The ISTT Calendar for year 2016

Download a free copy of the 2016 ISTT Calendar
Download a free copy of the 2016 ISTT Calendar

Happy New Year to all ISTT Members!. Here, you can download a free copy of the 2016 ISTT Calendar. This edition has been nicely prepared by ISTT Board Member Karen Brennan (Sydney, Australia), using numerous beautiful images generously provided by ISTT members. Download it, print it and use it!. Enjoy it!.

Report on the 2nd Oceania Transgenic Technology/Cryopreservation Symposium

2nd oceania symposium

The 2nd Oceania Transgenic Technology and Cryopreservation Symposium was held at the University of Tasmania’s Medical Sciences Precinct, Hobart, Australia on the 18th-19th of November, 2015. The meeting was a great success with for 48 participants from 23 research institutions across Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the USA and with the support of 9 sponsoring companies. The Organising Committee comprised of: Paul Scowen-chair and host (UTAS), Elizabeth Williams (University of Queensland Biological Resources), Kevin Taylor (Australian BioResources,) Irma Villaflor (Children’s Medical Research Institute, Westmead), Tanya Templeton (Australian Phenomics Network, Monash) and Karen Brennan (Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute). Once again, it provided an opportunity for networking, for keeping up to date with the latest developments in transgenic technologies and for sharing knowledge through expertise, round table discussions and hands-on experience.

Highlights of the Programme:

The symposium began with a warm welcome from the host, Paul Scowen, and quickly moved on, beginning with a session of talks related to assisted reproduction techniques and their applications. Dr. Toru Takeo (Kumamoto University, Japan) , started by showing that ‘ultra-ovulation’ of female mice through the administration of a novel anti-serum (soon available as a commercial product) allows for consistent collection of a large number of usable oocytes from a single mouse. Combined with the IVF media products developed by the same group, mouse IVF techniques are now even further enhanced. Elizabeth Williams (UQBR) demonstrated that the CARD embryo vitrification technique can be adapted to use either straws or vials as the cryostorage vessel, allowing facilities to update their freezing techniques without having to change their liquid nitrogen storage equipment. An entertaining presentation was delivered by Prof. John McLaughlin, showing that cryovials can be easily converted with the new ‘Cryofork spatula’ to allow for easy vitrification of embryos in small media volumes. Rodrick Rupan described the challenges faced in rederiving immunodeficient colonies and how they were overcome. Continuing the rederivation and IVF theme, Mary-anne Migotto explained how UQBR have used IVF techniques to offer a rapid and large scale rederivation service. Tanya Templeton expanded upon her talk from the first Oceania symposium, giving an update on developments in ICSI technique and use of piezo methodology at Monash University. The session concluded with Julie Stanley’s talk on sperm cryopreservation at WEHI.


The second session covered various aspects of rodent health screening, biosecurity, monitoring, risk assessment and challenges when dealing with genetically modified mice models. Dr Trasti presented key concepts for a rodent sentinel program, establishing exclusion criteria, sample collection, interpretation of report and preparation of an action plan in case of an outbreak situation. Dr Villaflor discussed recommendations on which pathogens to monitor, issues with working with humanized immune deficient mice, quality control system and her experiences with adapting the latest trend in laboratory animal health monitoring programs. Dr Stevenson shared his insights on an appropriate scoring system for determining what agents and factors pose a risk to animal facilities housing genetically modified animals.


The third and final session of the day covered aspects of quality control. Sue Raboczyj (UQBR) and John Swift (OHIO) explained clearly the Quality Assurance and Control requirements for operating transgenic facilities with multiple clients, and ensuring the ongoing maintenance of a growing archive of cryopreserved material. Dr. Takeo also presented the methods used to establish a robust infrastructure at CARD (Kumamoto University). The day concluded with a personal account of undergoing the NATA accreditation process from Barbara Hunt (ANU).

