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).

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