Archive for the ‘information’ Category

The 11th ISTT Prize jointly awarded to Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier

Saturday, April 18th, 2015
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The 11th ISTT Prize jointly awarded to Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier

The 11th ISTT Prize will be jointly awarded to Jennifer Doudna (left) and Emmanuelle Charpentier (right) at the 13th Transgenic Technology (TT2016) meeting that will be held in Prague (Czech Republic) on 20-23 March 2016. Charpentier photo courtesy of Humboldt-Stiftung/Sven Müller.

Houston, TX, USA. 18 April 2015.

The International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT, Inc.) is proud to announce that the 11th ISTT Prize will be co-awarded to Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier and Dr. Jennifer Doudna for their collaborative work on the CRISPR-Cas9 system that is rapidly advancing the field of transgenic research. The ISTT Prize is awarded to investigators who have made outstanding contributions to the field of transgenic technologies. The awardees for the 11th ISTT Prize were chosen by the ISTT Prize Committee, which consists of the ISTT President and Vice president, the CEO of genOway (the company that generously sponsors the award), and all previous ISTT prize awardees.

The Award Committee unanimously considered that Drs. Doudna and Charpentier’s work represents a major improvement in gene editing technology and molecular biology and allows the creation of precisely gene modified animal models faster than ever. They are both prominent biochemists whose pioneering work in the field of RNA regulation and elucidating the CRISPR-Cas systems in bacteria has resulted in the development of new tools to generate specific gene knock-out and knock-in animals without the requirement for embryonic stem cell manipulation. Earlier studies by other researchers had lead to the identification of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) often surprisingly matching the DNA sequence of bacterial phages. The CRISPR-Cas systems were found to provide bacteria and archaea with adaptive immunity against viruses and plasmids. Both Charpentier and Doudna had been working separately on CRISPR-associated proteins, examining how they interacted with the repetitive sequences in conferring bacterial immunity. In 2011, Charpentier identified tracrRNA as a critical component of the CRISPR-Cas9 system. In a 2012 publication, which they co-authored, they demonstrated that the Cas9 enzyme from Streptococcus pyogenes (a relatively simple CRISPR system) could be targeted to perform a double strand cut at a specific DNA site and that precise targeting could be achieved using a single-guide RNA that combined the crRNA and tracrRNA (Jinek, et al, Science, 17 August 2012, p.816). As a result of their collaborative efforts, the CRISPR-Cas9 system is fast revolutionizing the transgenic technology field as researchers apply these methods to introduce subtle genome modifications at specifically targeted loci in a wide variety of cells and cell types. Certainly, their discoveries have led to what is known now as the “CRISPR-Craze” [Science 341:833-836(2013)] and will help research and the development of human therapeutics.

Dr. Jennifer Doudna was born in 1964 in Washington DC, USA. She received her PhD in Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology from Harvard Medical School, studying with Prof. Jack Szostak. She is currently a Howard Hughes Investigator at the University of California, Berkeley in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and the Department of Chemistry, the Head of the Division of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology and holds the Li Ka Shing Chancellor’s Chair in Biomedical Sciences.

Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier was born in 1968 in Juvisy-sur-Orge in France. She received her PhD in Microbiology from the Pasteur Institute. She is currently a Guest Professor at the Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS), a Nordic partnership with the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). She has also been appointed Professor at the Hannover Medical School, and is Head of the Department “Regulation in Infection Biology” at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Braunschweig (Germany). She holds an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship.

The contributions to science made by Drs. Charpentier and Doudna have been recognized by the fact that they have received numerous honors and awards, both individually and together. Notably, as collaborators, they received the Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research in 2014, and the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences in 2014.

We are delighted that both researchers have agreed to receive the ISTT Prize, thus joining the list of previously honored scientists (in descending chronological order): Janet Rossant (2014), Allan Bradley (2013), Ralph Brinster (2011), Francis Stewart (2010), Brigid Hogan (2008), Charles Babinet (2007), Andras Nagy (2005), Qi Zhou (2004), Kenneth McCreath (2002), Teruhiko Wakayama (2001). All ISTT Prize winners are given honorary ISTT membership and a unique silver sculpture representing a mouse blastocyst created by the Hungarian artist Béla Rozsnyay. Drs. Charpentier and Doudna will receive their prize at the next 13th Transgenic Technology Meeting (TT2016) that will be held in Prague (Czech Republic) on 20-23 March 2016.