Day 2 began with an extremely informative session on CRISPR technology. Kevin Taylor began with a talk on the introduction to CRISPR, the theory behind its evolution, the applications and advances based on his experiences at ABR in Moss Vale. Kevin also mentioned about the new refinements such as SCR7 and also briefly talked about electroporation. Fabien Delerue (UNSW) reported on the traditional methods utilised for creating knock-outs versus CRISPR/Cas9 and followed on with details of some of the projects that he is undertaking at UNSW and what he has done to refine how he carries out his projects being that he is a small outfit. Sandie Piltz’s work at the University of Adelaide is one of the pioneering Australian groups to start working with this technology, she discussed her personal experience with this methodology and what they have done to refine the technique, such as donor strains and ages, recipient strains, needle parameters, injection reagents and concentrations, environmental influences and superovulation techniques. Fiona Waters (WEHI) gave an introduction on the CRISPR/Cas9 methodology and then launched into the experiences from the WEHI team on how they have utilised and transferred their skills to this technique and the refinements they have made. Dirk Truman (APN) talked about the services that the APN provides, their efficiencies and that it is one of the first non-for-profit services offering this type of genome editing to Australian Researchers. Dirk also discussed the different species that are being used for this type of genome editing, off target effects, and what APN has done to refine the technique. The last talk for this session, Michelle Brownlee (ABR), talked about the day in the life of a microinjectionist. She discussed the strains of mice used, superovulation techniques, injection techniques, embryo transfer methods, refinements and troubleshooting.

The following session encompassed the administration and training aspects of working in a transgenic animal facility. Tracy Doan (UQBR) gave an overview of the database systems used and administrative support provided to help coordinate the cryopreservation and rederivation services at the Transgenic Animal Service of Queensland. Kevin Taylor (ABR) and Keri Smith (UTas) presented their respective training programs based on structure which also opened up lively discussions on different training opportunities offered in various institutions and suggestions to meet training needs of staff members. Dr David Steele who is Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) Chairman at the University of Tasmania, outlined the structure and important role and function of the IBC, including dealing with GMOs when conducting research in accordance with legislation, codes of practice and licensing requirements.

It is envisioned that future meetings will serve to strengthen our collaboration efforts with colleagues from various institutions doing the same type of work.

TT2016 Deadlines and Poster

TT2016, to be held in Prague in late March, should prove to be an exciting meeting. The scientific portion of the meeting will be from 20-23 March. In addition, there are three hands-on workshops that are available, including a Mouse Cryopreservation Workshop (16-18 March), a course on CRISPR/Cas9 programmable nucleases (16-18 March) and a Fish Transgenesis Course (23-25 March).

Early registration will close on 15 December, 2015, so register soon! Please note that ISTT members have discounted registrations, and can apply for a limited number of registration and travel awards (as detailed in e-mails sent to ISTT members). Applications and documentation for these awards must be sent in by 15 December, 2015 to

We also encourage you to submit an abstract for the poster session. A number of poster abstracts will be chosen for oral presentation, so this is an excellent opportunity to share your science. Poster submissions are also eligible for the TT2016 Poster awards. Abstracts are due by 15 December, 2015

Please note that a printable poster has been appended to this blog post. Feel free to print and post widely! Looking forward to seeing you at TT2016!

TT2016_poster A3w workshops

LASA Winter Meeting – Genome Editing Session

Meeting Report by Mary-Ann Haskings, 25 November, 2015

It was a cold, sunny day in Brighton, UK for the LASA Winter meeting and we were pleased to see several ISTT members attending the meeting. The talks reflected on recent work involving genome editing across a breadth of species: mouse, zebrafish, opossum and discussion of use in humans.

There were some common themes across the talks and some newer approaches such as testis electroporation highlighted. The occurrence of mosaicism was discussed lengthily. The use of the NHEJ inhibitor SCR7 was another hot topic, with multiple speakers reporting that their experience suggested that there was little gain in using it. Comparisons were shown between Cas9 mRNA and protein; also the use of transgenic mice overexpressing Cas9 was reported. The possibility of reproducing better models of multi locus disease was recognised by several presenters.

The afternoon session focused on the ethical considerations of the technology, with the reminder that while it may well cause a reduction in numbers as we refine the production of genetically altered animals, the ease and efficiency of the technology may actually lead to a rise in the numbers of animals being used.

We closed with a round table discussion giving the audience the opportunity to ask any questions of our speakers. We need to thank all our speakers and our fantastic chairs Brendan Doe and Sarah Hart Johnson who helped the day to run so smoothly.

