Thank you very much Belén!

Belén Pintado, ISTT Treasurer (2006 - 2010)
Belén Pintado, ISTT Treasurer (2006 - 2010). Picture from the TT2008 meeting, Toronto, October 2008

Today, December 31st, 2010, is the last day of service of Belén Pintado at the council of the International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT). Belén has been serving as ISTT Treasurer since 2006 and, in addition, she was also one of the six founder members of this Society. With this post in the ISTT blog, and on behalf of the entire Society, I would like to thank Belén for her generous dedication, for her time and for her extraordinary work as Treasurer, always helping to find a solution or contributing to solve all difficulties and troubles that we have come across in our short history. Belén: THANK YOU VERY MUCH for all what you did for the ISTT. We are certain that you will continue with us, at the ISTT, as an Ordinary member, promoting and helping to disseminate the Society’s aims and initiatives.

The post and responsability of the ISTT Treasurer will be now in the hands of Manuel Sánchez-Martín (University of Salamanca, Spain), according to the results of the ISTT elections held early in 2010. Manuel will be in charge of the ISTT Treasury from January 1st, 2011 till December, 31st, 2014. Furthermore, at the ISTT Administration level, we are most lucky to have now Alison Cameron, as ISTT administrative assistant, who has become a major step towards the professionalization of our Society (helping Belén, and now Manuel, and myself in the daily administrative activities of the ISTT) , along with the team of lawyers (Suandco Abogados) that supervises the economic and legal activities and the associated compromises of our Society.

Thanks again Belén for your work as ISTT Treasurer!

Lluís Montoliu

A tribute in Cecilia’s memory

Cecilia Tiveron, EBRI, Rome, Italy, ISTT member
Cecilia Tiveron, EBRI, Rome, Italy, ISTT member

Cecilia Tiveron left us few days ago after a long lasting coexistence with a brain cancer. A long disease-free period allowed her to become a reference person for transgenesis in Italy. Cecilia joined in 1997 the Telethon Transgenic Facility in Rome directed by Laura Pozzi and from 2001 to 2005 was in turn the Manager of the same Facility. She was really competent, skilled and experienced in genetics and in animal work and fruitfully collaborated with many leading research groups in Italy. Her reliability, deepness of knowledge and collaborative attitude were recognized and appreciated by colleagues and collaborators who have always got from her competence and attention to their requests, as well as by the people who had the privilege to be trained at her school. Cecilia attended the TT Meeting in Barcelona in 2005 and was an early member of the ISTT since its foundation in 2006. Starting from 2005 she was in charge of the Disease Modelling Facility at the European Brain Research Institute in Rome.

At the same time she was a wonderful colleague and friend and really a pleasant person to be around. She was helpful, generous, always with a smile and a good word if you needed some one to confide your troubles. She loved reading, cinema and music and it was a real pleasure to share with her interests, activity and reflections in the time off from work. She withstood the last period of her disease with great dignity and courage, continuing her lab work until she was out in force and then following by computer, from home, her projects and collaborators. Her sense of friendship was repaid by the affectionate closeness in the last months of many peoples who had the good fortune to know Cecilia.

We will all miss her.

Laura Pozzi
Elisabetta Mattei


I knew Cecilia and I have met her a couple of times. She attended the TT2005 meeting we organized in Barcelona and was very excited about the ISTT from the very beginning, becoming a member since the foundation of our Society. Later on I visited the EBRI in Rome, where I delivered a talk, and I was impressed about the Disease Modelling Facility she was leading. I feel very sad and so stunned to have learnt about her premature loss….

we will all miss her,

Lluis Montoliu


My deepest condolence for all family and friends for the lost of Cecilia Tiveron. Hope all can find comfort in the memories she left behind and feel confident that she did all and more than what was possible to make your life’s better.

Jose Luis Mendoza Ramirez


10th Transgenic Technology Meeting – TT2011

T2011 meeting - 24-26 October 2011 - TradeWinds Island Resort, St Pete Beach, Florida, USA
T2011 meeting - 24-26 October 2011 - TradeWinds Island Resort, St Pete Beach, Florida, USA

The International Society for Transgenic Technologies is most happy to announce the 10th Transgenic Technology Meeting. This TT2011 meeting will be held on October 24-26, 2011, at the fantastic TradeWinds Island Resort, at the St Pete Beach, in sunny Florida, USA. The nearest international airport is in Tampa, Florida, about 30 minutes drive. The TT2011 meeting is organized by the ISTT and the technical Secretariat will be run by In-Conference, Ltd., a professional meeting organizer. Registration for the TT2011 meeting will open in January 2011, from the meeting web site ( If you are interested to learn more or would like to ask anything about the TT2011 meeting, please contact us at the official TT2011 meeting address (

More than 30 invited speakers have confirmed their participation, covering a wide range of interesting topics within the animal transgenesis field, including: genetic background and superovulation, Coat color genetics, How to name a mouse – Standard Nomenclature, Animal models in hearing research, Animal models for gene therapy, Animal ethics, New USA and European guidelines on animal welfare and experimentation, Essentials of microinjection, IVF, sperm quality and other issues, International Germplasm Transfer, Finding your Transgenic Mouse/ES Cell Line/Gene with Online Resources, Gene targeting in C57BL/6 and 129 mouse strains, International Knockout Mouse Consortium, First knockout rats generated through authentic rat ES cells, Pronuclear injection-based mouse targeted transgenesis, Ultrasonic microinjection, Non-rodent animal models, Use of transgenic pics in biomedical research, Use of transgenic zebrafish to understand biological processes, Animal Biotechnology, Zinc finger nucleases and genome modification, Mutating the rat genome with transposons, The power of rat models using zinc finger nucleases.

