The President of the International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT), Lluís Montoliu, was kindly invited, to attend the 50th Anniversary (1963-2013) meeting of the Laboratory Animal Science Association (LASA), held in London (UK), this week. A workshop on “Transgenic Science and Technology” was organized, where various ISTT members participated as Organizers, invited speakers or Chairs of the sessions. This workshop included a presentation on the “Evolution of the ISTT“, delivered by Lluis Montoliu and describing the short (2006-2013), but intense and most successful, history of the ISTT, since its inception in Spain to date, the previous history of the TT meetings and all the activities, projects and events undertaken, organized, promoted or sponsored by the ISTT over these past few years. Numerous ISTT, and LASA, members were present among the audience.
Archive for the ‘workshop’ Category
The 1st Oceania Transgenic/Cryopreservation Symposium took place at the University of Queensland, Brisbane Australia on the 31st October -1st November 2013. This meeting was initiated by Elizabeth Williams and has grown out of workshops on cryopreservation of reproductive materials and in-vitro fertilization (IVF) that were run in conjunction with ANZLAA annual conferences (Hobart 2011 & Brisbane 2012). Through these activities it was recognized that there was a need for more local networking, collaboration and communication amongst transgenic technologists across Australia and New Zealand.
The meeting drew 53 participants representing twenty-six different organisations. 14 of the participants were locals from the Brisbane area, but there were also 33 interstate and 6 international delegates; mostly from New Zealand, but with one colleague visiting from Japan. The Australian Institute for Biotechnology and Nanotechnology generously provided the meeting venue and facilities.
The organizers Elizabeth Williams (University of Queensland Biological Resources, Brisbane), Karen Brennan (Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, Sydney), Andrew Brown (University of Auckland, Auckland), Paul Scowen (University of Tasmania, Hobart) and Kevin Taylor (Australian Bioresources, Moss Vale), all ISTT members, had canvassed topics from potential participants ahead of the meeting and ran informal discussions under the session headings Cryopreservation, Transgenic and Knock-Out Production, Administrative Issues, Husbandry, New Technologies/Techniques, and Rederivation.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org by June 30, 2014. Award decisions will be communicated by July 15, 2014 and awardees will receive a diploma at the TT2014 Meeting.
- 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!
Workshop: “Animals bred, but not used in experiments”, October 18-20, 2013, Hotel Duin & Kruidberg, Santpoort, the Netherlands.
Experiments in biomedical science use large numbers of laboratory animals. It is a fact that to provide these animals, regularly more animals are bred than are finally used in the experiments planned. The Ministry of Economic Affairs as the competent body of the Netherlands had asked Prof. Coenraad Hendriksen and Dr. Jan-Bas Prins to organize a workshop to identify the reasons for the breeding of surplus animals and to devise recommendations as to how the number of animals that are bred but not used can be reduced to a minimum.
A number of experts from different fields of laboratory animal science were invited for a two day workshop to the Hotel Duin & Kruidberg in Santpoort, a town close to Amsterdam, to discuss these issues and to develop a paper for the Dutch authorities. Obviously, many of the laboratory animals bred are genetically altered (GA) animals. Moreover, techniques to cryopreserve GA animal lines could be a means to reduce the number of animals that are bred. The invitation was therefore extended to the ISTT to send a representative to take part in this workshop.
Here, I will give a short summary of the topics that have been discussed and of the outcomes. However, I refer you to the final report of the workshop, parts of which have been developed within individual small workgroups and will be put together into a final document by the kind efforts of Coenraad and Jan-Bas. I will inform you immediately upon the publication of this report.
A topic central to the discussion was the identification of reasons for the production of animals that are then not used in experiments. A major reason for this is the production of unwanted sexes and unwanted genotypes. The participants agreed that good planning can considerably reduce the number of surplus animals. At the same time, resources can be saved and either used for additional experiments or for cost reduction. However, breeding schemes with multiple alleles, as well as the organization of a facility, can be complex. A strong need for counseling as well as education of users of laboratory animals was identified, to make them competent to plan accordingly. The centralization of the breeding colonies under the responsibility of the facility management was discussed as a possibility to streamline breeding strategies. On the other hand, for the time being, this does not seem to be feasible for very many facilities. Local Animal Welfare Committees should evaluate local SOPs and develop a catalogue of best practices to help keep surplus animals to a minimum. GA animal lines should be cryopreserved immediately after their creation when there is no need to breed extra animals for this purpose and when animals from test rederivations can be used for experiments or for the breeding colony. Thereby, the lines are protected from disaster and from genetic drift at the same time, live mice can be terminated at any time, and the lines can be easily shipped to collaborators. Lines should be made available to collaborators as early as possibly to avoid generating the same line at different places. In case expertise for cryopreservation is lacking, lines can be donated to repositories like EMMA where they are cryopreserved free of charge. Investigators should always consider sharing lines with the scientific community through such repositories.
