel J Murphy, Beatson Institute for Cancer Research, University of Glasgow, UK
  • James Murray, Department of Animal Science and Department of Population Health and Reproduction, University of California, Davis, California, USA
  • Stephen Murray, The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, Maine, USA
  • Lluis Montoliu, ISTT President, Organising Committee, National Center of Biotechnology (CNB), CSIC, Madrid, Spain
  • Vasilis Ntziachristos, Technische Universität Mu?nchen, Munich, Germany
  • Elizabeth Patton, MRC Human Genetics Unit & MRC IGMM, University of Edinburgh, UK
  • Pawel Pelczar, Institute of Laboratory Animal Science, Zürich, Switzerland
  • Jan-Bas Prins, Leiden University Medical Centre, The Netherlands
  • Janet Rossant, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (ISTT Prize)
  • Angelika Schnieke, Livestock Biotechnology, WZW Center of Life Science, Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany
  • Kai Schönig, Central Institute of Mental Health, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany
  • William Skarnes, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK
  • Austin Smith, Wellcome Trust-Medical Research Council Stem Cell Institute, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
  • Francis Stewart, Biotechnology Center of the TU Dresden, Germany
  • Sara Wells, MRC Harwell, Oxfordshire, UK
  • Jacqueline White, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambridge UK

The updated list of confirmed invited speakers & instructors attending the hands-on zebrafish transgenesis workshop taking place immediately after the TT2014 meeting (8-10 October 2014) includes:

  • Liz Patton, MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, The University of Edinburgh
  • Carl Tucker, Biomedical Research Resources, The University of Edinburgh
  • Tim Czopka, Centre for Neuroregeneration, The University of Edinburgh
  • Koichi Kawakami, Division of Molecular and Developmental Biology, National Institute of Genetics, Shizuoka, Japan
  • Stephen Ekker, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA
  • Keith Joung, Department of Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School
  • Henry Roehl, Department of Biomedical Science, The University of Sheffield
  • Robert Kelsh, Centre for Regenerative Medicine and Department of Biology and Biochemistry, The University of Bath
  • Martin Denvir, The University of Edinburgh/British Heart Foundation Centre for Cardiovascular Science, The University of Edinburgh
  • David Lyons, Centre for Neuroregeneration, The University of Edinburgh
  • Dirk Seiger, Centre for Neuroregeneration, The University of Edinburgh
  • Karthikeyani Paranthaman, MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, The University of Edinburgh

Abstracts: All TT2014 participants are encouraged to submit their work as an abstract for poster presentation at the TT2014 meeting. Abstracts should be submitted no later than June 30, 2014. Accepted abstracts will be published in the scientific journal Transgenic Research (Springer), to which the ISTT is associated. A limited number of abstract submissions will be selected and invited to present their findings in the form of a short oral presentation within the main meeting program. Abstracts are invited on all aspects of Transgenic Technologies, including the conference themes as listed below:

  • New technologies in animal transgenesis
  • Embryo stem cells
  • Target nucleases or Editing nucleases (ZFNs, TALENs, CRISPRs)
  • Large-scale phenotyping
  • Animal Biotechnology
  • Imaging with transgenic animals
  • Mouse models of human disease
  • Zebrafish models of human disease and transgenesis
  • Animal ethics and welfare

Registration for both the TT2014 meeting and the zebrafish transgenesis workshop are OPEN. Registration for the TT2014 meetings starts at 265 UK Pounds for technician/student ISTT members and progressively increases for the rest of categories of delegates. ISTT members are always entitled to reduced registration fees. Registration for the zebrafish transgenesis workshop is independent, with an extra cost of 275 UK Pounds , and only open to delegates that have also registered to attend the TT2014 meeting. The early bird reduced registration fees are operative until July 31, 2014. Thereafter, registration will be progressively become more expensive. Hence,  please register by July 31, 2014 to benefit from reduced registration fees.

ISTT Registration Awards: Application to ISTT registration awards for the TT2014 meeting is OPEN. A minimum of six registration awards for ISTT members will be sponsored by the International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT). Applications should be sent, along with the registration confirmation and the requested additional documents to istt@transtechsociety.org by June 30, 2014. The ISTT will pay the Registration Fee of all applicants selected for an award. Please note that applicants not selected for an award are required to pay the coresponding registration fee. Please note the Award covers registration fees and attendance at all social events, however, does not cover travel, accommodation expenses or attendance at pre meeting events. Award decisions will be communicated by July 15, 2014 and awardees will receive a diploma at the TT2014 Meeting. Deadline for submitting application for ISTT Registration Awards for TT2014: 30 June 2014. Registration Award decisions will be communicated by 15 July 2014.

