Archive for the ‘course’ Category

CARD-RPCI Cryopreservation Course Report

Monday, September 22nd, 2014
CARD-RPCI Cryopreservation Course Report

CARD-RPCI Cryopreservation Course Report

During the past week, 15-19 September 2014, the CARD-RPCI Mouse Sperm and Embryo Cryopreservation Course was held at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, in Buffalo, NY, USA, organized by Naomi Nakagata (CARD-Kumamoto University, Japan), Aimee Stablewski (Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY, USA) and Jan Parker-Thornburg (MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA). This was the second CARD course organized overseas, outside Asia, after the first course organized in Madrid in October 2013. This new practical course in North America was co-sponsored by the International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT). What follows is a brief course report prepared by Aimee Stablewski and Jan Parker-Thornburg, who deserve to be praised, along with Naomi Nakagata and his CARD team, for another most successful cryopreservation course. This course report can also be downloaded from here.

CARD-­RPCI Spermand Embryo CryopreservationWorkshop
September 15-­19, 2014
Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo NY, USA


The CARD-RPCI Sperm and Embryo Cryopreservation Workshop was recently held in Buffalo NY USA on the campus of Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Eighteen trainees, fifteen instructors and lecturers, and numerous vendors were hosted by Naomi Nakagata (Kumamoto University), Aimee Stablewski (Roswell Park Cancer Institute) and Jan Parker-Thornburg (MD Anderson Cancer Center) from September 15-19, 2014. Drs. Naomi Nakagata and Toru Takeo brought their team from CARD to assist the trainees in learning the latest techniques in embryo vitrification, sperm cryopreservation, in vitro fertilization, and the new method of vitrifying oocytes. In addition, Jorge Sztein instructed the trainees in methods of ovary freezing and subsequent implant after thaw; Lluis Montoliu provided lectures in current methods of embryo cryopreservation and CRISPR/Cas9 methods of generating genetically engineered mice, and Barbara Stone provided training in using the NSET method of embryo implant.

This was the first time that the CARD team provided training in North America, and the team (supported by Kumamoto University and Kyudo Co., LTD.) delivered a truly memorable experience for the trainees. Hands-on sessions were intense and intended to provide trainees with the knowledge and experience of performing the exacting CARD techniques. The eighteen trainees were composed of fourteen ISTT members and four non-members. Of these, three were from Europe, one from Australia, one from New Zealand, and the remainder from all parts of North America.

Hands on training included isolating unfertilized mouse oocytes, isolating and cold storage/shipping of mouse cauda epididymis, freezing/thawing mouse sperm and IVF using CARD frozen sperm and legacy sperm, fresh mouse sperm and IVF, cold stored 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, and embryo transfer techniques in mice (oviduct, uterus via NSET).

Didactic lectures were given on the topics of historic and scientific perspectives of embryo and sperm cryopreservation (by Jorge Sztein), comparing current embryo and sperm cryopreservation methods (by Lluis Montoliu), vitrification of oocytes and their use for IVF (by Naomi Nakagata), new US guidelines for the use of animals in research/IACUC (by Sandra Sexton), CRISPR/Cas9 and gene editing endonucleases (by Lluis Montoliu), development of database for managing mouse banking system (by Shuuji Tsuchiyama), shipping mice, frozen or refrigerated embryos/sperm across the world (by Toru Takeo) and freezing and transplantation of ovaries (by Jorge Sztein).

On Wednesday of the workshop, all of the participants were treated to a trip to Niagara Falls followed by an exceptional gala dinner (arranged by Aimee Stablewski) at a local winery. This short respite enabled the participants to replenish their energies for subsequent long days of IVF, vitrifications and surgery.