Selected References from Drs. Charpentier and Doudna’s lifetime achievements:

Dr. Charpentier
1. Deltcheva E, Chylinski K, Sharma C, Gonzales K, Chao Y, Pirzada ZA, Eckert M, Vogel J and Charpentier E. 2011. CRISPR RNA maturation by trans-encoded small RNA and host factor RNAse III. Nature 471(7340):602-607.
2. Jinek M, Chylinski K, Fonfara I, Hauer M, Doudna JA and Charpentier E. 2012. A programmable dual-RNA guided DNA endonuclease in adaptive bacterial immunity. Science 337(6096):816-821.
3. Fonfara I, Le Rhun A, Chylinski K, Makarova KS, Lécrivain AL, Bzdrenga J, Koonin EV and Charpentier E. 2014. Phylogeny of Cas9 determines functional exchangeability of dual-RNA and Cas9 among orthologous type II CRISPR-Cas systems. Nucleic Acids Res. 42(4):2577-2590.

Dr. Doudna
1. Jinek M, East A, Cheng A, Lin S, Ma E and Doudna JA. 2013. RNA-programmed genome editing in human cells. eLIFE; 2:e00471. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.00471/
2. Sternberg SH, Redding S, Jinek M, Greene EC, Doudna JA. 2014. DNA interrogation by the CRISPR RNA-guided endonuclease Cas9. Nature 507:62-67.
3. Jinek M, Chylinski K, Fonfara I, Hauer M, Doudna JA and Charpentier E. 2012. A programmable dual-RNA guided DNA endonuclease in adaptive bacterial immunity. Science 337(6096):816-821.

This 11th ISTT Prize press release can be downloaded from here.

The ISTT Calendar for year 2015

Monday, January 5th, 2015
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Download a free copy of the 2015 ISTT Calendar

Download a free copy of the 2015 ISTT Calendar

Happy New Year to all ISTT Members!. Here, you can download a free copy of the 2015 ISTT Calendar. This edition has been nicely prepared by ISTT Board Member Karen Brennan (Sydney, Australia), using numerous beautiful images generously provided by members and supporting companies. Download it, print it and use it!. Enjoy it!.

Happy New Year: the ISTT finishes 2014 with 736 members

Thursday, January 1st, 2015
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Happy New Year: the ISTT finishes 2014 with 736 members

Happy New Year: the ISTT finishes 2014 with 736 members

On behalf of the ISTT, I wish everyone a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

The International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) finishes year 2014 with 736 members. At the ISTT we have launched the 2015 renewal campaign and we hope that those of you that are not yet ISTT members would seriously consider registering in 2015. All information regarding renewals and new registrations is available at the JOIN-RENEW web page.

During 2015, the ISTT will co-sponsor two transgenic meetings, one in Nantes, France, and another in Montevideo, Uruguay.  Please check out these meetings using the links on the ISTT webpage, and note that by joining the ISTT, you can receive reduced registration fees or preferred registration for these meetings, among many other benefits.

With our best wishes for 2015,

Jan Parker-Thornburg, ISTT President

A week in October in Bar Harbor

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014
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View of Bar Harbor from Mount Cadillac, on Mount Desert Island, Maine, USA

View of Bar Harbor from Mount Cadillac, on Mount Desert Island, Maine, US

If there is a paradise it must be very similar to Mount Desert Island, in Maine, on the Nort-Eastern coast of USA. Two weeks ago, during the last week of October (26-29), the International Mammalian Genome Society (IMGS) held its 28th International Mammalian Genome Conference (IMGC) in Bar Harbor, ME, USA, a beautiful village surrounded by nature, a most popular tourist spot in Summer, the place where The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) is located, and an excellent venue to hold a scientific conference in Autumn. Some 200 geneticists from around the world, with a large majority of US-Americans, gathered in front of the ocean to discuss about: large-scale resources, advances in genome manipulation, stem cells and development, human disease animal models, comparative genomics, population genetics & evolution, and aging and adult-onset disease modeling. The local organizers, Ron Korstanje and Karen Svenson, from JAX, along with IMGS officers David Beier, David Threadgill, Teresa Gunn and the rest of IMGS Secretariat, must be praised for an excellent meeting, with a great variety of topics presented, in mouse genetics and mouse genomics resources and their applications, including 89 Posters, 16 student presentations and 57 short talks. As usual, most of the IMGC speakers were selected from submitted abstracts. The scientific program was completed with two most interesting keynote addresses by Jeanne Lawrence (Professor and Interim Chair of the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School – UMMS) and Bruce Beutler (Regental Professor and Director of the Center for Genetics of Host Defense at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas), Nobel Prize laureate in Physiology or Medicine in 2011, for “their discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity“, who delivered a very moving Chapman lecture on his past and current research.