Looking forward to meeting you all in Edinburgh!

 

Third ISTT Young Investigator Award

Saturday, January 4th, 2014
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Third ISTT Young Investigator Award

Third ISTT Young Investigator Award

The International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT), in collaboration with inGenious Targeting Laboratory (iTL), has established the ISTT YOUNG INVESTIGATOR AWARD that is presented at each Transgenic Technology meeting. The third edition of this ISTT Young Investigator Award will be given at the next 12th Transgenic Technology Meeting (TT2014), that will be held in Edinburgh, on 6-8 October 2014.

The ISTT Young Investigator Award recognizes outstanding achievements by a young scientist who will keep the field of transgenic technologies vibrant with new ideas and who has recently received his or her advanced professional degree. The ISTT Young Investigator Award is generously sponsored by inGenious Targeting Laboratory (iTL).

To date, two editions of the ISTT Young Investigator Awards have been already granted to Dr. Xiao-Yang Zhao (China) and Dr. Toru Takeo (Japan), at the corresponding TT2011 and TT2013 meetings, respectively.

The ISTT Young Investigator Award is associated to funds that will serve to defray the costs related to the participation of the ISTT Young Investigator awardee at the corresponding TT Meeting, including: TT meeting registration fee, travel expenses to the TT meeting venue and accommodation during the meeting dates for the awarded candidate, with a maximum being set to 1500 Euros. All ISTT Young Investigator awardees will be given 1 year Ordinary ISTT Membership and a diploma, that will be provided at the ISTT Awards Ceremony, within the TT Meeting Program.

Instructions for participating and additional information are provided at the ISTT Young Investigator Award web page, within the ISTT web site.

ELEGIBILITY criteria for ISTT Young Investigator Awards

Nominees must be active in research, in the field of transgenic technologies, at the time the award is given. Nominees must have received a PhD or MD (or equivalent) within the past 10 years.

NOMINATION criteria for ISTT Young Investigator Awards

Nominations must be made or endorsed by an ISTT member. Nominee does not have to be an ISTT member. Self nomination is not permitted. No person may nominate more than one candidate.

PROCEDURE for participating in the ISTT Young Investigator Awards selection process

Nominations must be made or endorsed by an ISTT member and should include:

  • the CV of the nominee
  • a document highlighting the achievements made by the nominee in the field of transgenic technologies
  • a message or document confirming the nominee’s acceptance to participate in the ISTT Young Investigator Award selection process

All documents should be sent by the ISTT Member nominating the candidate to the ISTT email address: istt@transtechsociety.org

Currently we are accepting nominations for the 3rd ISTT Young Investigator Award for the TT2014 meeting in Edinburgh.

DEADLINE for submitting nominations: March 29, 2014.

Decision for the TT2014 ISTT Young Investigator Award will be communicated by May 31, 2014.

On behalf of the ISTT, I would like to thank inGenious Targeting Laboratory for their support to the ISTT and, in particular, for sponsoring this 3rd  ISTT Young Investigator Award.

With my best regards,

 Benoît Kanzler

ISTT Vice-President

ISTT Best Poster Awards at TT meetings sponsored by Charles River

Sunday, November 10th, 2013
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ISTT Best Poster Awards at TT meetings sponsored by Charles River

ISTT Best Poster Awards at TT meetings sponsored by Charles River

The International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT), in collaboration with Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. (CRL), has establised the ISTT BEST POSTER AWARDS that will be given at the Transgenic Technology (TT) Meetings. The ISTT Best Poster Awards recognize outstanding work presented by participants at Transgenic Technology (TT) meetings. The ISTT Best Poster Awards are generously sponsored by Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. (CRL).