In all, it proved to be an exceptional workshop, with all participants achieving exceptional results in most, if not all, of the practicals. In fact, the depth of appreciation for being taught these methods became clear both during the closing session, where all instructors, vendors, and participants thanked Dr. Nakagata with a standing ovation, and immediately afterward, where many compliments were given. Perhaps, one of the participants said it best in an e-mail immediately following the course:

a big thank you to Prof. Nakagata, Dr. Toru Takeo and the entire CARD team. The way they have organised is unbelievable. As we all know in biological practical experiments, how much ever we take care, they never go according to plan and there is always a blooper. I must confess, I had my doubts that we would ever stick to the time table. I am glad that I was completely proven wrong. They have given attention to every bit of details and must have put lot of rehearsals behind this. They were fantastic. They answered all the questions and made sure everyone understood plus followed it up with the practicals. The Entire Card team was simply amazing and no other way to express my gratitude than simply saying “I bow to the entire CARD team”.”
Prasanna Kallingappa
University of Aukland
New Zealand

Aimee Stablewski and Jan Parker-Thornburg, as hosts, would like to acknowledge not only our lecturers, but also the CARD team who assisted the students, including Shuuji Tsuchiyama, Kiyoko Fukumoto, Yukie Haruguchi, Tomoko Kondo, Yumi Takeshita, Yuko Nakamuta, Tomoko Umeno, (all from Kumamoto University and Kyudo Co. LTD); and the CARD “adoptees”—Kristy (Kinchen) Williams (University of Florida) and Amar Dasari (Taconic). In addition, technical assistance was ably provided by Dawn Barnas (ISTT), Karstin Webber, Sandra Sexton and Leslie Curtin (all RPCI), who treated over 600 mice with hormones!

The workshop was extremely fortunate to have extremely generous vendor support, including our platinum sponsors: Charles River Laboratories (who supplied all of the mice used in the course), Leica Microsystems (who provided all of the microscopes used for the course as well as onsite support by Louise Bertrand), and Kyudo Co., LTD who provided support for the CARD instructors as well as onsite support by Nobuyuki Mikoda; our gold sponsors: the ISTT (who sponsored Lluis Montoliu’s participation and contributed to the gala dinner), Taconic (who provided instructional support from John Couse and Amar Dasari), and Regeneron (who sponsored a lecture by Lluis Montoliu); our silver sponsors: Hamilton Thorne (who provided instruction in sperm analysis and laser-assisted IVF by Nancy Mutch), IDEXX Bioresearch for course support, Paratechs for sponsoring Dr. Barbara Stone’s participation, Cell Preservation Solutions who provided course support and Lifor media for cold-storage, CosmoBio who provided course support, Transposagen who provided course support, and our bronze sponsors: Millipore EMD and mofa for equipment, Tokai-Hit for equipment, Eppendorf (Mike Bady) for course support and equipment, and VWR and Sarstedt for course support.

Finally, we thank our participants for their hard work and dedication to bring the newest transgenic technologies back to their institutions.

Aimee Stablewski, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY, USA
Jan Parker-Thornburg, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA

SALAAM: Sharing Advances on Large Animal Models

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014
SALAAM: Sharing Advances on Large Animal Models

SALAAM: Sharing Advances on Large Animal Models

The EU-COST action SALAAM (Sharing Advances on Large Animal Models) was launched yesterday in Brussels, at a kick-off meeting attended by most of its members. This 4-year EU-COST action is currently formed by 17 countries and more than 44 participants, including many experts in the fields of animal genetics, physiology, transgenesis, bioethics, welfare and animal science, with a focus on large (i.e. non-rodent) animal models. This EU-COST action is chaired by Prof Eckhard Wolf (Germany) and vice-chaired by Dr. Pascale Chavatte-Palmer (France) and it includes various ISTT members such as Bruce Whitelaw (UK), Zsuzsanna Bosze (Hungary), András Dinnyes (Hungary), Cesare Galli (Italy) and Lluis Montoliu (Spain). In addition, another participant in this EU-COST action, Angelika Schnieke (Germany) is one of the invited speakers at the forthcoming 12th Transgenic Technology (TT2014) meeting to be held in Edinburgh (Scotland, UK).

