Prof. Ralph L. Brinster, Richard King Mellon Professor of Reproductive Physiology at the University of Pennsylvania, will be awarded the 8th ISTT Prize for his outstanding contributions to the field of transgenic technologies. His exceptional, fruitful and highly stimulating contributions to the field of animal transgenesis are recognised with this award, presented by the International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT).
The ISTT Prize Committee unanimously and wholeheartedly supported the nomination of Dr. Ralph L. Brinster for the ISTT Prize. Very few scientists have contributed as much to the field of modern animal biotechnology as Dr. Brinster did in his pioneering work in establishing, developing and advancing animal transgenesis methods and principles. This seminal work in mouse transgenesis, often done in collaboration with Richard Palmiter, laid the foundations for the field and greatly advanced our understanding of the mechanisms of gene regulation.
Dr. Brinster received his B.S. from Rutgers University in 1953, his V.M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1960, and his Ph.D. in Physiology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1964. After postdoctoral training at The Jackson Laboratory and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, he joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania in 1964 as Instructor. He was appointed the Richard King Mellon Professor of Physiology in 1975, a position he holds to this day. His current research interest is the study of spermatogonial stem cells.
Dr. Brinster’s contributions have been recognized by numerous other prizes, including: the Charles-Léopold Mayer Prize (with R. Palmiter), the highest prize of the French Academy of Sciences (for development of transgenic animals), 1994; the First March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology (with B. Mintz) (for critical work in development of transgenic mice), 1996; the Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science, The Franklin Institute (for development of methods to transfer foreign genes into animals), 1997; the Ernst W. Bertner Award, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center (for research discoveries enabling development of transgenic animals), 2001; the Wolf Prize in Medicine, Israel (with M. Capecchi and O. Smithies) (for introducing and modifying genes in mice), 2003; and the Gairdner Foundation International Award (for pioneering discoveries in germ line modification in mammals), 2006.
The International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) awards the ISTT Prize at its international meetings, known as the Transgenic Technology (TT) meetings. The next TT meeting, TT2011, will take place in Miami, Florida, USA, on October 24-26, 2011. Dr. Brinster will present the keynote address at the meeting and will be given lifetime honorary membership in the ISTT and a sterling silver sculpture of a mouse blastocyst created by the Hungarian artist Mr. Bela Rozsnyay. The ISTT Prize is generously sponsored by genOway.
For further reading (additional information):
Perhaps the best source of information about Dr. Brinster’s career in Science and his many contributions to our field was published by the International Journal of Developmental Biology in 1998:
Embryo culture, stem cells and experimental modification of the embryonic genome. An interview with Professor Ralph Brinster. Interview by Juan Aréchaga.
Int J Dev Biol. 1998;42(7):861-78.
A partial list of some of the essential contributions of Brinster and Palmiter include:
Introns increase transcriptional efficiency in transgenic mice.
Brinster RL, Allen JM, Behringer RR, Gelinas RE, Palmiter RD.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1988 Feb;85(3):836-40.
Genetic engineering of mammalian embryos.
Hammer RE, Pursel VG, Rexroad CE Jr, Wall RJ, Bolt DJ, Palmiter RD, Brinster RL.
J Anim Sci. 1986 Jul;63(1):269-78.
Germ-line transformation of mice.
Palmiter RD, Brinster RL.
Annu Rev Genet. 1986;20:465-99.
Factors affecting the efficiency of introducing foreign DNA into mice by microinjecting eggs.
Brinster RL, Chen HY, Trumbauer ME, Yagle MK, Palmiter RD.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1985 Jul;82(13):4438-42.
Production of transgenic rabbits, sheep and pigs by microinjection.
Hammer RE, Pursel VG, Rexroad CE Jr, Wall RJ, Bolt DJ, Ebert KM, Palmiter RD, Brinster RL.
Nature. 1985 Jun 20-26;315(6021):680-3.
Metallothionein-human GH fusion genes stimulate growth of mice.
Palmiter RD, Norstedt G, Gelinas RE, Hammer RE, Brinster RL.
Science. 1983 Nov 18;222(4625):809-14.
Dramatic growth of mice that develop from eggs microinjected with metallothionein-growth hormone fusion genes.
Palmiter RD, Brinster RL, Hammer RE, Trumbauer ME, Rosenfeld MG, Birnberg NC, Evans RM.
Nature. 1982 Dec 16;300(5893):611-5.
Differential regulation of metallothionein-thymidine kinase fusion genes in transgenic mice and their offspring.
Palmiter RD, Chen HY, Brinster RL.
Cell. 1982 Jun;29(2):701-10.
Regulation of metallothionein–thymidine kinase fusion plasmids injected into mouse eggs.
Brinster RL, Chen HY, Warren R, Sarthy A, Palmiter RD.
Nature. 1982 Mar 4;296(5852):39-42.
Somatic expression of herpes thymidine kinase in mice following injection of a fusion gene into eggs.
Brinster RL, Chen HY, Trumbauer M, Senear AW, Warren R, Palmiter RD.
Cell. 1981 Nov;27(1 Pt 2):223-31.
Some of Ralph L. Brinster’s recent contributions in reproductive biology include the development of a spermatogonial transplantion technique that provides a functional assay of stem cell activity.
Spermatogenesis following male germ-cell transplantation.
Brinster RL, Zimmermann JW.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1994 Nov 22;91(24):11298-302.
Germline transmission of donor haplotype following spermatogonial transplantation.
Brinster RL, Avarbock MR.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1994 Nov 22;91(24):11303-7.
Reconstitution of spermatogenesis from frozen spermatogonial stem cells.
Avarbock MR, Brinster CJ, Brinster RL.
Nat Med. 1996 Jun;2(6):693-6.
Rat spermatogenesis in mouse testis.
Clouthier DE, Avarbock MR, Maika SD, Hammer RE, Brinster RL.
Nature. 1996 May 30;381(6581):418-21.
Transplantation of male germ line stem cells restores fertility in infertile mice.
Ogawa T, Dobrinski I, Avarbock MR, Brinster RL.
Nat Med. 2000 Jan;6(1):29-34.
Transgenic mice produced by retroviral transduction of male germ-line stem cells.
Nagano M, Brinster CJ, Orwig KE, Ryu BY, Avarbock MR, Brinster RL.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001 Nov 6;98(23):13090-5.
Germline stem cell transplantation and transgenesis.
Science. 2002 Jun 21;296(5576):2174-6.
Growth factors essential for self-renewal and expansion of mouse spermatogonial stem cells.
Kubota H, Avarbock MR, Brinster RL.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Nov 23;101(47):16489-94.
Identifying genes important for spermatogonial stem cell self-renewal and survival.
Oatley JM, Avarbock MR, Telaranta AI, Fearon DT, Brinster RL.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Jun 20;103(25):9524-9.
Male germline stem cells: from mice to men.
Science. 2007 Apr 20;316(5823):404-5.