Douglas Coleman and Jeffrey Friedman granted the 2012 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Biomedicine

Douglas Coleman and Jeffrey Friedman granted the 2012 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Biomedicine
Douglas Coleman and Jeffrey Friedman granted the 2012 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Biomedicine

The 2012 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Biomedicine has been granted to Douglas Coleman (retired, Professor Emeritus at The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, ME, USA) and Jeffrey Friedman (The Rockfeller University, USA) for “revealing the existence of the genes involved in the regulation of appetite and body weight, a discovery crucial to our understanding of human pathologies such as obesity,” as stated by the prize jury.

Jeffrey Friedman cloned the gene encoding leptin (Lep), as the mutation present in the obese mice (ob/ob), based on the ideas and previous work pioneered by Douglas Coleman, who also predicted that the mutant (db/db) mice affected a gene (Lepr) encoding the receptor for this important hormone, produced by adipose cells in the fat and acting in the brain to regulate food intake, energy expenditure and how much fat the body stores. This is yet another award and public recognition to mouse genetics, leading the discovery of genes and their functions, and illustrating how mice help to find out what the homologous human loci do, and their relevance in pathology when they are mutated.

Douglas Coleman and Jeffrey Friedman have been already granted the Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine, in 2009, and the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, in 2010, also jointly in both cases, for their discovery of leptin. Both scientists should be now congratulated, once again, for their excellent scientific work and this new award, truly deserved. Anyone interested to read about the scientific histories behind the discovery of leptin is welcome to read the following articles:

Leading the charge in leptin research: an interview with Jeffrey Friedman.
Friedman J. Dis Model Mech. 2012 Sep;5(5):576-9.

A historical perspective on leptin.
Coleman DL. Nat Med. 2010 Oct;16(10):1097-9.

The 2012 Jury for this BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Biomedicine comprises a number of eminent scientists including two researchers that are, in addition, ISTT members, namely: Robin Lovell-Badge, Head of the Division of Stem Cell Biology and Developmental Genetics at the National Institute for Medical Research (Medical Research Council, UK), acting as the Secretary of this Jury; and Bruce Whitelaw, Head of the Developmental Biology Division at The Roslin Institute in Edinburgh (UK) and Editor-in-Chief of Transgenic Research, the scientific journal to which the International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) is associated.

Submit your comment to FDA regarding the finding of no significant environmental impact for the transgenic salmon

Submit your comment to FDA regarding the finding of no significant environmental impact for the transgenic salmon
Submit your comment to FDA regarding the finding of no significant environmental impact for the transgenic salmon

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a document on December 26, 2012, reporting the finding of no significant environmental impact concerning a genetically engineered Atlantic salmon (AquAdvantage, produced by the company AquaBounty, Maynard, Mass., USA). According to this last report, and all the many previous studies undertaken, this transgenic fish is a safe food product and is concluded that will have no significant impact for the environment. FDA has issued this last draft environmental assessment (EA) for public comment, related to the agency’s review of an application concerning this AquAdvantage Salmon. Anyone can submit a comment to FDA on this last report. Comments will be accepted until February 25, 2013, 11:59 PM. For a review of the long administrative and review process associated with this transgenic salmon, which can be the biotechonology product derived from a genetically modified animal which might be authorised soon as food for human consumption, please visit this previous ISTT blog entry.

 

Updated program for the TT2013 meeting in China

Updated program for the TT2013 meeting in China
Updated program for the TT2013 meeting in China

The International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) is pleased to announce the latest updated scientific program for the 11th Transgenic Technology (TT2013) meeting, which will be held in Guangzhou, China, on February 25-27, 2013, followed by a 3-day hands-on practical workshop on basic microinjection techniques, on February 28-March 2, 2013. The TT2013 Meeting is organized by Prof. Ming Zhao (Southern Medical University, Guangzhou) and will be held at the Guangzhou Baiyun International Convention Center. The associated hands-on workshop is organized by Dr. Wenhao Xu (University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA) in collaboration with Prof. Liangping Li (Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China), Prof. Jing An (Cancer Institute, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China) and Prof. Ming Zhao. The practical workshop will be held at the Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou. Submission of late abstracts will be still accepted until January 24, 2013. Standard Registration fees apply until January 31, 2013. Registration to attend the TT2013 meeting should be done through the TT2013 meeting web site. Please register soon to attend the 2013 Edition of this world reference conference-series on animal transgenic technology.