A second important topic discussed during the workshop was the use of new technologies for the generation of GA animals as well as for their experimental analysis. New lines should be directly generated on the desired background. In case backcrossing is needed, speed congenic strategies should be used to reduce the number of animals needed during that process. Technologies utilizing the targeting of nucleases to the locus of interest (ZFNs, TALENs, CRISPER/Cas9) promise to eventually allow the generation of GA lines with reduced numbers of animals directly on the desired background. Complex strategies for the generation of customized animals for specific experiments were presented. It was agreed that these should be freely available. However, individual scientists and institutes should evaluate whether it is worth adopting a new and complicated technique. Since the process of setting up complex protocols may well lead to the use of high numbers of animals, investigators should consider collaborating with colleagues who perform similar experiments at large scales.
Ethical considerations let us come to the understanding that there is an intrinsic value of life. We found that it is for this reason that it is morally wrong to kill more animals than absolutely necessary. Biomedical science is tasked with producing answers to pressing questions on the molecular functions of life and disease and finding new cures. It was pointed out that the principles of the 3R’s have to be respected at all times, but a number of animal experiments are indispensable. In this context, it is unavoidable to breed animals that are not used for these experiments, but it is important to ensure that their numbers are kept to a minimum.
Member of ISTT’s Executive Council
October 23, 2013
List of participants and affiliations, excluding those who were unable to send permission for disclosure:
van der Broek, Frank, NVWA, The Netherlands; Aleström, Peter, The Norwegian Zebrafish Platform, Norway; Benavides, Fernando, University of Texas, USA*; Bussell, James, Wellcom Trust Sanger Institute, UK*; Chrobot, Nichola, MRC Harwell, UK; van Es, Johan, Hubrecht University, The Netherlands; Fentener van Vlissingen, Martje, Erasmus MC, The Netherlands; Hendriksen, Coenraad, InTraVacc, The Netherlands; Hohenstein, Peter, Roslin Intitute, UK*; Krimpenfort, Paul, NKI, The Netherlands; Morton, David, UK; Prins, Jan-Bas, LUMC, The Netherlands; Raspa, Marcello, EMMA, Italy*; Tramper, Ronno, Consultant, The Netherlands; van der Valk, Jan, NKCA; Wilbertz, Johannes, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden*; Ohl, Frauke, Utrecht University, The Netherlands; Pool, Chris, KNAW, The Netherlands; Witler, Lars, Max-Planck Institute Mol. Gen., Berlin, Germany*.
This past week, 7-11 October 2013, the CARD-CNB Mouse Sperm and Embryo Cryopreservation Course was held at CNB-CSIC, in Madrid, Spain, with great success and accompanied with also great sunny weather. This was the first cryopreservation course of this kind, co-organized by Naomi Nakagata (CARD-University of Kumamoto, Japan) and Lluis Montoliu (CNB-CSIC, Madrid, Spain), were the newest methods developed by CARD, at the Nakagata lab, were demonstrated in Europe, directly by the CARD team. The instructors at this CARD-CNB course were commanded by the CARD-University of Kumamoto team, from Japan (Toru Takeo, Kiyoko Fukumoto, Tomoko Kondo, Yukie Haruguchi, Yumi Takeshita, Yuko Nakamuta and Shuuji Tsuchiyama), and additional help and collaboration was provided from the Mouse Biology Program at UC-Davis, CA, USA (Kristy Kinchen), from INIA, Madrid, Spain (Raúl Fernández), from CIEMAT, Madrid, Spain (Jesús Martínez), from USA (Jorge Sztein), from Paratechs, Lexington, KY, USA (Barbara Stone) and from CNB-CSIC (Julia Fernández, María Jesús del Hierro, Marta Castrillo and Isabel Martín-Dorado), for several of the methods demonstrated. All instructors must to be praised for their deep knowledge, patience and extraordinary dedication and commitment towards the success of this course. Complementary and most interesting lectures were provided on a wide variety of topics related to the course main focus, including: animal welfare and regulations by Belén Pintado and Jorge Guillén; the history, fundaments and comparison of methods by Jorge Sztein; the effects of the in vitro culture of mouse embryos by Alfonso Gutiérrez-Adán; safety and handling issues of liquid nitrogen by Jesús Martínez; shipping frozen and refrigerated materials by Toru Takeo, databases in a cryopreservation lab, by Shuuji Tsuchiyama, about EMMA by Lluis Montoliu and CARD by Naomi Nakagata, as examples of mouse embryo and sperm archives, and, also, on the new editing nucleases for genome modification, by Kai Schönig (Mannheim, Germany), a talk sponsored by Sigma.
