Archive for the ‘rodent genetics’ Category

A report on the 7th European Short Course on Laboratory Animal Science in Strasbourg, organized by Charles River

Friday, February 14th, 2014
A report on the 7th European Short Course on Laboratory Animal Science in Strasbourg, organized by Charles River

A report on the 7th European Short Course on Laboratory Animal Science in Strasbourg, organized by Charles River

The 7th European Short Course on Laboratory Animal Science, organized by Charles River, just closed in Strasbourg, France, after three days of interesting presentations and discussions at the intersection between animal welfare, animal experimentation, current guidelines and legislation, biomedical research from academia and industry and society perception on these topics. The Organizers should be praised for the selection and variety of topics, as well as for the smooth and pleasant running of the entire course, which included an enjoyable visit to an old typical cellar from the Alsace region along with a wine-testing Gala dinner.

Several ISTT members participated in this event, including organizers (Cyril Desvignes, Jean Cozzi), members of the steering committee (Johannes Wilbertz), invited speakers (Belén Pintado, Yann Herault, Ignacio Anegon, Lluís Montoliu), and participants (Marcello Raspa, Ferenc Erdelyi, Gabor Szabo,…) among other.

During this course, the recent EU Directive 2010/63 on the protection of animals used in research and its implication on the use of animals in biomedical research and policies throughout Europe was discussed, from different angles, by Magda Chlebus, Gill Fleetwood, Thierry Decelle, Patri Vergara and Belén Pintado. Topics covered included the new training courses and competencies to work with experimentation animals in Europe, the animal-welfare bodies and the current understanding of the 3R’s paradigm. Javier Guillén compared, side by side, the new EU Directive with the current Guide in the US and highlighted their many coincidences, suggesting that a combined use of both documents would be ideal for the adoption of successful animal care and use programs. Jan-Bas Prins, current president of FELASA, presented his view of the field of laboratory animal sciences, before the implementation of this new EU Directive, as an opportunity and a positive challenge to interface and exchange knowledge with many other players involved.

Health monitoring programs, rodent microbiologic surveillance, methods employed to detect all these pathogens robustly in laboratory animal facilities and the updated recommendations from FELASA, recently published in Laboratory Animals, were presented by William Shek, Guy Mulder, Stéphanie Durand and Axel Kornerup Hansen. Operational and technical aspects of animal facilities were discussed by Alberto Gobbi and Peter Dockx, whereas the issues related with occupational health and safety program evaluations were presented by Jann Hau.

Examples of the use of rodent animal models in biomedical research, in academia, by James Di Santo and Andrea Bertotti, as well as in the industry, by Joyce L. Young, were discussed. The importance of genetic quality in mouse research as well as the complexity of mouse genome and the impact of the genetic background on phenotypes was presented by Charles Miller and Lluís Montoliu, respectively. The procedures conducted at the International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium (IMPC) as well as the challenges they encountered during the deployment of this impressively large enterprise were presented and discussed by Sara Wells and, by the local representative, Yann Herault, Director of the French Mouse Clinic, ICS, in Strasbourg, who delivered the closing talk.

The newest technologies in stem cell biology and animal transgenesis were also present at this 7th Short Course. Hongkui Deng summarized the most innovative approach he devised to prepare induced-pluripotent cells from somatic cells, using a cocktail of four chemicals, four molecules that mimicked the induction signals described by Shinya Yamanaka. The new logics for the production of targeted genetic modifications, using editing or engineered nucleases (Meganuclease, ZFNs, TALENs, CRISPRs) in mice and rats was presented by Ralf Kuehn and Ignacio Anegon, respectively.

The choice of rodent anaestesia protocols was discussed by Aurelie Thomas, whereas the various methods for euthanasia in rodents were presented by Huw Golledge. On the last day, Aurora Bronstad summarized the work done at the AALAS-FELASA joint working group on harm-benefit analysis, whereas Katrina Gore highlighted the need for more robust analytical procedures in research protocols involving animal experimentation, in order to optimize the rate of success of pre-clinical drugs.