The updated TT2013 program includes the following confirmed invited speakers:

  • Fernando Benavides (MD Anderson Cancer Center, Smithville, TX, USA)
  • Allan Bradley (Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton/Cambridge, UK) ISTT Prize
  • James Bussell (Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton/Cambridge, UK)
  • Shannon Byers (The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, ME, USA)
  • Michael Dobbie (Australian Phenomics Facility, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia)
  • Scott Fahrenkrug (Recombinetics, Minneapolis, MN, USA)
  • Malcolm France (Sydney, Australia)
  • Xiang Gao (Model Animal Research Center of Nanjing University, Nanjing, PR China)
  • Alfonso Gutiérrez-Adán (Dep. Animal Reproduction, INIA, Madrid, Spain)
  • Yann Herault (Institut Clinique de la Souris, ICS and IGBMC, Illkirch/Strasbourg, France)
  • Benoît Kanzler (Max-Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Freiburg, Germany)
  • Dietmar Kappes (Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA)
  • Takashi Kohda (Department of Epigenetics, Medical Research Institute, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Japan)
  • Thomas Kolbe (Biomodels Austria and Institute for Biotechnology in Animal Production, IFA-Tulln, Austria)
  • Takashi Kuramoto (Institute of Laboratory Animals, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan)
  • Liangxue Lai (Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health, Chinese Academy of Science, Guangzhou, PR China)
  • Jinsong Li (Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, PR China)
  • Ning Li (State Key Laboratories for Agrobiotechnology, China Agricultural University, Beijing, PR China)
  • Depei Liu (Chinese Academy of Medical Science and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, PR China) TT2013 Opening Lecture
  • Pentao Liu (Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton/Cambridge, UK)
  • Kent Lloyd (University of California, Davis, CA, USA)
  • Kyle D. Lutes (Department of Computer and Information Technology-CIT Faculty, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA)
  • Shoukhrat Mitalipov (Oregon National Primate Research Center, OHSU, Beaverton, OR, USA)
  • Naomi Nakagata (Center for Animal Resources and Development, Kumamoto University, Japan)
  • Catheryn O’Brien (The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Melbourne, Australia)
  • Masaru Okabe (Genome Information Research Center Research, Institute for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan)
  • Jan Parker-Thornburg (MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA)
  • Xin-an Pu (The Ohio State University, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbus, OH, USA)
  • Toru Takeo (Center for Animal Resources and Development, Kumamoto University, Japan) ISTT Young Investigator Award
  • Zhu-Gang Wang (Shanghai Research Center for Model Organisms, Shanghai, PR China)
  • Guoliang Xu (Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, PR China)
  • Bo Zhang (College of Life Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, PR China)
  • Qi Zhou (The State Key Laboratory of Reproductive Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, PR China)

Happy New Year and 2013 ISTT Calendar. Renewal campaign launched!

Happy New Year and 2013 ISTT Calendar
Happy New Year and 2013 ISTT Calendar

The International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) wishes a happy new year and all the best for 2013 to all its members and the entire community of technicians, students and scientists directly or indirectly related to animal transgenesis and animal biotechnology. We have just launched the joining/renewal campaign for 2013 ISTT memberships. We hope that all our 2012 ISTT members will remain with us one more year and that new colleagues will join our Society during 2013. Also, as it has become a new year’s tradition from the ISTT, we have prepared the corresponding 2013 ISTT calendar, this time illustrated with beautiful chimera pictures made by the ISTT Member Benoît Kanzler (Freiburg, Germany), a true artist picturing mice. This calendar, which also contains a number of ISTT and related events indicated, is made freely available to everyone for downloading from the ISTT web site. Looking forward to receive your renewals and requests for registration at the ISTT!