EU-COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) is one of the oldest European initiatives in Science, an intergovernmental framework for European Cooperation in Science and Technology, allowing the coordination of nationally-funded research on a European level. SALAAM EU-COST action, as its acronym indicates, aims to sharing advances in genetic engineering and phenotyping of non-rodent mammals to develop predictive animal models for translational medicine. While recognizing the value of small and most popular animal models (mouse, rat, zebrafish, Drosophila, C. elegans, …) and its powerful genetics for increasing our knowledge on complex biological systems and for proof-of-concept-type experiments, this EU-COST action SALAAM focuses on large (i.e. non-rodent) mammalian models, since these may bridge the gap between proof-of-concept studies and more effective clinical trials, leading to better translational animal models for the study of human diseases. The research projects undertaken using rodent and non-rodent animal models should not be perceived as competition or opposed initiatives, rather as complementary studies, where each animal species is selected according to its particular value and expected benefits for the ultimate goal, that is, our understanding on the function of the mammalian (i.e. human) genome and the eventual development of effective treatments for many human diseases. During the course of this EU-COST action several conferences and training workshops will be organized, open to anyone interested in the field, to discuss about (1) new technologies (including the application of genome editing nucleases, i.e. CRISPR-Cas, for the generation of improved genetically altered animal models); (2) defining best animal models for specific phenotyping studies; (3) creation of databases for sharing information on animal models creates, tissues available and protocols; and (4) animal welfare, bioethics and communication to the public. All these conferences and training courses will be adequately advertised through the ISTT web site.

At the International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) we care about the generation and the analysis of “all” genetically altered animals, not only focused in the classical rodent models, but also including the work done with other species, with large animal models, in livestock. In this regard, the ISTT has been traditionally supporting conferences on non-rodent transgenic animals, organized in Tahoe by ISTT Member Jim Murray (UC Davis, USA) and has promoted a web page within the ISTT web site where most of the advances on livestock and other non-rodent genetically modified animal resources are shared. At the next 12th Transgenic Technology (TT2014) meeting, which will be held in Edinburgh on 6-8 October 2014, the Conference Organizers (Douglas Strathdee-Chair, Peter Hohenstein and Bruce Whitelaw) have scheduled a session on animal biotechnology, where the recent work accomplished using large animal models will be discussed. In addition, immediately following the TT2014 meeting, a hands-on workshop on zebrafish transgenesis methods will be offered to interested participants.

Laboratory Course on Cryopreservation of Mouse Germplasm, Monterotondo, Italy, 20-24 October 2014

Friday, April 11th, 2014
Laboratory Course on Cryopreservation of Mouse Germplasm, Monterotondo, Italy, 20-24 October 2014

Laboratory Course on Cryopreservation of Mouse Germplasm, Monterotondo, Italy, 20-24 October 2014

The Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), EMMA-Monterotondo Campus International Development and The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) offer a comprehensive course on cryopreservation of mouse embryos, sperm and ovaries. This Course is financially supported by the European Union FP7 Capacities Specific Program, through the Infrafrontier-I3. The 2014 Edition of this traditional annual cryopreservation EMMA-JAX course is planned for 20-24 October 2014, organized by ISTT Member Marcello Raspa and his collaborators at CNR-EMMA Campus and with the participation of various faculty members, including Robert Taft and Jane Farley, from JAX; Ferdinando Scavizzi and Raffaele Matteoni, from CNR; Susan Marschall, from Munich; Martin Fray, from Harwell; Lluis Montoliu, from Madrid; and Kent Lloyd, from UC Davis, USA.

The 2014 edition of this course will be organized in memory of Stanley P. Leibo – Course leader 1999-2013.

The course is offered to teach methods in cryopreservation for banking of various strains of mice used in research, including inbred, transgenic and knock-out strains. Several methods of cryopreservation are now available and because no single method is adequate for all the various strains of mice being developed, a variety of methods are taught. The course is designed primarily as a “hands-on” laboratory program in which participants learn techniques for the cryopreservation of cleavage-stage embryos, spermatozoa and ovaries. Techniques include: embryo “two-step” equilibrium freezing in plastic straws, embryo non-equilibrium “ultra-rapid” cooling or “vitrification” in straws and sperm freezing and recovery of frozen sperm by in vitro fertilization. In addition, general principles of cryobiology, development of inventory databases for individual programs, and adaptation of long-term storage systems and cryogenic equipment for different situations will be presented and discussed.

