Posts Tagged ‘iPS cells’

1st ISTT Young Investigator Award goes to Xiao-Yang Zhao

Thursday, August 4th, 2011
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Prof. Xiao-Yang Zhao, 1st ISTT Young Investigator Award - 2011

Prof. Xiao-Yang Zhao, 1st ISTT Young Investigator Award - 2011

The International Society for Trangenic Technologies (ISTT) is pleased to announce the first ISTT Young Investigator Award, generously sponsored by inGenious Targeting Laboratory. From the four excellent candidates nominated by ISTT Members, the Award Committee chose Prof. Xiao-Yang Zhao, from the State Key Lab of Reproductive Biology (SKLRB), Institute of Zoology (IOZ), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing, PR China, [nominated by Prof. Qi Zhou (ISTT Prize award 2004)]. The Award Committee felt his research was exciting and has great potential to impact the field of animal transgenesis, through his impressive work and publications on induced-pluripotent stem cells (iPS).

Dr. Xiao-Yang Zhao developed a system to generate induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells  that showed 100 fold improvement in efficiency over the control method.  iPS cells show great promise in applications to develop regenerative medicine applications and generation of experimental animal models. Dr. Zhao’s breakthrough research proved that iPS cells could be used to generate viable mice by tetraploid complementation. This demonstration of complete iPS cell pluripotency was published in Nature in 2009 and received much attention from stem cell biologists and the popular media. Time Magazine named this research as the fifth most important medical breakthrough 2009 in a list of the top ten medical advances.

Dr. Xiao-Yang Zhao was born in 1980, in Southwest China. He received his PhD degree in Developmental Biology from Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academic of Sciences in 2010. After that, he was recommended and awarded to be the Young Principal of Investigator of IOZ, CAS. Dr. Xiao-Yang Zhao and colleagues found that some iPS cells failed to generate iPS mice by tetraploid complementation. However, when their nuclei were transferred to enucleated oocytes, cloned animals could be generated. This combination of using iPS cells from transgenic animals and nuclear transfer technologies will accelerate studies of transgenesis in non-rodent animals, specifically in agriculturally important species.

Award committee:

Dr. Thom Saunders, Univ. Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA, Vice-President of ISTT, Chair
Prof. Francis Stewart, Biotechnologisches Zentrum, TU Dresden, Germany, ISTT Prize award 2010
Prof. Brigid Hogan, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA, ISTT Prize award 2008
Dr. Lisa Aronov, inGenious Targeting Laboratory, ISTT Young Investigator Award Sponsor

Dr. Xiao-Yang Zhao will attend the 10th Transgenic Technology (TT2011) meeting where he will deliver a short talk summarizing his scientific achievements that led him to receive this 1st ISTT Young Investigator Award, sponsored by inGenious Targeting Laboratory.

ISTT Young Investigator Award

ISTT Young Investigator Award

Transgenic Rat Nantes Meeting, 6 June 2011

Monday, May 16th, 2011
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Transgenic Rat Nantes meeting, 6 June 2011

Transgenic Rat Nantes meeting, 6 June 2011

The Transgenic Rats common facility of IFR 26, Biogenouest and IBiSA organizes its third meeting in Nantes, France, on June 6, 2011, about Transgenesis and genome analysis. This one-day meeting, co-sponsored by the International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT), aims to provide an update on transgenesis developments in the generation of transgenic animals and in genome analysis. The meeting is chaired by Ignacio Anegon (ISTT member) and organized by Séverine Menoret (ISTT member), Séverine Rémy, Laurent Tesson, Claire Usal and Tuan. H. Nguyen. Deadline for registration is 25 May 2011. ISTT members are entitled to reduced registation fees.

The meeting is intended for Master, PhD and medical students with a background in molecular biology and genetics as an introduction to future work in these rapidly developing areas of research. It is also intended for post-docs and scientists already working in certain of these fields and who are interested in expanding their knowledge on the potential applications of these new techniques to their models or in neighbouring pathophysiological models of analysis of genes or diseases using genetically modified animals.