All posters accepted and presented at a TT meeting will be eligible for these ISTT Best Poster Awards. An ISTT Best Poster Awards committee will be established by the ISTT in order to select the awarded posters among among all presented communications submitted to a TT meeting as Posters. This committee might include members of the ISTT Council, members of the Local Organizing Committee and any other willing ISTT member and will have a Chair. The ISTT Council will nominate the members of this Committee and its Chair. The number of Posters to be awarded might vary, from TT meeting to TT meeting, although the figure of selecting the three best posters presented might be used as a reference. The scientific and technical quality of the Poster, he novelty of the results presented, as well as the artwork applied and the overall layout of the Poster will be judged by this Committee, among any additional criteria, at its sole discretion. The ISTT will define the nature of the presents to be given to the presenters of the selected awarded Posters.

The next TT meeting where the ISTT Poster Awards will be given is the 12th Transgenic Technology meeting, TT2014, to be held on 6-8 October 2014 in Ediburgh, Scotland, UK.

The TT2014 meeting web page has been launched: REGISTRATION IS OPEN!

Thursday, October 31st, 2013
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The TT2014 meeting web site has been launched. REGISTRATION IS OPEN!

The TT2014 meeting web site has been launched. REGISTRATION IS OPEN!

Today, the 12th Transgenic Technology (TT2014) meeting web site has been launched. And meeting registration is already open!. The TT2014 meeting is organized by ISTT members Douglas Strathdee-chair, Peter Hohenstein and Bruce Whitelaw and will be held at The Assembly Rooms, in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, on 6-8 October 2014. Immediately following the TT2014 meeting, on October 9-10, 2014, there will be a hands-on practical workshop called ‘An Introduction to Zebrafish Transgenesis‘ which will focus on Zebrafish.  Further details about this practical workshop will be announced at the TT2014 meeting web site.

The meeting is hosted by three world-class Scottish research institutes and the University of Edinburgh: the Roslin Institute; the Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine and the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research. All three Institutes are world-renowned for producing top quality science at the forefront of biomedical research. The TT meeting visits the UK for the first time following the previous TT meetings in Guangzhou, China (TT2013); Florida, USA (TT2011); Berlin, Germany (TT2010); Toronto, Canada (TT2008); Brisbane, Australia (TT2007) and Barcelona, Spain (TT2005). This will be the 12th meeting in the series, originally pioneered by Johannes Wilbertz (Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden) in 1999. Since the foundation of the ISTT in 2006, the TT meetings have been the main event sponsored by the Society.

The following speakers have confirmed their participation at the TT2014 meeting:

  • David Adams, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambridge UK
  • Ignacio Anegon, Center for Research in Transplantation and Immunology, Nantes, France
  • Stephen Ekker, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA
  • Kat Hadjatonakis, Developmental Biology Program, Sloan-Kettering Institute, New York, USA
  • Coenraad Hendriksen, Institute for Translational Vaccinology, Bilthoven, The Netherlands
  • Rudolf Jaenisch, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Nine Cambridge Center Cambridge, USA
  • Jos Jonkers, Division of Molecular Pathology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Keith Joung, Molecular Pathology Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, MA, USA
  • Alex Joyner, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA
  • Koichi Kawakami, Division of Molecular and Developmental Biology, National Institute of Genetics, Shizuoka, Japan
  • Jim Murray, Department of Animal Science and Department of Population Health and Reproduction, University of California, Davis, California, USA
  • Stephen Murray, The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, Maine, USA
  • Lluis Montoliu, ISTT President, Organising Committee, National Center of Biotechnology (CNB), CSIC, Madrid, Spain
  • Vasilis Ntziachristos, Technische Universität Mu?nchen, Munich, Germany
  • Pawel Pelczar, Institute of Laboratory Animal Science, Zürich, Switzerland
  • Janet Rossant, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Angelika Schnieke, Livestock Biotechnology, WZW Center of Life Science, Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany
  • Kai Schönig, Central Institute of Mental Health, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany
  • Austin Smith, Wellcome Trust-Medical Research Council Stem Cell Institute, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
  • Sara Wells, MRC Harwell, Oxfordshire, UK
  • Jacqui White, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambridge UK

At the TT2014 meeting, the ISTT will be awarding the 10th ISTT Prize for outstanding contributions to the field of transgenic technologies to Prof. Janet Rossant (The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada). The ISTT Prize is generously sponsored by genOway.

At the TT2014 meeting, the ISTT will be also awarding the 3rd ISTT Young Investigator Award, generously sponsored by inGenious Targeting Laboratory. The ISTT Young Investigator Award recognizes outstanding achievements by a young scientist who will keep the field of transgenic technologies vibrant with new ideas and who has recently received his or her advanced professional degree.