Enrollment is limited to 10 participants and early application is advised. This Course is financially supported by the EU FP7 Capacities Specific Program, through the Infrafrontier-I3.

Course Fees (Fees do not include participant’s travel and lodging):

European Union’s and Associated Countries’ nationals:

  • Academic or Non-Profit Institutions: Euro 400.00
  • Other Institutions: Euro 950.00

Other Countries’ nationals:

  • Academic or Non-Profit Institutions: Euro 900.00
  • Other Institutions: Euro 1,200.00

Deadline for applications: September 10, 2014
Download here the Course application form

Course information:
Marcello Raspa, Ferdinando Scavizzi, Raffaele Matteoni
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche
EMMA-Monterotondo Campus International Development

Course secretariat:
Giuliana Boera, Teresa Cuccurullo
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche
EMMA-Monterotondo Campus International Development

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

Monday, March 31st, 2014
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:

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


  • 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)

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.

Requesting proposals to host the 13th Transgenic Technology (TT2016) meeting

Monday, January 27th, 2014
Requesting proposals to host the 13th Transgenic Technology (TT2016) meeting

Requesting proposals to host the 13th Transgenic Technology (TT2016) meeting

Dear ISTT members,

We are pleased to invite your proposals for hosting the 13th Transgenic Technology Meeting (TT2016) in February-March 2016. The updated ISTT bylaws, which were approved at the TT2013 meeting in China, now allow proposals to be received from anywhere in the world, without the requirement for a rotation between regions. Therefore, ISTT members from all continents are encouraged to consider hosting the TT2016 meeting in their city, with the support of their institution(s).

Please note that only ISTT members are entitled to submit proposals to host a TT meeting.

Important points to be addressed in any submitted proposal:

  1. The proposal must have the support of the hosting institution(s). Letters of support from the corresponding director(s) of organizing institution(s) must be provided.
  2. The hosting institution(s) are fully liable for the organization of the meeting, including all economic aspects.
  3. A proposed preliminary budget should be included in the proposal, along with suggested registration fees.
  4. A preliminary program for the TT2016 meeting, including topics (not necessarily speakers) and proposed workshops should be provided. This program should take into account the topics and speakers invited at previous TT meetings, avoiding unnecessary repetition. Full information regarding previous TT meetings organized is available at the members-only area, within the “meetings” tab.
  5. Proposed venue and dates for the TT2016 should be indicated. Exact sites and dates might be subjected to change later, if required, after obtaining the approval from the ISTT council. Information regarding the venue and/or the city where the TT2016 meeting would take place is always desirable as is proof that the venue will be available at the scheduled dates.
  6. Proposed committees should be presented, which should include at a minimum: Organizing Committee, Scientific Advisory Committee.
  7. A meeting Chair (who must be ISTT member) should be clearly identified.
  8. Since TT meetings are the most important activity of the ISTT, the President and other members of the ISTT Council have to be involved in committees and collaborate with local organizers in defining the final program.
  9. Upon selection, a contract will have to be signed between the hosting institution(s) and the ISTT
  10. Information regarding suggested accommodation facilities (and prices) for participants should be provided.
  11. The expected organization of a hands-on workshop on a selected topic, to take place immediately before or after the meeting, is always desirable.
  12. The involvement of a professional meeting organizer is desirable but not essential if there are viable alternatives, such as institutional meeting support staff.
  13. Information on accessibility of the city from international airports as well as between the conference venue and accommodation should be provided. A list of hotels close to the conference including price range is desirable.
  14. Finally, an outline of the proposed social activities should be included.

We look forward to receiving interesting proposals from all over the world. Please submit your proposal (ideally all information organized into a single PDF document) to by Friday 27 June 2014. The evaluation committee might contact any proponent in order to request any additional/missing information that would be required to better assess the proposal. The selected venue will be announced by September 30, 2014, and the Chair of the selected proposal will be kindly invited to introduce the highlights of the TT2016 meeting at the closing ceremony of the TT2014 meeting in Edinburgh.