Report from the AALAS 66th National Meeting, Phoenix, Arizona, 1-5 November, 2015

The International Society for Transgenic Technologies was represented at the AALAS National Meeting this year by ISTT President Jan Parker-Thornburg, ISTT Administrator Pat Arubaleze, and ISTT’s AALAS Representative Melissa Larson. Jan and Pat set up the ISTT booth in the Affiliates section of the vendor hall on Sunday, exhibiting posters, membership literature and information regarding TT2016 in Prague. Literature was also available advertising the new online Transgenic Course for the AALAS Learning Library, written by ISTT members. The booth was manned by Jan, Pat and Melissa over the next three days, and they answered questions and provided membership information to over 32 people who stopped by to chat, including several ISTT members. The ISTT was also represented at the Affiliates Breakfast, which affords each affiliate the opportunity to discuss their organization, share updates and highlight upcoming events.

AALAS 2015ISTT President Dr. Jan Parker-Thornburg chats with FELASA (Federation of European Animal Science Associations) Past- President Dr. Jan-Bas Prins at the ISTT booth, while ISTT Administrator Pat Arubaleze looks on at the AALAS National Meeting 2015.

Meeting Report: Advances in the Generation of Genetically Modified (GM) Animal Models

Montevideo participants The International Course and Mini-Symposium: Advances in the Generation of Genetically Modified (BM) Animal Models, hosted by Martina Crispo and Alejo Menchaca was held in Montevideo, Uruguay from 7-18 September, 2015. This is the first time this combined course and workshop was held, and it was a resounding success. This meeting was co-sponsored by the ISTT, Inc.

More than 60 people attended during the two weeks of the Course, including participants from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, USA, France, Greece, Japan and, of course, Uruguay. The activities were so successful that speakers and participants requested to repeat it next year.

Here are some phrases of acknowledgment from the speakers and students:

“Martina, Alejo,

Fantastic work on everything you have done: course organization, parties! Thanks so much for you never ending hospitality!

Un fuerte abrazo,




You and Alejo put up an AMAZING symposium, and I believe it created very strong interactions between all participants. You should be praised for what you did. There aren¹t many organised seminars where professional relationships end up as friendships! If I can be of any assistance in the future, please let me know. It would be a blessing to help you in any way. This trip was an unforgettable experience.

Take care.



“Dear colleagues,


During the last two weeks (5 to 18 September 2015), Martina Crispo and Alejo Menchaca, along with members of their teams at the Institut Pasteur de Montevideo and the Instituto de Reproduccion Animal de Uruguay, respectively, organized the International Course and Symposium on Advances in the Generation of Genetically Modified (GM) Animal Models, where I had the pleasure to participate along with several other colleagues and friends.

Thanks Martina and Alejo for the organization of this symposium and course!



As organizers, we thank the ISTT for your support and hope you will be present for next editions of this course! Please have a look at our detailed meeting report online now in Transgenic Research.


Martina & AlejoUruguay Meeting Report 425px

Uruguay Meeting ReportMontevideo workshop

The 4th ISTT Young Investigator Award goes to Pablo Ross

Pablo Ross 9-22-15

The International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) is pleased to announce the awardee for the 4th ISTT Young Investigator Award, generously sponsored by ingenious targeting laboratory (iTL). ISTT created the Young Investigator Award, with one goal: identify and recognize young scientists who will keep the field of transgenic technologies vibrant with new ideas and innovative research. After careful evaluation of the nominated candidates, the Award Evaluation Committee unanimously selected Dr. Pablo Ross (Department of Animal Sciences, University of California, Davis, CA, USA).

Pablo is perfectly fitting with the criteria required for this price. Veterinarian by training, gaining his initial degrees in Argentina, he has obtained his PhD in 2007 from the Michigan State University in the Laboratory of Cellular Reprogramming. In 2009 he joined the Department of Animal Science of the University of California Davis where he is running his own group and has obtained this year an Associate Professor position.

Pablo presents as a young, energetic and very talented individual. We are convinced that his research will considerably impact the field of large animal transgenesis. His specific niche is that of livestock embryo technologies and stem cells in which he is working by combining studies in a wide range of livestock species – cattle, sheep, horses and pigs. Among his key findings is the derivation and more importantly maintenance of iPS/ES-like cells in livestock species, a domain where the mouse methods are not always applicable. In parallel he is active in producing and characterizing novel gene edited and transgenic livestocks using for instance the CRISPR/Cas9 technology, and has more recently developed new approaches for interspecies blastocyst complementation, combining primate stem cells and livestock host embryos.

Dr. Pablo Ross will attend the next 13th Transgenic Technology (TT2016) meeting in Prague (Czech Republik, 20-23 March 2016) where he will receive the corresponding diploma and will deliver a talk summarizing his scientific achievements and giving us a unique opportunity to hear and learn more about the major recents achievements of the pioneers and current key players in the field.