At the TT2014 meeting, and for the first time, the ISTT Best Poster Awards, traditionally awarded to the best posters presented at the corresponding TT meeting, will be generously sponsored by Charles River.

Accepted abstracts submitted for the TT2014 meeting, will be published in the scientific journal Transgenic Research (Springer), to which the ISTT is associated.

A minimum of six registration awards for ISTT members will be sponsored by the International Society for Transgenic Technologies. Applications should be sent, along with the registration document to istt@transtechsociety.org by June 30, 2014. Award decisions will be communicated by July 15, 2014 and awardees will receive a diploma at the TT2014 Meeting.

Important deadlines:

  • Abstract submission deadline June 30, 2014
  • Application for ISTT registration awards deadline June 30, 2014
  • Awards to be communicated by July 15, 2014
  • Early Bird registration fee deadline July 31, 2014
  • Standard Rate registration fee from August 1, 2014
  • Late & On-Site Rate registration fee from September 22, 2014

As it is stated in the TT2014 meeting home page: “Scotland prides itself on both its life science research and the warm welcome given to visitors and looks forward to hosting TT2014“. Therefore, on behalf of the ISTT and of the TT2014 Organising Committee we invite you all to attend to the TT2014 meeting.

See you all in Edinburgh!

Janet Rossant will be awarded the 10th ISTT Prize at the TT2014 meeting in Edinburgh

Monday, October 21st, 2013
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Janet Rossant (Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON, Canada) will be awarded the 10th ISTT Prize at the TT2014 meeting in Edinburgh (picture kindly provided by JR)

Janet Rossant (Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON, Canada) will be awarded the 10th ISTT Prize at the TT2014 meeting in Edinburgh (picture kindly provided by JR)

The International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) is pleased to award the 10th ISTT Prize to Professor Janet Rossant, Senior Scientist in the Developmental & Stem Cell Biology Program, Chief of Research at The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; University Professor at the University of Toronto; Deputy Scientific Director of the Canadian Stem Cell Network; and Professor in the Departments of Molecular Genetics, Obstetrics / Gynaecology and Paediatrics at the University of Toronto. The ISTT Prize is given to an investigator who has made outstanding contributions to the field of transgenic technologies. As a world leader in developmental biology, and someone who has made seminal contributions to our field, Professor Janet Rossant will receive the award at the next Transgenic Technology meeting (TT2014), which will be held in Edinburgh (Scotland, UK) on October 6-8, 2014.

In awarding this prize to Dr. Rossant, the ISTT Prize committee acknowledges her many fundamental contributions to the science and technology of manipulating early pre-implantation mouse embryos and their instrumental role in our current understanding of mouse genetics and developmental biology. Her work on embryonic stem cell biology, blastocyst-derived cell lineages, and the mechanisms of cell-fate decisions in the early mouse embryo have been fundamental in deciphering how embryo-derived stem cells can be maintained and differentiated. Furthermore, her personal contributions in all of these areas have facilitated the development of the mouse transgenesis tools and methods used daily by many ISTT members.

Along with her active participation in many other related scientific and educational events, the ISTT Prize committee wishes to highlight Dr. Rossant’s most generous dedication to the dissemination of mouse transgenesis techniques among young scientists and technologists, through her pivotal role in the organization of the Great Lakes Mammalian Developmental Biology Meeting series in Toronto for more than thirty-five years, and her participation in the two classical CSHLP videos on techniques of mouse transgenesis (1989) and ES cells (1993), still regularly used today, and available as digital videos from the ISTT web site for its members.

Dr. Rossant was among the few pioneers who established, mastered and disseminated the technique of introducing targeted mutations into genes using mouse ES cells, leading to the generation of knockout mice and using them both to understand fundamental developmental processes and as animal models of human disease. Dr. Rossant’s interest in following the progression of mouse development from embryo to adulthood has led her to study stem cells from which individual tissues are derived during development. Her current research interests are focused on understanding the genetic control of normal and abnormal development in the early mouse embryo using both cellular and genetic manipulation techniques. Her interests in the early embryo have increased our understanding of the trophectoderm, and the discovery of a novel placental stem cell type, the trophoblast stem cell. Her current goal is to understand the genetic and cellular networks involved in blastocyst formation. By understanding how normal mammalian development occurs, she aims to understand how to regulate pluripotency using human ES or iPS cells in future therapeutical applications.