Shinya Yamanaka receives the 2010 Foundation BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Biomedicine

Saturday, February 5th, 2011
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BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards

BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards

Shinya Yamanaka

Shinya Yamanaka

The 4th Edition of the Foundation BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge Awards in Biomedicine goes to Japanese scientist Shinya Yamanaka for “showing that it is possible to reprogram differentiated cells back into a state that is characteristic of pluripotent cells“, according to the communication prepared by the Jury of these Awards, in the press release published today, February 4, 2001, at the Foundation BBVA web site.

Shinya Yamanaka,  Director of the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application at Kyoto University (Japan), and professor in the Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences at the same institution, demonstrated in 2006, in a seminal paper published in the scientific journal Cell, that only four genes were required to induce the conversion of fibroblast into cells with properties of pluripotent stem cells, thus coining the concept of the “induced pluripotent stem cells“, or iPS cells. This is one of the most outstanding, innovative and original experiments ever reported in Biology, that triggered a true revolution in Cell and Developmental Biology, where many laboratories around the world were able to quickly reproduce and, in some cases, improve the initial protocol devised by Shinya Yamanaka in Japan. The discovery of the iPS cells, showing that the idea of reversing the fate of already specialized cells was indeed possible,  is a breakthrough comparable to the first successful nuclear transfer and reprogramming experiment achieved in mammals, with the cloning of Dolly, the sheep, born in 1996 and reported one year later, in a milestone paper by Ian Wilmut and co-workers, published in Nature. Shinya Yamanaka explained that “From their work I learned that we should be able to convert somatic cells back into their embryonic state. That is what inspired me to start my project”.

The iPS cells, first envisaged by Yamanaka, have an  immense potential for regenerative medicine and studies of disease and development. Most recent experiments, published earlier this week, show that the genomic methylation status of iPS cells is surprisingly different from that of pluripotent embryo stem (ES) cells (Lister et al. Nature 2011, February 2), and that this aberrant methylation pattern is maintained in those differentiated cell types derived from the iPS cells. Further experiments would be required to assess the relevance of these new findings regarding the potential applications in Biomedicine of iPS cells. However, the central contribution of Shinya Yamanaka and the beauty and simplicity of his pioneer experiments will remain for ever.

The Foundation BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge Awards are associated with a 400.000 € (~545,000 USD) Prize. The 2010 Prize Jury in Biomedicine was chaired by Werner Arber, (Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1978, Biozentrum, University of Basel, Switzerland) and included, as remaining members: Robin Lovell-Badge (MRC National Institute for Medical Research, UK); Dario Alessi (College of Life Sciences, Dundee University, UK); Mariano Barbacid (Spanish National Cancer Research Center-CNIO); José Baselga (Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, USA); Angelika Schnieke, (Department of Animal Science, Technical University of Munich, Germany); and Bruce Whitelaw (The Roslin Institute, Edinburgh, UK). Both Robin Lovell-Badge and Bruce Whitelaw are members of the ISTT.

John Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka awarded with the 2009 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Prize

Sunday, October 18th, 2009
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2009 Lasker Basic Medical Research Awards to John Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka

2009 Lasker Basic Medical Research Awards to John Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka

The 2009 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Prize has been awarded to John Gurdon (University of Cambridge) and Shinya Yamanaka (Kyoto University), “for discoveries concerning nuclear reprogramming, the process that instructs specialized adult cells to form early stem cells — creating the potential to become any type of mature cell for experimental or therapeutic purposes“.

John Gurdon pioneered nuclear reprogramming experiments in frogs in the 50s and 60s. In 1966, he obtained the first adult fertile frog from nuclear transfer experiments accomplished with larval intestinal cell nuclei. Forty years later, in 2006, Shinya Yamanaka discovered a reduced set of genes that were sufficient to transform a somatic cell into a pluripotent, thereby producing the first induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells. The acceptance remarks and the associated Nature Medicine assays written by John Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka are most interesting, worth reading and enjoying.


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