For the first time the ISTT will be awarding the Young Investigator Award to a scientist belonging to the group of molecular biologists and geneticists working with livestock animals and dealing and investigating with non-rodent species. In fact, they concentrate their work on species which have an obvious and increasing potential impact in our Society, namely species that we eat, that better match our human physiology and can be used as models that can be better utilized for the understanding and treatment of human diseases.

The following articles represent some of his recent findings published in the last years, highlighting his most recent contributions to the field. These publications have had a tremendous impact in the animal transgenesis field.

Schroeder DI, Jayashankar K, Douglas KC, Thirkill TL, York D, Dickinson PJ, Williams LE, Samollow PB, Ross PJ, Bannasch DL, Douglas GC, LaSalle JM. Early Developmental and Evolutionary Origins of Gene Body DNA Methylation Patterns in Mammalian Placentas. PLoS Genet. 2015; Aug 4;11(8):e1005442. doi: 10.1371

Wu J, Okamura D, Li M, Suzuki K, Luo K, Ma L, He L, Li Z, Benner C, Tamura I, Krause MN, Nery J, Du T, Zhang Z, Hishida T, Takahashi Y, Aizawa E, Kim NY, Lajara G, Guillen P, Campistol J, Rodríguez Esteban C, Ross PJ, Saghatelian A, Ren B, Ecker J, Izpisua Belmonte JC. A spatially defined pluripotent state confers interspecies chimera competency. Nature 2015; 521: 316–321

Ferré LB, Bogliotti Y, Chitwood JL, Fresno C, Ortega HH, Kjelland ME, Ross PJ. Comparison of different fertilisation media for an in vitro maturation/fertilisation/culture system using flow-cytometrically sorted X chromosome-bearing spermatozoa for bovine embryo production. Reprod Fertil Dev. 2015 May 13. doi: 10.1071/RD15019.

Choi YH, Ross P, Velez IC, Macías-García B, Riera FL, Hinrichs K. Cell lineage allocation in equine blastocysts produced in vitro under varying glucose concentrations. Reproduction. 2015;150(1):31-41.

Mohamad-Fauzi N, Ross PJ, Maga EA, Murray JD. Impact of source tissue and ex vivo expansion on the characterization of goat mesenchymal stem cells. J Anim Sci Biotechnol. 2015 Jan 11;6(1):1. doi: 10.1186

Reyes JM, Chitwood JL, and Ross PJ. RNA-seq profiling of bovine oocyte transcript abundance and its modulation by cytoplasmic polyadenylation. Mol Reprod Dev. 2015; 82(2):103-14

Buell M, Chitwood JL, Ross PJ. cAMP modulation during sheep in vitro oocyte maturation delays progression of meiosis without affecting oocyte parthenogenetic developmental competence. Anim Reprod Sci. 2015; 154:16-24.

Bogliotti YS and Ross PJ. Molecular mechanisms of transcriptional and chromatin remodeling around embryonic genome activation. Animal Reproduction. 2015; 12:52-61

Bakhtari A and Ross PJ. DPPA3 prevents cytosine hydroxymethylation of the maternal pronucleus and is required for normal development in bovine embryos. Epigenetics 2014; 9(9):1271-9.

Iqbal K, Chitwood JL, Meyers-Brown GA, Roser JF, Ross PJ. RNA-Seq Transcriptome Profiling of Equine Inner Cell Mass and Trophectoderm. Biol Reprod. 2014; 90(3): 61.

Arias ME, Ross PJ, Felmer R. Culture medium composition affects the gene expression pattern and in vitro developmental potential of bovine somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos. Biol Res. 2013; 46(4):452-62.

Burruel V, Klooster KL, Chitwood J, Ross PJ, Meyers SA. Oxidative Damage to Rhesus Macaque Spermatozoa Results in Mitotic Arrest and Transcript Abundance Changes in Early Embryos. Biol Reprod. 2013; 89(3):72, 1-11.

Chitwood JL, Rincon G, Kaiser G, Medrano JF, Ross PJ. RNA-seq analysis of single bovine blastocysts. BMC Genomics 2013; 14:350

Bogliotti Y and Ross PJ. Mechanisms of histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation remodeling during early mammalian development. Epigenetics. 2012; 7(9):976-81.