Dr. Rossant was born in Chatham (UK) in 1950. She obtained her B.A. and M.A. in Zoology at the University of Oxford, UK, in 1972, followed by her PhD in Developmental Biology in 1976 at the University of Cambridge, UK, working in Richard Gardner’s laboratory. While she was an undergraduate student in Oxford she attended a few courses taught by John Gurdon and became fascinated by developmental biology. Since 1977 she has been working in Canada, first at Brock University in St Catharines as an Assistant Professor and later as Associate Professor at the University of Toronto, where she was appointed Professor in 2001. Since 1985 she has been working in Toronto, first at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, until 2005, and then at the Hospital for Sick Children, where she now leads her research group.

In addition to being awarded the 10th ISTT Prize for Transgenic Technologies at the TT2014 meeting by the International Society for Transgenic Technologies, Dr. Rossant has been recognized for her contributions to science with many other awards, including the Killam Prize for Health Sciences, the March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology, the Conklin Medal from the Society for Developmental Biology, the CIHR Michael Smith Prize in Health Research (Canada’s most prestigious health research award), the Excellence in Science Award from the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, the National Cancer Institute of Canada /Eli Lilly Robert L. Noble Prize for excellence in cancer research, and the McLaughlin Medal from the Royal Society of Canada. She has twice been named a Howard Hughes International Scholar, and is a recipient of the Ross G. Harrison Medal (lifetime achievement award) from the International Society of Developmental Biologists. She is a Fellow of the Royal Societies of both London and Canada, and is a foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Science.

Her highly prolific career includes over 340 publications, including some milestone achievements in the fields of early mouse embryogenesis and stem cell biology.

Her first few papers, dating from 1975, already addressed what would be a recurrent research topic in her career, namely, investigating the cell-fate determination of the inner cell mass of mouse blastocysts, from which embryonic stem cells are derived. She worked with Andrzej K. Tarkowski, the pioneer in producing mouse chimeras, and published with him a 1976 Nature paper on the development of haploid mouse blastocysts from bisected zygotes. She worked in 1979 with Richard Gardner, another pioneering researcher in pre-implantation embryos, investigating the cell fate of inner cell mass cells. Her studies resulted in the completely normal development of interspecific chimeras in mammals in 1980, using two species of mice. Since the early 1980s she showed an interest in the trophectoderm cell lineage and its relevance in mammalian pre-implantation embryos and in the generation of the placenta and other extra-embryonic cell lineages. Since then she has collaborated with many other key scientists in the fields of mouse transgenesis, mouse embryogenesis and stem cells, including V. Papaioannou, R. Balling, A. McLaren, A. Bernstein, A. Nagy, A. Joyner, W. Skarnes, A. Gossler, KS. Zaret, TW. Mak, A. Pawson, A. McMahon, R. Jaenisch, EM. DeRobertis, P. Soriano, D. Melton, R. Kemler, P. Avner, S. Yamanaka and Q. Zhou, among many others, and has contributed extensively in the areas of mammalian vascular development, trophoblast-derived cell lineages, and early mouse embryogenesis, as well as in the development of large-scale collaborations such as the International Gene Trap Consortium, The International Knockout Mouse Consortium, and the International Stem Cell Initiative, for establishing benchmarks for human stem cell research. Dr. Janet Rossant is also the current President of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR).

Dr. Rossant joins the list of previously awarded scientists with the ISTT Prize, consisting of (in descending chronological order): Allan Bradley (2013), Ralph L. Brinster (2011), A. Francis Stewart (2010), Brigid Hogan (2008), Charles Babinet (2007), Andras Nagy (2005), Qi Zhou (2004), Kenneth J. McCreath (2002), Teruhiko Wakayama (2001). All ISTT Prize winners are given Honorary Membership in the ISTT and a unique sculpture representing a silver mouse blastocyst created by the Hungarian artist Mr. Béla Rozsnyay.

The ISTT Prize Committee includes the ISTT President and Vice-President, the CEO of genOway (the company generously sponsoring the award), and previous ISTT Prize awardees.