As many as 24 participants, coming from research institutions or companies located in 16 countries around the world (UK, Spain, Australia, USA, Canada, Czech Republic, Brazil, Finland, France, Denmark, Israel, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Italy and Taiwan) were presented with the latest advances in mouse sperm and embryo cryopreservation and all associated mouse reproductive biology ancillary techniques.
The topics covered by the course included the following major areas: obtaining sperm from mouse cauda epididymis, obtaining unfertilized mouse oocytes, three different types of in vitro fertilization techniques (using fresh, frozen or refrigerated sperm), vitrification of unfertilized oocytes and 2-cell embryos (freezing and thawing), slow-method for freezing and thawing 2-cell embryos, refrigerated sperm and 2-cell embryos, abdominal and scrotal vasectomies, three types of embryo transfer (oviduct, uterus and non-surgical, with NSET tools), freezing and thawing mouse sperm and ICSI, among many additional common methodologies used to handle mouse embryos and gametes adequately.
The course was very intensive, but the kind atmosphere created by participants and instructors was excellent and, hence, all the tight and carefully devised demonstrations and practices, packed within a very busy schedule, could be run smoothly and successfully without problems. The vast experience in running this type of cryopreservation courses and the remarkable professionality of our colleagues from CARD-University of Kumamoto were key for the accomplished success. All methods followed their three-step learning process. At first, the theory and fundaments were briefly provided and summarized. Then, the method was demonstrated by instructors and, finally, the participants executed the procedures by themselves, with the help of instructors.
The participants left this cryopreservation course to return to their countries and institutions with the most satisfactory results obtained and with plenty of new information to digest, process and reproduce. All participants were given the task to spread the word and disseminate the use of these highly efficient and robust cryopreservation techniques that have boosted the field.
This CARDCNB cryopreservation course was sponsored by the International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) and received the co-sponsorship and support from a number of companies whose contributions need to be greatly acknowledged as well: Leica, Charles River, Sigma, Labotect, Cosmo-Bio, Kyudo, Harlan and Paratechs.
BIOTERIOS.COM, the reference web portal on animal experimentation and animal welfare in Spanish in Latin America, created and maintained by Juan Manuel Baamonde (Manager of the animal facility at CECs, Valdivia, Chile, and ISTT Member) since 2007, has launched a new web page, a new layout, to show its very interesting and useful contents with a renewed and modern format. Among the new features that have been added, Juan Manuel must be praised for having included a web page translator tool (found at the top-right corner of all pages) which makes now possible to automatically translate the contents of any web page within BIOTERIOS.COM into another language of choice, to be selected among English, German, French or Portughese, hence further expanding the benefits of this wonderful site to all non-Spanish-speaking colleagues that could not read nor benefit from BIOTERIOS.COM before.
The site includes articles, interviews, reports on recent meetings and plenty of information on animal experimentation and animal welfare issues. Really worth visiting and exploring! (and now in English too!).