In summary, the 7th Edition of this biennial Charles River Short Course on Laboratory Animal Science in Europe, attended by some 120 participants, was an excellent opportunity to update information related to animal welfare, EU legislation and transposition difficulties in various countries, newest technologies, mouse genomics and genetics, large mouse consortia and numerous important topics that are relevant for animal facility managers, researchers, veterinarians and anyone else interested in the best use of animals in experiments, according to current laws and recommendations.

More than 27,000 messages on animal transgenesis available to ISTT members through ISTT_list and tg-l archives

Sunday, February 9th, 2014
More than 27,000 messages on animal transgenesis available through ISTT_list and tg-l archives

More than 27,000 messages on animal transgenesis available through ISTT_list and tg-l archives

One of the most important assets of the International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT), is the amount of information on animal transgenesis accummulated through the archives of the ISTT_list and tg-l email lists. Currently, more than 27,000 messages are fully available to ISTT members, conveniently organized in searchable and dynamic archives. The traditional transgenic-list (tg-l), operative since 1996 and offered from the ISTT web server since the end of 2011, has distributed over 22,000 messages since then, whereas the ISTT_list, associated and born with our Society in 2006, has disseminated some 5,000 messages, discussing both lists on almost each and every topic, issue or situation related directly or indirectly with animal transgenesis. All this endless information resource is fully available to ISTT members, through powerful search engines. Non-ISTT members subscribing to tg-l have access only to the most recent messages distributed through the tg-l, using the simple search engine, which allows simple searches and outputs the 50 most recent messages discussed on the subject of interest. In contrast, ISTT members have access to more sophysticated searching engines and the output always contains all messages archived on the matter investigated.

Obtaining granted access to these rich sources of information is very easy and cheap. Simply apply for ISTT membership! Submit now your application to become a member of the ISTT and you will get immediate and full access to all these messages.

We are seeking your input for the Round Table Discussion at the TT2014 meeting

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014
We are seeking your input for the Round Table Discussion at the TT2014 meeting

We are seeking your input for the Round Table Discussion at the TT2014 meeting

We are seeking your input for the next ISTT meeting, TT2014, Round Table Discussion. To set the scene, we would like to inform you, on behalf of the Organizing Committee of the TT2014, about a new update in the scientific program for this meeting, regarding the traditional round-table discussion on “How to Run a Transgenic Unit? that is regularly scheduled at every single TT meeting. This is one of our fundamental ISTT-related activities, run by and meant for ISTT members.

In Edinburgh, the TT2014 Organizers, kindly asked ISTT member James Bussell (Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK) to chair this round table, and to lead the discussion entitled “The Future of Transgenic Core Facilities“. James Bussell has invited the following four ISTT members as panelists, representing new and well-established transgenic facilities, from both academic and private institutions.

Inken Beck, Institute of Molecular Genetics, Prague, Czech Republic
Lynn Doglio, Feinberg School , Northwestern University, Chicago, USA
Sarah Johnson, MRC NIMR, Mill Hill, London, UK
Xin Rairdan, Genentech Inc., South San Francisco, California, USA

At the TT2014 meeting, these panelists will first prepare a brief presentation on the topic, with their view on the subject to be discussed and thereafter will be happy to respond to any questions or comments from the audience. In this regard, and in order to promote efficient discussion, we would like to encourage you, as ISTT members, to send James Bussell potential questions or issues you would like to hear discussed in this round table, regarding the future of transgenic facilities. Thanks in advance.

Some initial thoughts for this round table:

What does the future of our GA facilities look like. We have asked 4 facilities of varying size and funding to share their outlook on trends that will affect them in the medium and long term and would likely include areas such as production, supply and use of GA animals. We are seeing the continual evolution of the technologies surrounding our field with the ability to create mutations and editing of the genome becoming accessible to all facilities who want to invest in the technologies. Many components of the process are now common place and utilised throughout the various stages of a colonies life. For example implantation of embryos is used for rederivation of embryos, reimplantation of thawed cryopreserved stocks etc. However as per the ‘Bred but not used‘ meeting sponsored by the Dutch Government, questions around efficiency, wastage and good practice remain to be answered. Over the past years we have seen global consortia target the mouse genome via ES cells making the resources available to requesters. Furthermore National and International funding bodies such as the NIH and the EU have funded large scale production and phenotyping programs with the aim of creating a knockout for every protein coding gene. We now see new technologies that again can speed up access and refine the ability to edit the genome applying very discreet or multiple mutations to the mouse and other species where early stage embryos can be utilised.