Selected references from Janet Rossant’s lifetime achievements:

Download the 10th ISTT Prize press release to be awarded to Janet Rossant

Additional sources of information for Janet Rossant’s biography:

 

 

Meeting report: IX Transgenic Animal Research Conference. Granlibakken Conference Center, Tahoe City, California, USA, 11-15 August 2013

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013
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Lake Tahoe, CA, USA

Lake Tahoe, CA, USA

The IX Transgenic Animal Research Conference, organized by ISTT member Jim Murray (UC Davis), was held last week at the Granlibakken Conference Center, Tahoe City, California, USA. The unique and beautiful location of this meeting series, by Lake Tahoe, in Northern California, surrounded by woods and mountains (and sporting chipmunks and bears), triggered its magic again and, hence, this ninth TARC was a rewarding success. The conference was attended by about 100 delegates from academia and industry, representing groups primarily interested in the generation, analysis or marketing of non-rodent transgenic animal models, as well as regulators and representatives from governmental agencies. This conference was co-sponsored by the ISTT.

The meeting started with a most passionate keynote address by Matt Wheeler (University of Illinois, USA) who reminded us about our responsibility and the mission we all have as biotechnologists to improve the efficiency of food production in cattle, pigs, and also poultry (as adequately reminded by Helen Sang [Roslin Institute, UK]) , using our unique genetic tools and techniques. Dr. Wheeler provided a number of striking figures to highlight the extraordinary need for food in the near future: “estimates have suggested that we will need to increase our current food production by 70% by 2050. This means that we will have to produce the total amount of food each year that has been consumed by mankind over the past 500 years”. He also expressed regret at how transgenic large animal programs were declining in the US, in part due to the lack of trust in a regulatory process that has been witholding the approval of some early transgenic animals. One major example of this is the ongoing saga of the fast growing AquAdvantage transgenic salmon, produced by AquaBounty, not yet approved, more than 20 years after being first generated. Finally, he openly referred to the unacceptable cost for the world, of not using the most advanced genetic engineering techniques to improve food production. He concluded that “hunger is a curable disease”.

Scott Fahrenkrug (Recombinetics Inc., USA) continued with a most interesting talk describing how the new gene editing tools (i.e. TALENs) can be applied for direct livestock genetics. Using illustrative examples in pigs and cattle he demonstrated the efficient introduction of single and multiple subtle genetic changes, often found as rare alleles in some breeds and difficult to introduce in the animal of choice by standard genetic breeding program, where the segregation of traits would require tens of thousands of animals and many generations. This first of several talks on genome editing tools was followed by that of Emmanuelle Charpentier (Helmholtz Center for Infection Research, Germany), one of the pioneers and discoverer of the CRISPR-Cas9 system in bacteria, and its application for the efficient gene edition in mammals. She suggested that new applications will come from the use of new variants of the RNA-guided Cas9 endonuclease.

Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe, CA, US

Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe, CA, USA

The second session started with a talk by Daniel Carlson (Recombinetics Inc., USA), who gave technical details of the experiments described briefly by Scott Fahrenkrug, highlighting the factors that can influence success when attempting to precisely edit the genome of livestock species (pig and cattle) with TALENs. Next, Charlotte Brandt Sorensen (Aarhus University, Denmark) reported on the efficient genome engineering in pigs using both recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) and TALENs in order to generate swine animal models of breast cancer and Type II diabetes. The session concluded with a technical lecture delivered by Colin Fox (Genentech, USA), on their approaches to systematically and efficiently genotype complex genetic alterations in transgenic animals affecting multiple alleles.

The third session was focused on the use of pigs for a variety of purposes. First, Kevin Wells (University of Missouri, USA), reported on their advances in a gene stacking project, where the use of phiC31 integrase and its corresponding target sites was evaluated, in parallel to standard homologous recombination approaches, for the efficient cointegration of multiple alleles at discrete genomic locations. The session was completed with talks from two German groups, where Nikolai Klymiuk (Ludwig-Maximilian University, Germany) and Angelika Schnieke (Technische Univ. Muenchen, Germany) shared their progress in xenotransplation and the modeling of cancer disease in pigs, respectively.

The fourth session, on the conference’s second day, started with a talk by Liangxue Lai (Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, China) reporting on their progress with a series of pig models of human degenerative diseases including Parkinson, Ataxia (ALS), Huntington and Alzheimer. Liangxue Lai had also participated as invited speaker at the TT2013 meeting in Guangzhou, held previously this year. Chuck Long (Texas A&M University, USA) presented work from his lab using lentiviral transgenes in cattle to knock-down the myostatin locus by RNA-interference. He also reported on a new model for muscle steatosis (marbling) in pigs. The session ended with a totally different animal system: chickens and avian primordial germ cells (PGCs), delivered by Mike McGrew (Roslin Institute, UK). Mike reported progress made in his lab to establish efficient conditions to culture chicken PGCs and his attempts to generate inducible knock-down of target genes using transposons and the TET-system.