Lobster from Maine for the IMGC conference dinner

Lobster from Maine for the IMGC conference dinner

The conference dinner was an opportunity to enjoy one of the gems of Maine, their famous Lobster!. During the conference dinner the IMGS Officers and all participants wholeheartedly thanked and awarded Darla Miller for her more than 25 years of dedicated hard work running the IMGS Society. The 28th IMGC was also innovative since it was transmitted and commented, live, through twitter, under the hashtag #IMGC14. This initiative was launched by Steven Munger and followed by many other participants, who tweeted and re-tweeted the highlights of the 28th IMGC.The IMGC was also attended by several ISTT members, including Thom Saunders, Jean Jaubert, Fernando Benavides, Radislav Sedlacek and Lluis Montoliu. In Bar Harbor it was introduced the next 29th IMGC, IMGC-2015, which will be organized by Piero Carninci (RIKEN) in Yokohama (Japan) on 8-11 November 2015.

Mouse Genomic Informatics (MGI) celebrated 25 years in 2014

Mouse Genomic Informatics (MGI) celebrated 25 years in 2014

Immediately after the 28th IMGC, a good number of participants extended their stay in Bar Harbor to attend the 25th anniversary of Mouse Genomic Informatics (MGI), at JAX, on 3oth November 2014. This festive event filled the JAX auditorium with MGI developers and MGI users, with the latter thanking extensively the former for their work, for their tireless efforts through all these years, for making them happier daily at work, and for preparing and offering, in an organized and orderly manner, the enormous amount of genetic, genomic and phenotypic information on thousands of mouse strains and all what is known about the mouse genes. This memorable half-day symposium, nicely organized by Janan Eppig, included very interesting talks by Linda Siracusa, Ken Paigen and Maja Bucan, who highlighted the most relevant role of MGI in their research projects.  The MGI-25 years day ended, for some of us, with an unforgettable and almost private visit at the beautiful Acadia National Park, generously provided by MGI, and finished with the corresponding commemorative cake. In all respects, a fantastic week in Autumn in Bar Harbor.

Janan T. Eppig about to cut the MGI-25 years cake

Janan T. Eppig about to cut the MGI-25 years cake

The ISTT is moving from Europe to America

Sunday, August 31st, 2014
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The ISTT is moving from Europe to America

The ISTT is moving from Europe to America

The International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) will soon move its headquarters from Europe to America, from Spain (Europe Union) to the State of New York (United States of America). After the 12th Transgenic Technology (TT) meeting in Edinburgh, TT2014, the ISTT Society will be legally represented by a new non-profit entity: ISTT, Inc., registered in the State of New York (USA) in May 2013, after the corresponding approval was obtained from ISTT members at the Extraordinary General Assembly held at the TT2013 meeting, in Guangzhou, China, in February 2013. This moving process was essentially undertaken to allow any member to run for any position at the Board and to reduce tax running costs. The process is meant to be smooth and transparent to all members which will be kindly requested to join the new entity, to approve the new bylaws and to approve the new Board. Everything else will remain the same and the ISTT members will continue enjoying the same benefits from being part of the ISTT Society. The ISTT thank all of its members for their support and collaboration.

TT2014 abstracts: submission deadline is approaching (30 June)

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

TT2014 abstracts: submission deadline is approaching (30 June)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The TT2014 Registration Awards for ISTT members: deadline for submitting applications is 30th June

Monday, June 16th, 2014
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The TT2014 Registration Awards for ISTT members: deadline for submitting applications is 30th June

The TT2014 Registration Awards for ISTT members: deadline for submitting applications is 30th June

A minimum of six registration awards for ISTT members willing to attend the 12th Transgenic Technology (TT2014) meeting, to be held in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, on 6-8 October 2014, will be sponsored by the International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT). Applications should be sent, along with the registration confirmation and the requested additional documents to istt@transtechsociety.org by June 30, 2014. The ISTT will pay the Registration Fee of all applicants selected for one of these TT2014 registration awards. Please note that applicants not selected for an award are required to pay the corresponding registration fee. Please note the Award covers registration fees and attendance to all social events, however, does not cover travel, accommodation expenses or attendance at pre meeting events. Award decisions will be communicated by July 15, 2014 and awardees will receive a diploma at the TT2014 Meeting.