From the panel of presenters perspective we seek their opinion on what does the future look like to them.

Some initial questions that could be posed :

· Should we be looking to large production centres to create and distribute the colonies.
· Could more dedicated facilities better use their funds by removing elements of their production or archiving.
· Would this cause a loss of key skills from within the community.
· If so how should knowledge be shared or disseminated.
· How do commercial groups see their place within the community.
· If the genome editing technologies become so accessible do we need large scale consortia.
· How do researchers engage with funding bodies to access support for their research.

Thanks in advance for providing your questions or items for discussion (send the questions/items for discussion to: James Bussell) .

See you all in Edinburgh!

7th European Short Course on Laboratory Animal Science in Strasbourg (France), on 12-14 February 2014

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014
7th European Short Course on Laboratory Animal Science in Strasbourg (France), on 12-14 February 2014

7th European Short Course on Laboratory Animal Science in Strasbourg (France), on 12-14 February 2014

Charles River announces the 7th European Short Course on Laboratory Animal Science in Strasbourg, France, on 12-14 February 2014. This Short Course is designed to inform the biomedical research community of current trends and technological advances in the field of laboratory animal science through lectures from international guest speakers and members of Charles River’s professional Staff. A number of ISTT members are included among the invited teachers at this course.

The full list of speakers includes: Magda Chlebus (European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations, Belgium), Gill Fleetwood (GlaxoSmithKline, United Kingdom), Sara Wells (Mary Lyon Centre, United Kingdom), Hongkui Deng (Peking University, College of Life Science, China), Javier Guillen (AAALAC International, Spain), Thierry Decelle (Sanofi Pasteur, France), William R. Shek (Research Animal Diagnostic Services, Charles River, USA), Guy Mulder (Senior Director Veterinary and Professional Services, Charles River, USA), Patri Vergara (University Autonomous of Barcelona, Spain), Belen Pintado (Transgenic Unit CNB-CBMSO, CSIC, Spain), Stéphanie Durand (Research Animal Diagnostic Services, Charles River, USA), Axel Kornerup Hansen (Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark), Lluis Montoliu (National Centre for Biotechnology, CNB-CSIC, Spain), Ralph Kuehn (Institute of Developmental Genetics, Helmholtz Center Munich, Germany), Ignacio Anegon (INSERM UMR 1064 -Center for Research in Transplantation and Immunology and Platform Transgenic Rats ImmunoPhenomic Nantes, France), Jan-Bas Prins (Leiden University Medical Centre, The Netherlands), Joyce L. Young (Crescendo Biologics Ltd, United Kingdom), Charles Miller (The Jackson Laboratory, USA), James Di Santo (Innate Immunity Unit, Inserm U668, Institut Pasteur, France), Andrea Bertotti (University of Torino School of Medicine, Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment, Italy), Aurelie Thomas (University of Newcastle – Comparative Biology Centre – Medical School, United Kingdom), Huw Golledge (Centre for Behaviour and Evolution, Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University, United Kingdom), Alberto Gobbi (Department of Experimental Oncology, European Institute of Oncology and COGENTECH S.C.A.R.L., Italy), Peter Dockx (Van Looy Group, Belgium), Aurora BrØnstad (University of Bergen, Norway), Jann Hau (University and University Hospitals of Copenhagen, Denmark), Katrina Gore (Pfizer Neusentis, United Kingdom), Yann Herault (Institut Clinique de la Souris-ICS, France).

All attendees receive a certificate of attendance for their course hours which they may submit for Continuing Professional Education Credits.

Instructions and registration details are provided in this EU Short Course brochure.