The International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) will be participating and/or co-sponsoring numerous events during the month of June 2013. At first, on June 7, 2013, our ISTT colleagues from Nantes (France), Ignacio Anegon and Séverine Ménoret, experts in the generation of transgenic rats, will be holding their 2013 Nantes Transgenic meeting on “Technical advances in the generation of transgenic animals and in their applications“. Next, on June 10-13, 2013, in Barcelona (Spain), the 12th FELASA-SECAL congress will take place, where the ISTT will be participating in two ways. First, the ISTT will co-sponsor the satellite workshop on Mouse Sperm Cryopreservation, to be held within the 2013 FELASA meeting, on 10 June 2013, Barcelona, Spain, and organized by ISTT members Jorge Sztein (NIH, USA) and Jesús Martínez-Palacio (CIEMAT, Madrid, Spain). Second, the ISTT will be participating as exhibitor and will attend the 2013 FELASA meeting. The ISTT will have a booth in Barcelona (#230), manned by the ISTT administrative assistant, Alison Cameron, and where all ISTT members (and non-ISTT members) are welcome to visiting us. Finally, immediately next, our ISTT colleagues from The Netherlands, Marian Van Roon (VU, Amsterdam) and Sjef Verbeek (LUMC, Leiden), have organized their 2013 Workshop on Innovative Mouse Models (IMM2013). This 7th Workshop on Innovative Mouse Models will be held on 13-14 June 2013, at the Leiden University Medical Center, LUMC, Leiden, The Netherlands, and the ISTT will be co-sponsoring also this event. ISTT members will be entitled to reduced registrations at all these events, proudly co-sponsored by the ISTT.
The TT2013 meeting report, written by Douglas Strathdee (Beatson Institute for Cancer Research, Glasgow, Scotland, UK) and C. Bruce A. Whitelaw (Division of Developmental Biology, The Roslin Institute and Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh, Roslin, Midlothian, Scotland, UK) has just been published, online, at the Transgenic Research journal web site. This review, entitled ‘TT2013 meeting report: the Transgenic Technology meeting visits Asia for the first time‘ nicely summarizes the talks and activities held during the recent 11th Transgenic Technology meeting, held in Guangzhou (China), on February 25-27, 2013, along with the subsequent hands-on workshop that was organized, on February 28-March 2, 2013. Douglas and Bruce, together with Peter Hohenstein (Division of Developmental Biology, The Roslin Institute and Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh, Roslin, Midlothian, Scotland, UK) are the Organizers of the next 12th Transgenic Technology meeting, TT2014, which will be held in Edinburgh (Scotland, UK) on October 6-8, 2014.
Mouse sperm cryopreservation: satellite workshop at the 2013 FELASA-SECAL Congress in Barcelona, Spain, 10 June 2013Tuesday, March 26th, 2013
The International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) is pleased to announce the approved co-sponsorship of the Mouse Sperm Cryopreservation satellite workshop, organized by Jorge Sztein (NIH, Rockville, MD, USA) and Jesús Martínez Palacio (CIEMAT, Madrid, Spain), both ISTT members, in Barcelona (Spain) on 10 June 2013, within the activities associated to the 2013 FELASA-SECAL Congress in Barcelona, Spain, 10-13 June 2013. The main objective of this workshop is to acquaint students on reliable methods of mouse sperm cryopreservation, Jax and Nakagata, without requiring appliances or large investments to establishing a program at their centers. This course involves manipulation of animals and LN2.
This half-day satellite workshop will be held on 10 June 2013 from 09.00 to 12.00 h. at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Barcelona, Experimental Animal Unit. Satellite workshop registration fee: €120. Seats are limited to 24 participants. ISTT members, including those already registered to attend this workshop, are entitled to 25% discount. Interested participants should contact: email@example.com
EMBO Practical Course – Developmental neurobiology: From worms to mammals, 30 June to 13 July 2013 – London, UKMonday, March 25th, 2013
The International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) will be pleased to support the 2013 Edition of the EMBO Practical Course on Developmental Neurobiology: From Worms to Mammals, which will be held at the MRC Centre for Developmental Neurobiology, King’s College London, UK, on 30 June to 13 July 2013, organized by Robert Hindges (ISTT member) and other colleagues. The ISTT will be promoted among lecturers, instructors and participants at this course and, at the same time, several ISTT gadgets will be distributed among participants too. According to the Course web site, the main objetives of this 2013 EMBO course are:
- Learn the state of the art techniques used in modern developmental neuroscience
- Acquire a knowledge of brain development in 6 different species (C. elegans, Drosophila, zebrafish, Xenopus, chick and mouse)
- Interact with international leading neuroscientists