Applications for registration awards by ISTT members should be sent to the official ISTT email address (istt@transtechsociety.org), by June 30, 2014,  and should include the following documentation:

  • Applicant’s CV
  • Letter describing how the applicant will benefit from attendance at the TT meeting
  • Only for technician/students: Letter of support from the applicant’s head/supervisor stating the support to the applicant’s participation in the TT meeting and highlighting why attendance will benefit the applicant’s career

Procedure
Applicants must register first at the TT2014 website and select, as a payment method, “application for registration awards”. The ISTT will pay the Registration Fee of all applicants selected for an award. However, if they are not selected they would be kindly requested to pay the corresponding registration fee

Selection Process
The ISTT Council will examine all applications received. Registration Awards will be selected according to the documents submitted and with preference given to:

  1. Student/Technician ISTT Members
  2. ISTT Members submitting an abstract for presentation as a poster/short-oral communication at the TT meeting
  3. Any other ISTT Member

Decision
Award decisions will be communicated by July 15, 2014. Awardees will have their TT registration fees entirely waived. Awardees will receive a diploma at the Awards ceremony at the end of the TT2014 meeting. Applicants that are not yet members of the ISTT may choose to register/join first the ISTT and simultaneously submit their travel/registration award application. ISTT Registration/Travel awards for each TT meeting will only be provided to ISTT members who have paid their current annual fees.

SALAAM: Sharing Advances on Large Animal Models

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014
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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.

Advertising the TT2014 meeting from your institutions: put one of these Posters!

Friday, February 28th, 2014
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12th Transgenic Technology (TT2014) meeting, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, 6-8 October 2014

12th Transgenic Technology (TT2014) meeting, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, 6-8 October 2014

The next ISTT meeting will be held in Europe this year. The 12th Transgenic Technology (TT2014) meeting, will take place in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, on 6-8 October 2014, organized by ISTT members Douglas Strathdee (chair), Peter Hohenstein and Bruce Whitelaw, and hosted by three 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. The TT2014 meeting will be followed by the 2-day hands-on workshop “An Introduction to Zebrafish Transgenesis“, on 8-10 October 2014.

An outstanding group of invited speakers have confirmed their participation at the TT2014 meeting. Abstract submissions and application for the ISTT registration awards (for ISTT members) deadlines merge on 30 June 2014. Early bird registration deadline at reduced fees is 31 July 2014. A number of submitted abstracts will be selected for oral presentation on topics including:

  • new technologies in transgenesis
  • pluripotential stem cells
  • targeted nucleases and genome editing
  • models of human disease
  • animal ethics and welfare
  • large-scale phenotyping initiatives
  • animal biotechnology
  • in vivo imaging
  • zebrafish models and transgenesis

Douglas Strathdee and his colleagues have prepared the following collection of eight Posters to advertise the TT2014 meeting, illustrated with beautiful Edinburgh pictures. Please, help us announcing and disseminating the TT2014 meeting by putting one or several of these Posters at your centres, institutions, facilities, departments, universities. The TT meeting is a unique forum occurring every 18 months where to discuss the latest technical developments and applications on animal transgenesis. This is a conference that can’t be missed by anyone interested in this subject! Thanks for helping us advertise the TT2014 meeting!

TT2014 Poster version 1

TT2014 Poster version 1

TT2014 Poster version 1 (A4 format)
TT2014 Poster version 1 (A3 format)

TT2014 Poster version 2

TT2014 Poster version 2

TT2014 Poster version 2 (A4 format)
TT2014 Poster version 2 (A3 format)

TT2014 Poster version 3

TT2014 Poster version 3

TT2014 Poster version 3 (A4 format)
TT2014 Poster version 3 (A3 format)

TT2014 Poster version 4

TT2014 Poster version 4

TT2014 Poster version 4 (A4 format)
TT2014 Poster version 4 (A3 format)

TT2014 Poster version 5

TT2014 Poster version 5

TT2014 Poster version 5 (A4 format)
TT2014 Poster version 5 (A3 format)

TT2014 Poster version 6

TT2014 Poster version 6

TT2014 Poster version 6 (A4 format)
TT2014 Poster version 6 (A3 format)

TT2014 Poster version 7

TT2014 Poster version 7

TT2014 Poster version 7 (A4 format)
TT2014 Poster version 7 (A3 format)

TT2014 Poster version 8

TT2014 Poster version 8

TT2014 Poster version 8 (A4 format)
TT2014 Poster version 8 (A3 format)

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

Friday, February 14th, 2014
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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.


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