Workshop report: animals bred, but not used in experiments

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013
Workshop:  “Animals bred, but not used in experiments”, October 18-20, 2013, Hotel Duin & Kruidberg, Santpoort, the Netherlands (Picture kindly provided by Fernando Benavides)

Workshop: “Animals bred, but not used in experiments”, October 18-20, 2013, Hotel Duin & Kruidberg, Santpoort, the Netherlands (Picture kindly provided by Fernando Benavides)

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.

Boris Jerchow
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*.

* ISTT members

Workshop: “Animals bred, but not used in experiments”, October 18-20, 2013, Hotel Duin & Kruidberg, Santpoort, the Netherlands (Picture kindly provided by Fernando Benavides)

Workshop: “Animals bred, but not used in experiments”, October 18-20, 2013, Hotel Duin & Kruidberg, Santpoort, the Netherlands (Picture kindly provided by Fernando Benavides)

Numerous ISTT events in June 2013

Thursday, May 30th, 2013
Numerous ISTT events in June 2013

Numerous ISTT events in June 2013

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.

CARD-CNB Mouse Sperm and Embryo Cryopreservation Practical Course, Madrid, Spain, 7-11 October 2013

Friday, February 22nd, 2013
CARD-CNB Mouse Sperm and Embryo Cryopreservation Practical Course, Madrid, Spain, 7-11 October 2013

CARD-CNB Mouse Sperm and Embryo Cryopreservation Practical Course, Madrid, Spain, 7-11 October 2013

The International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) has agreed to co-sponsor the CARD-CNB Mouse Sperm and Embryo Cryopreservation Practical Course that will be held at the National Centre for Biotechnology (CNB-CSIC), in Madrid, CSIC, during one week, on 7-11 October 2013, organized by Naomi Nakagata (CARD-Kumamoto University, Japan, Coordinator of CARD) and Lluis Montoliu (CNB-CSIC, Madrid, Spain, Coordinator of the Spanish EMMA node).

This course is open to anyone interested. Pre-application will be required, including, at least, a recent CV 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 by 31 May 2013.

The maximum number of participants attending this course will be 20, distributed among countries and institutions, and according the documentation provided and the interests expressed. Pre-applications will be accepted until 31 May 2013. The review and selection of participants will be done by the Organizers from 1 to 15 June 2013. Registrations and payments for selected participants will be accepted from June 16, 2013 to August 31, 2013. If required, an ordered waiting list will be prepared and any cancellation or unpaid registration by 31 August 2013 will be readily substituted by the first available person from this waiting list, starting on 1 September 2013.

The course registration fee is 800 Euros (with a reduced fee of 750 Euros 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 convenient nearby hotel, close to CNB 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. At the CNB-CSIC in Madrid, hosting the Spanish EMMA node, these new CARD cryopreservation methods have been successfully implemented and, moreover, a fruitful collaboration has been established with the laboratory of Prof. Naomi Nakagata, eventually resulting in the signature of an institutional cooperation agreement between the CSIC and the University of Kumamoto, under the framework of which this cryopreservation course is organized. 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 20.

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

  • making pipettes and practising embryo handling
  • isolating unfertilized mouse oocytes
  • isolating and cold storage/shipping of mouse cauda epididymis
  • freezing/thawing mouse sperm and IVF
  • fresh mouse sperm and IVF
  • freezing/thawing 2-cell IVF-derived mouse embryos
  • vitrification of mouse oocytes and embryos
  • embryo transfer techniques in mice
  • vasectomy of male mice
  • demonstration of ICSI

Additional lectures on the following topics

  • new EU Directive on the protection of animals for experimentation
  • new US Guidelines for the use of animals in research
  • epigenetic effects of in vitro culture on mouse embryos
  • databases for handling information in cryopreservation facilities
  • shipping mice, refrigerated and frozen material
  • safety issues handling liquid nitrogen in a cryopreservation facility
  • EMMA and Infrafrontier-I3