The TT2011 meeting will be followed by a workshop, on October 27, on Mouse Colony Management Solutions.

6th QTRN Symposium: a meeting report

6th QTRN Symposium: a meeting report
6th QTRN Symposium: a meeting report

On November 13th 2010, the CHUM Research Centre, located in Montreal, Canada was the host of the 6th Annual Symposium organized by the Quebec Transgenic Research Network (QTRN). This one day event was entitled: “Focus on new transgenic models and their phenotyping”. For a second year, this event was co-sponsored by the International Society of Transgenic Technologies (ISTT), which contributed to its organization as well as its international recognition.

The QTRN primary mission is to promote academic transgenic research and its applications in biomedical research within its member institutes. Its goals also include developing the infrastructure which will promote the integration and sharing of resources among the Quebec academic and biopharmaceutical research community. As part of its mission, the QTRN makes a priority to organize yearly symposium with the goal to bring together specialists in the field to update the Quebec scientific community on new transgenic animal models and technical developments. This year, the symposium welcomed 80 delegates primarily from Quebec and Ontario in Canada, and also several participants from the United States. The event was an excellent medium to discuss and exchange new ideas between scientists, graduate students, fellows, veterinarians and animal health technicians.

You can continue reading the 6th QTRN 2010 Symposium meeting report from here.

Ralph L. Brinster will be awarded the next ISTT Prize in Miami, at the TT2011 meeting

Prof. Ralph L. Brinster will be awarded the next (8th) ISTT Prize
Prof. Ralph L. Brinster will be awarded the next (8th) ISTT Prize

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.

The ISTT Prize
The ISTT Prize

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.
Brinster RL.
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.
Brinster RL.
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.
Brinster RL.
Science. 2007 Apr 20;316(5823):404-5.

Ralph L. Brinster in 1989, picture from Science (1989) Aug 11;245(4918):590-1
Ralph L. Brinster in 1989, picture from Science (1989) Aug 11;245(4918):590-1

ISTT and Transgenic Research jointly promote the use of standard nomenclature

Examples of use of standard nomenclature [see Montoliu & Whitelaw (2010) for a full descrption]
Examples of use of standard nomenclature: see Montoliu & Whitelaw (2010) for a full descrption
The International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) and the scientific journal, Transgenic Research, to which the ISTT is associated, have decided to promote the use of standard nomenclature for naming mouse strains, genes, mutations and alleles. In this regard, and according to ISTT aims and activities, ISTT will disseminate in its web site, blog, newsletter and Transgenic Technology (TT) meetings, information and recommendations regarding how to use standard nomenclature. Likewise, the correct use of rules and guidelines for standard nomenclature for naming mouse strains, genes, mutations and alleles will be enforced in subsequent articles submitted to Transgenic Research for publication, as it is already done in several other journals.

Joint Position Article (ISTT and Transgenic Research):

Montoliu Lluis & Whitelaw C. Bruce A. (2010) Using standard nomenclature to adequately name transgenes, knockout gene alleles and any mutation associated to a genetically modified mouse strain. Transgenic Research (ePub, 16 July 2010) [this article has been made freely available by Springer]

New videos, images and methods available from ISTT

New videos, images and methods available from the ISTT
New videos, images and methods available from the ISTT

New videos, images and methods on transgenic animal technologies have been made available from the ISTT web site, within the ISTT-members-only area. The new ten videos that have been addedd, they have been generously contributed by Martina Crispo (Institut Pasteur, Montevideo, Uruguay) and Delma Pegolo Alves (CEMIB, University of Campinas, Brazil) on several aspects of mouse colony handling, rescue and rederivation and, in particular, on various cryopreservation techniques. The number of videos currently available for ISTT members is 70. All videos are provided in a wide range of formats, including: (.flv/.swf) for web streaming flash videos, (.mov) for QuickTime/Mac, (.avi /.wmv) for Windows/PC,(.mp4 / .mpg / .dv / .vob) for DVD/TV, (.3gp) for generic-type cellular/mobile phones, (.m4v/.mp4) H.264 / for iPods & MP4 compatibles, (.m4v*/iP) H.264 for iPhone/iPad, (.rv) for Real Video.

In addition, new images have been added to the ISTT collection of pictures on transgenic animal technologies. Last set of pictures, kindly contributed by Delma Pegolo Alves (CEMIB, University of Campinas, Brazil), illustrate a mouse hysterectomy process applied for the rederivation of mouse strains, within isolators, using a caeseran section method. Finally, a number of classical and standard methods have been contributed by Lluís Montoliu (CNB-CSIC, Madrid, Spain) about the isolation of several types of transgene DNA for microinjection, genomic DNA from mouse tails and the statistical assessment of Mendelian ratios in crosses involving one to three unlinked loci.

All these multimedia materials are available to ISTT Members, from the members-only area. If you are not yet a member of ISTT and would like to join our Society, please visit this web page and follow the indicated instructions.