Updated program for the TT2013 meeting and hands-on workshop in Guangzhou

Updated program for the TT2013 meeting and hands-on workshop in Guangzhou (China)
Updated program for the TT2013 meeting and hands-on workshop in Guangzhou (China)

At the International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT), we are pleased to release the most updated scientific, technical and social program for the TT2013 meeting and the associated hands-on workshop that will be held in Guangzhou (China), starting on February 25, 2013. The TT2013 meeting, organized by Ming Zhao and his colleagues of the Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, will begin on Sunday, February 24, with an optional pre-meeting dinner and cruise upon Pearl river, the already classical get-together style of kicking off the last TT meetings, where all participants are kindly invited to participate in order to gather, meet old friends and colleagues and get to know new ones, putting “names to faces” in our field.

The scientific part of the meeting will be held at the Baiyun International Convention Center, in Guangzhou, starting early on Monday, February 25, and will progress until Wednesday, February 27, in the afternoon. We have 33 scientific talks from invited guest speakers, with a wide range of topics in animal transgenesis, including those lectures corresponding to the 9th ISTT Prize (Allan Bradley, Hinxton, UK) and 2nd ISTT Young Investigator Award (Toru Takeo, Kumamoto, Japan), generously sponsored by genOway and inGenious Targeting Laboratory, respectively. We have also selected four short oral presentations among the many submitted abstracts sent to the TT2013 meeting. All accepted abstracts will be published in Transgenic Research (Springer), the scientific journal to which the ISTT is proud to be associated with.

Following the TT2013 meeting, and starting on Thursday, February 28, a 3-day hands-on workshop on basic microinjection and useful techniques in animal transgenesis will take place in Guangzhou, at the Sun Yat-sen University. The TT2013 workshop, limited to 30 participants, is organized by Wenhao Xu (University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA), Ming Zhao (Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China), Jing An (Cancer Institute, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China) and Liangping Li (Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China), who hosts the workshop in his institution.

We greatly thank the support from all the many companies and institutions that decided to sponsor the TT2013 meeting and the workshop.

Registration for the TT2013 meeting at reduced fees is still possible until November 30, 2012. Thereafter, standard registration will begin, until January 31, 2012. If you plan to attend the TT2013 meeting we kindly advise you to register as soon as possible, in order to benefit from cheaper registration fees. In addition, there are still a few slots available for the workshop. These will be filled according to first come/first serve scheme.

Looking forward to meeting you all in Guangzhou! Let’s enjoy another great Transgenic Technology meeting together!

ISTT survey on production of transgenic mice has been completed

ISTT survey on production of transgenic mice has been completed
ISTT survey on production of transgenic mice has been completed

On November 1st, 2008, the International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) launched the ISTT survey on production of transgenic mice. This survey was presented by Tom Fielder (Univ. California-Irvine, USA) at the TT2008 meeting (Toronto, Canada) where we shared the outcome of a pilot survey conducted with a limited number of transgenic facilities. The purpose of this survey was to establish performance standards for the production of transgenic mice by pronuclear microinjection of DNA. Our aim was to benefit all transgenic facilities by establishing officially recognized standards for such measures as embryo and pup yields, rates of transgenesis, etc., as well as the expected variability in such measures. Existing facilities would then be able to refer to independent standards in dealing with dissatisfied clients, and new facilities would have achievable goals to aim for. We hoped that it might even be possible to discover an optimum combination of factors that would allow every facility to improve. Our goal was to obtain data from at least 100 different facilities world-wide. However, in September 2009, when the survey was closed, we had received raw microinjection data from only 66 independent facilities, including more than 17,000 microinjection sessions. Preliminary global analyses from merged submitted data were presented by Tom Fielder at the TT2010 meeting (Berlin, Germany) and, some of these analyses, were reported in a book chapter on “Transgenic Production Benchmarks” from the ISTT Manual: Advanced Protocolos for Animal Transgenesis (S. Pease & T.L. Saunders, 2011; Springer). During 2011 we began to produce the announced customized statistical analysis for each participating facility. This proved to be a very demanding and time-consuming task. An example of such a customized analysis was presented by Tom Fielder at the TT2011 meeting (Florida, USA).

Eventually, in September 2012, all facility reports were sent to their original contributors. We certainly appreciate the fact that the analyses would have been more valuable had they been completed sooner. At the same time, we hope that contributing facilities will appreciate the enormity of this project, which has obviously required much more effort than we anticipated. We would like to acknowledge the help of our collaborator, Laura Barrios, professional statistician at CSIC, whose contributions were critical to achieving the aims of this survey. Without her expert guidance, provided free of charge, the survey could not have happened.

Now, that the ISTT Survey on production of transgenic mice has been completed, we will prepare summary publications discussing in greater details the main findings and conclusions. Also, we are pleased to announce the launching of a new resource, related to this transgenic survey. We are now accepting additional microinjection data from facilities that wish to compare their performance against the survey’s original data set (66 facilities/>17,000 microinjection sessions). Interested facilities are encouraged to visit this new resource page.