  • Naomi Nakagata (CARD-Kumamoto University, Japan)
  • Toru Takeo (CARD-Kumamoto University, Japan)
  • Kiyoko Fukumoto (CARD-Kumamoto University, Japan)
  • Tomoko Kondo (CARD-Kumamoto University, Japan)
  • Yukie Haruguchi (CARD-Kumamoto University, Japan)
  • Yumi Takeshita (CARD-Kumamoto University, Japan)
  • Yuko Nakamuta (CARD-Kumamoto University, Japan)
  • Shuji Tsuchiyama (CARD-Kumamoto University, Japan)
  • Raul Fernández (INIA, Madrid, Spain)
  • Lluis Montoliu (CNB-CSIC, Madrid, Spain)
  • Julia Fernández (CNB-CSIC, Madrid, Spain)
  • María Jesús del Hierro (CNB-CSIC, Madrid, Spain)
  • Marta Castrillo (CNB-CSIC, Madrid, Spain)
  • Isabel Martín-Dorado (CNB-CSIC, Madrid, Spain)
  • Kristy Kinchen (Mouse Biology Program, UC Davis, CA, USA)

Additional lectures by

  • Naomi Nakagata (CARD-Kumamoto University, Japan)
  • Toru Takeo (CARD-Kumamoto University, Japan)
  • Shuji Tsuchiyama (CARD-Kumamoto University, Japan)
  • Alfonso Gutiérrez-Adán (INIA, Madrid, Spain)
  • Kent Lloyd (Mouse Biology Program, UC Davis, CA, USA)
  • Belén Pintado (CNB-CSIC, Madrid, Spain)
  • Jesús Martínez Palacio (CIEMAT, Madrid, Spain)
  • Javier Guillén (AAALAC, Pamplona, Spain)
  • Lluis Montoliu (CNB-CSIC, Madrid, Spain)

Douglas Coleman and Jeffrey Friedman granted the 2012 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Biomedicine

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013
Douglas Coleman and Jeffrey Friedman granted the 2012 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Biomedicine

Douglas Coleman and Jeffrey Friedman granted the 2012 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Biomedicine

The 2012 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Biomedicine has been granted to Douglas Coleman (retired, Professor Emeritus at The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, ME, USA) and Jeffrey Friedman (The Rockfeller University, USA) for “revealing the existence of the genes involved in the regulation of appetite and body weight, a discovery crucial to our understanding of human pathologies such as obesity,” as stated by the prize jury.

Jeffrey Friedman cloned the gene encoding leptin (Lep), as the mutation present in the obese mice (ob/ob), based on the ideas and previous work pioneered by Douglas Coleman, who also predicted that the mutant (db/db) mice affected a gene (Lepr) encoding the receptor for this important hormone, produced by adipose cells in the fat and acting in the brain to regulate food intake, energy expenditure and how much fat the body stores. This is yet another award and public recognition to mouse genetics, leading the discovery of genes and their functions, and illustrating how mice help to find out what the homologous human loci do, and their relevance in pathology when they are mutated.

Douglas Coleman and Jeffrey Friedman have been already granted the Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine, in 2009, and the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, in 2010, also jointly in both cases, for their discovery of leptin. Both scientists should be now congratulated, once again, for their excellent scientific work and this new award, truly deserved. Anyone interested to read about the scientific histories behind the discovery of leptin is welcome to read the following articles:

Leading the charge in leptin research: an interview with Jeffrey Friedman.
Friedman J. Dis Model Mech. 2012 Sep;5(5):576-9.

A historical perspective on leptin.
Coleman DL. Nat Med. 2010 Oct;16(10):1097-9.

The 2012 Jury for this BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Biomedicine comprises a number of eminent scientists including two researchers that are, in addition, ISTT members, namely: Robin Lovell-Badge, Head of the Division of Stem Cell Biology and Developmental Genetics at the National Institute for Medical Research (Medical Research Council, UK), acting as the Secretary of this Jury; and Bruce Whitelaw, Head of the Developmental Biology Division at The Roslin Institute in Edinburgh (UK) and Editor-in-Chief of Transgenic Research, the scientific journal to which the International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) is associated.