Lake Tahoe, CA, USA

Lake Tahoe, CA, USA

The fifth session, with two talks, was entirely devoted to further evaluate risk assessment on the transgenic goat model producing lysozyme in milk, generated by Jim Murray and collaborators at UC Davis. First, Elizabeth Maga (UC Davis, USA) systematically analyzed whether there were any unintended effects associated with the mammary-specific expression of the lysozyme transgene in the host (lactating goats) and in a non-targeted organism (kid goats consuming the milk from transgenic goats). Even though they found some statistically significant differences among the many tests conducted, these were considered of no biological relevance, more due to time of expression and not due to the presence of the transgene. She concluded that there were no unintended effects as revealed in these analyses. Second, Caitlin Cooper (UC Davis, USA) shared her analysis on the effects of consumption of milk containing lactoferrin (from transgenic cows) and/or lysozyme (from transgenic goats) on the intestinal health in young pigs. Her studies concluded that lactoferrin and lysozyme exhibit both shared and unique mechanisms and highlighted the relevance of dosage in the positive effects observed in the intestinal villi architecture and the overall balance of several cells of the immunity system in the gut.

The sixth session presented two different but equally-interesting advances obtained by two agrobiotech companies. First, AgResearch’s researcher Goetz Laible (New Zealand) described their success in reducing the contents of beta-lactoglobulin (BLG) in ovine and cow milk, hence aiming to produce a less allergenic milk for eventual human consumption. They tested their strategy using RNA-interference in mice, with the help of some transgenic mice producing BLG in their milk. Finally, they generated a cow producing milk with reduced allergens. Next, Benjamin Schusser (Crystal Bioscience, Inc., USA) shared their advances towards producing therapeutic monoclonal antibodies against human proteins in chickens. In this regard, he documented the creation of the first chicken knockouts, for the IgL and IgH loci, by inserting the corresponding variable regions of human Ig loci.

The seventh session was also devoted to advances in chicken genetic engineering. Tim Doran (CSIRO, Australia) began with a description of an alternative way of genetically modifying chicken PGCs with transposon-type transgenes by direct in vivo transfection, thus avoiding the need to isolate, culture and reinsert these cells in host chicken embryos. This talk was followed by that of Mark Tizard (CSIRO, Australia), illustrating how the use of innovative RNA-interference approaches could be used for efficient trait control and disease resistance in poultry.

Lake Tahoe, CA, USA

Lake Tahoe, CA, USA

The conference’s last day started with three new large animal models for human diseases. First, Irina Polejaeva (Utah State University, USA) described her transgenic goat models that overexpress the profibrotic factor TGF-ß1 in cardiomyocytes, designed to study the relationship between cardiac fibrosis and atrial fibrillation. Next, Chris Rogers (Exemplar Genetics, USA) presented pig models for human hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerosis generated by disrupting the LDL receptor gene in the pig genome. The LDLR deficient pigs are currently being used to test new cholesterol-lowering drugs and to develop detection and treatment strategies for atherosclerosis. The session finished with a talk by Zhong Wang (University of Michigan, USA) and their new approaches to study heart development and regeneration in pigs.