Tom Fielder & LluĂ­s Montoliu

The 2nd ISTT Young Investigator Award goes to Toru Takeo

Dr. Toru Takeo (Center for Animal Resources and Development, Kumamoto University, Japan). 2nd ISTT Young Investigator Award.
Dr. Toru Takeo (Center for Animal Resources and Development, Kumamoto University, Japan). 2nd ISTT Young Investigator Award.

The International Society for Trangenic Technologies (ISTT) is pleased to announce the second (2nd) ISTT Young Investigator Award, generously sponsored by inGenious Targeting Laboratory. The Award Committee carefully evaluated the excellent merits presented by all nominated candidates and decided to select Dr. Toru Takeo (Center for Animal Resources and Development, Kumamoto University, Japan) for the second ISTT Young Investigator Award. Dr. Toru Takeo was nominated by Dr. Jan Parker-Thornburg (ISTT Member, ISTT Council). The Award committee considered that Dr. Toru Takeo’s work represented a major improvement of mouse sperm cyropreservation and IVF techniques, thereby greatly facilitating the archiving and sharing of many mouse models produced by the transgenic community.

Dr. Toru Takeo, working in Dr. Naomi Nakagata’s laboratory, at CARD-KU, in Kumamoto (Japan), described three major technical improvements for boosting the efficiency of mouse sperm cryopreservation and the subsequently required IVF technique. The three fundamental modifications he reported in his recent publications tackled all three important steps in sperm cryopreservation and IVF, namely: (1) improving the cryopreservation of spermatozoa by adding L-Glutamine to the cryoprotective agent (CPA); (2) improving the number of capacitated sperm, upon thawing and pre-incubating them with Methyl-Beta-CycloDextrin (MBCD) by reducing the cholesterol levels in plasma membrane and increasing fertilization rate; and, (3) improving the in vitro fertilization (IVF) step itself, by adding reduced glutathione (GSH) to the IVF medium thereby increasing periviteline space in oocytes and the number of free thiols in the zona pellucida (ZP), greatly facilitating ZP penetration by sperm cells and, hence, fertilization. The three modifications, when jointly applied to some common mouse inbred strains, traditionally difficult to archive due to known poor sperm cryopreservation performance and limited IVF success, like C57BL/6J mice, boosted IVF efficiencies to >80%, and resulted in a true revolution in the transgenic mouse community and public archives. For example, at the European Mouse Mutant Archive (EMMA), a number of nodes have already updated their routine sperm cryopreservation and IVF methods according to Dr. Toru Takeo’s reports and succeeded in reproducing CARD innovations.

Dr. Toru Takeo’s three main publications on this subject are:

Takeo T, Nakagata N.
Reduced glutathione enhances fertility of frozen/thawed C57BL/6 mouse sperm after exposure to methyl-beta-cyclodextrin.
Biol Reprod. 2011 Nov;85(5):1066-72.

Takeo T, Nakagata N.
Combination medium of cryoprotective agents containing L-glutamine and methyl-{beta}-cyclodextrin in a preincubation medium yields a high fertilization rate for cryopreserved C57BL/6J mouse sperm.
Lab Anim. 2010 Apr;44(2):132-7.

Takeo T, Hoshii T, Kondo Y, Toyodome H, Arima H, Yamamura K, Irie T, Nakagata N.
Methyl-beta-cyclodextrin improves fertilizing ability of C57BL/6 mouse sperm after freezing and thawing by facilitating cholesterol efflux from the cells.
Biol Reprod. 2008 Mar;78(3):546-51.

Dr. Toru Takeo was born in 1979. In 2003, he obtained a Bachelor degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Kumamoto and, subsequently, he continued his studies at the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences obtaining a Master degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2005 and his PhD degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2008. Thereafter, he has worked as postdoctoral researcher at the Division of Reproductive Engineeting, of the Center for Animal Resources and Development (CARD)-University of Kumamoto and, in 2010, he was promoted to Assistant Professor. He currently holds several professional memberships at various Societies, including the Japanese Association for Laboratory Animal Science, the Japan Pharmaceutical Association, The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan and the Society for Reproduction and Development, Japan, and his excellent work has already been awarded several times, including his most recent 2012 Young Investigator Award, by the Japanese Association for Laboratory Animal Science.

The 2012 ISTT Young Investigator Award Committee was formed by Dr. Lluis Montoliu (President of ISTT)-Chair, Dr. Thom Saunders (Vice-President of ISTT), Dr. Boris Jerchow (ISTT Council member), Dr. Paul Sheiffele (iTL CEO) and Dr. Lisa Aronov (iTL).

Dr. Toru Takeo will attend the next 11th Transgenic Technology (TT2013) meeting where he will receive the corresponding diploma and will deliver a short talk summarizing his scientific achievements that led him to receive this 2nd ISTT Young Investigator Award, sponsored by inGenious Targeting Laboratory (iTL).

Download this ISTT Press Release

the ISTT Young Investigator Award, sponsored by iTL
the ISTT Young Investigator Award, sponsored by iTL