The I International Scientific Meeting for the Optimization of Murine Models in Research was held last week in Valdivia (Chile), at the Centro de Estudios Cientificos (CECs). This meeting, co-sponsored by the International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT), was organized by Juan Manuel Baamonde (CECs) in collaboration with the Organizing Committee [Fernando Benavides (MD Anderson CC, USA), Jorge Sztein (NIH, USA) and Pablo Cid, Marisol Costa, Carlos Flores, Bredford Kerr and Marta Treimun from CECs] and with the support of the CECs Scientific Director, Francisco Sepulveda.
This pioneer initiative attracted to Valdivia, a beautiful and one of the oldest Chilean towns, more than 200 participants from many different South-American countries, USA, Mexico, Ireland, Italy and Spain. The meeting ended last Thursday with an extraordinary success, thanks to its attending delegates and the Posters they brought, and, particularly, to the most interesting talks delivered by the selected invited speakers, coming, mostly, from Chile, but also from Mexico, Brazil, USA, Ireland, Italy and Spain, including those given by ISTT Members: David Valenzuela, Venus Lai, Fernando Benavides, Jorge Sztein and Lluis Montoliu. Talks were delivered and discussed in English, Spanish or Portughese. The meeting was followed by a 1-day practical course on mouse sperm freezing according to the Jackson and Nakagata CARD methods, organized by Jorge Sztein, in collaboration with Jesús Martínez (CIEMAT, Madrid, Spain) and Marta Treimun. The course was followed by 17 participants.
Chile, too often unfortunately associated to earthquakes and other natural disasters, demonstrates with this successful mouse meeting, that is part of the group of South-American countries that have decided to invest in scientific research using laboratory animals, mostly rodents, with professional and up-to-date equipment and animal facilities, at the international level. This meeting in Valdivia nicely served to illustrate the high level of scientific research involving genetically-modified mice that is being conducted nowadays in Chile, with the CECs as one of the leading institutions in the country. The use of mice as animal models for human disease has been the subject of various previous successful meetings and courses organized in Brazil (Sao Paulo-2008 and Campinas-2010) and Uruguay (in 2008 and 2011). The International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) is proud to have supported and co-sponsored all of them.