The eighth session was devoted to the progress of animal products generated using biotechnology with regard to regulation and the expected path to market, once the product is investigated, validated and eventually approved by the relevant regulatory bodies. This process was described by Ronald Stotish (AquaBounty Technologies, USA), who shared the extremely long and as-yet unsuccessful attempt to obtain required FDA approval for marketing the AquAdvantage salmon. This fast-growing transgenic fish can grow to expected market size in half of the time required for non-transgenic salmon using standard aquaculture procedures. The apparent science-based regulatory process has been repeatedly interrupted by not only anti-technology groups but other groups with obvious political and economic interests conflicting with the marketing of these salmon. More than 20 years have passed since this transgenic salmon was first generated, and yet, after numerous scientific studies demonstrating that this product is as safe as non-transgenic salmon and after concluding that it does not pose a significant threat for the environment, the final approval by the FDA has not been issued. The seminar on the transgenic salmon issue was followed by a nice summary talk by Alison van Eennennaam (UC Davis, USA) where she presented how the regulation of genetically-modified animals is interpreted in different countries/continents, such as US, Europe or Australia, and the consequences these definitions have on the overall regulatory process aiming to obtain a permission to market a given transgenic animal or a product derived from them. Furthermore, she challenged the current regulatory scenario with the new gene editing tools (i.e. ZFNs, TALENs, or CRISPRs-Cas) where, in most cases, the genetic alterations leave no specific footprints and are undistinguishable from other similar genetic alleles that can be found in the nature, among the different breeds of a given species. Knowing in advance whether these precise genetic engineering processes will or will not be regulated through the current laws or whether they would require an adaption of current norms is of paramount importance for the progress of the animal biotechnology field.

The final session held two great but totally different talks. First, Derric Nimmo (Oxitec Inc., UK) described their elegant and innovative solution to efficiently down-regulate wild populations of mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti) This mosquito species survives by constantly feeding on human blood, and also serve as a vector to transmit serious diseases such as dengue or yellow fewer. He reported their approach using their RIDL strategy (Release of Insects with Dominant Lethality). The mechanism is based on a modified TET-off system where the tTA-VP16 activator is strongly expressed under several tet-op sequences unless the effector, Doxycycline (Dox), is provided in the diet. Hence, male transgenic mosquitoes can be raised in the laboratory, where the expression of the transgene is prevented with Dox, but, upon release in the wild, the lack of Dox triggers the expression of the transgene and the accumulation of the powerful transcriptional activators which cause irreversible damage to transgenic male mosquitoes, rending them sterile. Release of these sterile males and their subsequent mating with female populations is an efficient way to downsize wild mosquito populations. Approved open field tests have been already conducted in Cayman Islands, Malaysia and Brazil with success. The company is currently awaiting approval by the FDA and other equivalent agencies in order to apply their strategies in the US and other countries. This talk also illustrated the positive and rewarding effect accomplished by investing in informing people, affected populations, hospitals, governments, schools, etc… about this biotechnological approach to reduce disease-transmitting mosquitoes, which resulted in increased acceptance by the local populations. This community engagement approach appears to be the most promising and effective manner of gaining society’s acceptance for genetically-engineered animals and/or products.

Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe, CA, USA

Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe, CA, USA

The honor of the traditional concluding talk was given this time to Bruce Whitelaw (Roslin Institute, UK) with the challenge to envisage what the fourth decade would bring, after three decades of genetically engineered animals. After referring to the predicted needs for safe and more efficient food that this planet will need in the immediate future, Bruce divided the four decades as follows, identifying in each of them some major technological milestones: 1984-1993 (decade of the first transgenic animals produced by standard DNA pronuclear injection); 1994-2003 (decade of nuclear transfer, when Dolly was created and laid the foundation to generate many cloned and genetically-engineered mammals, using a technique currently referred as SCNT. At this point, Bruce kindly offered a tribute to the work done by Keith Campbell, instrumental in the creation of Dolly, who recently passed away); 2004-2013 (decade of a revolution in technologies including the use of lentivirus, transposons, SMGT, bird PGCs, ZFNs, TALENs and CRISPRs, and also, the decade of the first large animal models of human disease being effectively produced and tested). For the fourth decade, 2014-2023 Bruce speculated that the balance will re-equilibrate efforts and investments in both agricultural and biomedical sciences, after two decades where the genetic-engineering of animals was mostly dominated by projects and applications in biomedicine. He left us with the following thought: “The 4th decade of GE livestock is going to be good for those who work with this technology and for those – both man and animal – who benefit from it”.

Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe, CA, USA

Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe, CA, USA

All participants left home on August 15, after having enjoyed yet another fantastic conference put together by Jim Murray, who must be praised for his unrelenting commitment to this great meeting series, where the generation and application of non-rodent transgenic animals are discussed in depth, before, during and after the talks.
The next TARC meeting, the 10th Transgenic Animal Research Conference, will be held, at the same place, on August 9-13, 2015. We would encourage you to experience these meetings first hand, (and not through these meeting reports). Please make sure to book these dates on your agenda and not miss the next meeting by beautiful Lake Tahoe.

Lluis Montoliu & Jan Parker-Thornburg


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