The ISTT journey: from Barcelona to Guangzhou, now it is time for China! The TT2013 meeting

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012
The ISTT journey: from Barcelona to Guangzhou, now it is time for China! The TT2013 meeting

The ISTT journey: from Barcelona to Guangzhou, now it is time for China! The TT2013 meeting

The International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) was founded shortly after the Transgenic Technology (TT) meeting in Barcelona (TT2005). Since then, the ISTT family has been fortunate to visit several countries, every ~18 months. In 2007 we went to Brisbane (TT2007).  In 2008, we visited Toronto (TT2008). In 2010 we returned to Europe and held the TT2010 meeting in Berlin. For 2011 we visited the USA for the first time, and organized the TT2011 meeting in St Pete Beach (Florida). And, now, the next TT meeting (TT2013) is planned for China, in Guangzhou. This has been one of our aims and challenges, since the foundation of the ISTT, namely, holding a TT meeting in Asia, in China. Now it has become a reality. The 11th Transgenic Technology meeting (TT2013) will be held in Guangzhou (China), on 25-27 February 2013, organized by Prof. Ming Zhao (Chair) (Southern Medical University, Guangzhou) and his Organizing and Advisory Committees, immediately after celebrating the Chinese New Year of the Snake. More than 30 speakers have confirmed their participation, to discuss about ES cells, iPS cells, targeted nucleases (ZFNs and TALENs), cryopreservation and reproduction techniques, running a transgenic facility, mouse genetics, epigenetics, ethics and animal welfare, transgenesis in other vertebrates, animal models of disease, etc… among many other interesting topics. At the TT2013 meeting, the ISTT will award the 9th ISTT Prize for outstanding contributions to transgenic technologies to Prof. Allan Bradley,  Director Emeritus of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (WTSI), in Hinxton (UK), and leader of the Mouse Genomics Team at WTSI.

In addition, a 3-day hands-on practical workshop (28 February-2 March 2013) will be offered in Guangzhou after the TT2013 meeting, addressing basic microinjection techniques, piezo injection, laser-assisted application, non-surgical implantation, mouse colony management and other interesting topics. This workshop is organized by Wenhao Xu (University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA), Chair,  Ming Zhao (Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China), Jing An (Cancer Institute, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China) and Liangping Li (Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China).

Don’t miss this opportunity to hear the latest advances in animal transgenic by world experts! Time is going fast and first deadlines (15 October 2012), for registering at reduced fees, for submitting abstracts, for applying for ISTT registration awards and for nominating candidates for ISTT Young Investigator awards are rapidly approaching.

See you all in China!

EMBL Course: Laboratory Animal Science, 8-19 April 2013, Monterotondo, Italy

Thursday, July 26th, 2012
EMBL Course: Laboratory Animal Science, 8-19 April 2013, Monterotondo, Italy

EMBL Course: Laboratory Animal Science, 8-19 April 2013, Monterotondo, Italy

A two-week intensive course on laboratory animal science will be organized at the EMBL Monterotondo, in April 2013, run by Dr. Maria Kamber, who has organized 5 successful courses in Greece at the BSRC Alexander Fleming. The objective of this course is to present basic facts and principles that are essential for the humane use and care of animals and for the quality of research. The contents of the course are in line with recommendations of the Federation of European Laboratory Animal Science Associations (FELASA) regarding the training of the young scientists whose research involves the use of vertebrate animals.

This prestigious event is addressed to professionals from fields of Biomedical Science. Past participants include biologists, veterinarians, medical practitioners and pharmacologists from all across Europe, Asia and Africa. This is a revolutionary course within the scientific community as it awakes a new wave of consciousness regarding animal welfare and quality research. The vision is to train a new breed of scientists with acute awareness of what humane research actually means. It breaks with tradition in the fact that it trains participants not only in the passive acquisition of knowledge, but in the active process of critical thinking. The fundamental principle the course aims to promote is that the experimental outcome of research strongly depends on the humane treatment of the laboratory animals.

Upon the completion each participant is able to understand and perform humane use and care of laboratory animals, and clearly comprehend the vital principles for quality research. Successful participants are awarded a certificate, now a requirement according to the revised European Directive, which demonstrates competence in working with laboratory animals for research purposes.

This course is under evaluation for accreditation from FELASA Board.

WEB site of the course Application deadline: Friday 1 March 2013

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