Thanks for your due consideration of this message,

Boris Jerchow
Jorge Sztein
Karen Brennan

ISTT Council sub-committee
in charge of evaluating TT2016 proposals

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.

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

Thursday, October 31st, 2013
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 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!

Vitrification of unfertilized mouse oocytes and their efficient use for in vitro fertilization

Sunday, October 20th, 2013
Applications of cryopreserved unfertilized mouse oocytes for in vitro fertilization. New vitrification method by Naomi Nakagata's laboratory at CARD-University of Kumamoto (Japan).

Applications of cryopreserved unfertilized mouse oocytes for in vitro fertilization. New vitrification method by Naomi Nakagata’s laboratory at CARD-University of Kumamoto (Japan).

The laboratory of Prof. Naomi Nakagata at CARD-University of Kumamoto (Japan) has achieved a new milestone in mouse cryopreservation techniques. After boosting the efficiencies of mouse in-vitro-fertilization (IVF) from fresh, refrigerated and, particularly, frozen sperm from C57BL/6J mice, they have focused their attention in establishing a robust, reproducible but simple and efficient method for cryopreserving unfertilized mouse oocytes using vitrification, and their subsequent use for IVF. Their results have just been published in Cryobiology:

Applications of cryopreserved unfertilized mouse oocytes for in vitro fertilization.
Nakagata N, Takeo T, Fukumoto K, Kondo T, Haruguchi Y, Takeshita Y, Nakamuta Y, Matsunaga H, Tsuchiyama S, Ishizuka Y, Araki K.
Cryobiology. 2013 Oct;67(2):188-92.

The vitrification and thawing of unfertilized oocytes was one of the methods taught by the Nakagata-team, for the first time abroad, at the most recent CARD-CNB Mouse Sperm and Embryo Cryopreservation Course, held in Madrid two weeks ago. The efficient cryopreservation of unfertilized metaphase-II oocytes had remained a challenging procedure for investigators. Unfertilized oocytes are fragile germ cells that do not have nuclear membrane. However, these are most relevant cells and the ones to be used for somatic cell nuclear-transfer (SCNT), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and, in particular, for in vitro fertilization (IVF) techniques. Standard available vitrification methods failed to work, reproducibly, with unfertilized oocytes, whereas similar methods were routinely used with  fertilized oocytes, for the efficient production of transgenic mice by pronuclear microinjection.

In 2013, a first report by Kohaya et al., described the generation of live offspring from vitrified C57BL/6J mouse oocytes for the first time. Now, Nakagata et al., show us in their most recent publication the efficient use of vitrified mouse unfertilized oocytes for their routine application to IVF techniques, in combination with fresh, refrigerated and frozen sperm, with high success. The resulting 2-cell embryos obained were transferred to recipients and also gave rise to pups at high rates. The popularization of these vitrification methods for unfertilized oocytes will enable a more efficient planification for IVF sessions. Using the stock of vitrified unfertilized oocytes, IVFs can be programmed daily, and should not be limited to the strict superovulation schedules that usually result in IVFs done only once (on Thursday) or twice (Tuesday and Thursday) per week.


CARD-CNB Cryopreservation Course Report

Monday, October 14th, 2013
Organizers, instructors, lecturers and participants at the CARD-CNB Cryopreservation Course, held at CNB-CSIC in Madrid, Spain, on 7-11 October 2013 and organized by Naomi Nakagata (CARD-University of Kumamoto, Japan) and Lluis Montoliu (CNB-CSIC, Madrid, Spain)

Organizers, instructors, lecturers and participants at the CARD-CNB Cryopreservation Course, held at CNB-CSIC in Madrid, Spain, on 7-11 October 2013 and organized by Naomi Nakagata (CARD-University of Kumamoto, Japan) and Lluis Montoliu (CNB-CSIC, Madrid, Spain)

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.

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