Cannovas S, Cibelli J, Ross PJ. Jumonji domain-containing protein 3 regulates histone 3 lysine 27 methylation during bovine preimplantation development. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA (PNAS) 2012; 109(7):2400-5

Kujjo LL, Ronningen R, Ross P, Pereira RJ, Rodriguez R, Beyhan Z, Goissis MD, Baumann T, Kagawa W, Camsari C, Smith GW, Kurumizaka H, Yokoyama S, Cibelli JB, Perez GI RAD51 Plays a Crucial Role in Halting Cell Death Program Induced by Ionizing Radiation in Bovine Oocytes. Biol Reprod. 2012; 86(3):76.

The 2016 ISTT Young Investigator Committee was formed by Jan Parker-Thornburg (President of ISTT), Dr. Benoît Kanzler (Vice-President of ISTT, Chair), Dr. Paul Sheiffele (iTL CEO) and Dr. Lluis Montoliu (previous ISTT President). Dr. Ross was nominated by ISTT Member Dr. Bruce Whitelaw (The Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK).


ISTT early registration/renewal OPEN for 2016 ISTT membership!

The International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) is pleased to announce that early registration or renewals are OPEN for 2016 membership!

We already start accepting membership for next year!

By joining/renewing early, you will have the added benefit of extended ISTT membership for this time period AND the following year (Jan-Dec).
With an ISTT membership, you will have the opportunity of discounted registration for meetings that are hosted or sponsored by the ISTT.

We also invite you to register for our upcoming 13th Transgenic Technology (TT2016) meeting in Prague, Czech Republic, 20-23 March 2016.

Other membership benefits include access to our extensive picture and video libraries of transgenic techniques, registration to the ISTT list and free online access to Transgenic Research. On our homepage, you will be able to regularly review our recent Tweets and Blogs to keep you up to date with the recent activities of the ISTT and breakthrough transgenic technology news .

Please don’t delay so that you can receive the additional benefit of three months of membership starting today!

Go to the link: and join us!

In all cases we will prepare and return the corresponding invoice. If you need an invoice in advance, please contact us at:


The international meeting Transgenic Animals and Genetic Engineering Techniques ( was held on July 2–3 2015 in Nantes, France. This event, organized by the Transgenic Rats ImmunoPhenomic (TRIP) Nantes facility ( and co-sponsored by the ISTT, gathered around 100 participants from France, as well as other European countries, Japan and the USA.

The meeting gave participants the opportunity to update information on techniques and models in transgenesis and genetic engineering. The meeting encouraged students and scientists to expand their knowledge on the potential applications of new techniques to their own models or to apply them to related pathophysiological models for analysis of genes or diseases using genetically modified animals.

Thanks to the organizers and presenters for having made this fifth edition again a huge success!

We invite you to read the report recently published online in Transgenic Research ( [authors: Séverine Ménoret, Laurent Tesson, Séverine Remy, Claire Usal, Laure-Hélène Ouisse, Lucas Brusselle, Vanessa Chenouard, Tuan H. Nguyen, Laurent David and Ignacio Anegon].

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 09.28.50

Newly elected 2016 ISTT Board of Directors members

ISTT BOD electees

Branko Zevnik Lynn Doglio Peter Hohenstein

The official results of the recent election for the ISTT Board of Directors are in, and we congratulate Branko Zevnik, Lynn Doglio and Peter Hohenstein on their election to the ISTT Board. Branko Zevnik (Cologne, Germany) is the head of the in vivo Research Facility at the University of Cologne. Lynn Doglio (Chicago, USA) is the Director of the Transgenic and Targeted Mutagenesis Laboratory at Northwestern University. Peter Hohenstein (Edinburgh, United Kingdom) is a Group Leader and Chair of the Small Animal Facility Management Committee at The Roslin Institute. All three candidates received the support of the majority of voting ISTT members. While they will start their three-year terms at TT2016 to be held in Prague, Czech Republic, they will be immediately appointed as Board members-elect. This will allow them to interact with the rest of the ISTT Board members and become familiar with the administration and management of the ISTT. Congratulations to all of them!

In addition, the ISTT would like to express its respect and sincere appreciation for the commitment and participation of all the candidates who were involved in the ISTT election process. As well, we would like to thank Tom Fielder, Wojtek Auerbach, and Boris Jerchow for their service on the ISTT Council and Board of Directors. These three Board members have contributed greatly to the management of the ISTT (and will continue to do so until TT2016). It is due in large part to the contributions of our members that we have the vibrant Society that we do.