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!.
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.
A minimum of six Registration Awards will be sponsored by the International Society for Transgenic Technologies for ISTT members wishing to attend the 13th Transgenic Technologies (TT2016) meeting in Prague, The Czech Republic, on 20-23rd March, 2016. Selected applicants will be awarded funding to cover registration fees plus attendance at all social events. However, the award does not cover travel expenses, hotel accommodation or attendance at pre-meeting events.
Applicants who are not yet members of the ISTT may join the ISTT and simultaneously submit their Registration Award application. Only those applications from members who have paid their current annual fees will be considered.
Applicants must register first at the TT2016 Meeting website and select, as a payment method, “Application for Registration Awards” as a payment method. The ISTT will pay the Registration Fee of all applicants selected for an award. Applicants not selected will be kindly requested to pay the corresponding registration fee.
Applications and additional required documents (see below) should be sent, along with the meeting registration confirmation, to the official ISTT email address, email@example.com, by 30th November, 2015.
Additional Documentation Required
a) Applicant’s CV
b) For ordinary members, a letter from the applicant describing how he/she will benefit from attending the TT meeting
c) For technician/student members, a letter of support from the applicant’s PI or supervisor stating how attendance will benefit the applicant’s career
ISTT Registration awards will be selected by a subset of ISTT Council members, with preference given to:
1) Student/Technician ISTT Members
2) ISTT Members submitting an abstract for presentation as a poster/short-oral communication at the TT meeting
3) Any other ISTT Member
Awards to the selected applicants will be announced by December 15th, 2015 and awardees will receive a diploma marking the event at the end of the TT2016 Meeting.
The International Society for Trangenic Technologies (ISTT) proudly co-sponsors the International Course & Symposium on Advances in the Generation of Genetically Modified Animal Models, to be held at the Institut Pasteur de Montevideo (Uruguay), organized by ISTT Members Martina Crispo (Unidad de Animales Transgénicos y Experimentación, UATE, Institut Pasteur de Montevideo) and Alejo Menchaca (Instituto de Reproducción Animal de Uruguay, IRAUy), on 8-15 September 2015.
The aim is to offer a training course of excellence for researchers and technicians working in animal transgenic field. The topics will be focused on both the basic knowledge and the latest advances in transgenic technologies. The course consists of a 1st week of lectures sessions and a 2nd week of practical sessions. In addition, a mini symposium (11-12 September) is organized in order to extend the impact of the presence of the professors to other researchers, technicians and posgraduate students. Current programs for the COURSE and MINI-SYMPOSIUM.
Confirmed speakers attending this Course and mini-Symposium include:
- Michel Cohen-Tannoudji, IPParis, France
- Francina Langa, IP Paris, France, ISTT member
- Ignacio Anegón, INSERM, Nantes, France, ISTT member
- Lluis Montoliu, CNB, Spain, ISTT member
- Jorge Sztein, consultant, Spain
- Sylva Haralambous, HPI, Greece, ISTT member
- Naomi Nakagata, CARD, Kumamoto U, Japan, ISTT member
- Charles Long, Texas A&M University, USA
- Daniel Salamone, Fagro, UBA, Argentina
- Adrian Mutto, UNSM, Argentina
- Marcelo Rubinstein, INGEBI, Argentina, ISTT member
- Marcelo Bertolini, UNIFOR, Brazil
Local professors and instructors include:
- Magdalena Cárdenas, IP Montevideo, Uruguay
- Ana Paula Mulet, IP Montevideo, Uruguay
- Geraldine Schlapp, IP Montevideo, Uruguay, ISTT member
- María Noel Meikle, IP Montevideo, Uruguay, ISTT member
- Gabriel Fernández, IP Montevideo, Uruguay
- Ana Paula Arévalo, IP Montevideo, Uruguay
- Martina Crispo, IP Montevideo, Uruguay, ISTT member
- Pedro C. dos Santos, IRAUy, Uruguay
- Natalibeth Barrera, IRAUy, Uruguay
- Federico Cuadro, IRAUy, Uruguay
- Alejo Menchaca, IRAUy, Montevideo, Uruguay, ISTT member
People interested in participating in this COURSE must send the COURSE Application Form to firstname.lastname@example.org
A maximum of 20 students will be accepted for the COURSE taking into account personal qualifications.
There is no registration fee for the COURSE. Support for accommodation, per diem and local transportation will be provided to all participants from abroad. Travel expenses are not included.
People interested in participating in the MINI SYMPOSIUM must send the SYMPOSIUM Registration Form to email@example.com
SYMPOSIUM fee is U$S 100.
SAVE THE DATES!
Deadline for COURSE applications is June 28th
Deadline for SYMPOSIUM registrations is July 19th
For any further information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The 12th Transgenic Technology Meeting is about to begin this forthcoming weekend. On Sunday, 5 October, the Organizers have nicely prepared a welcome pre-meeting dinner to get together and meet all colleagues attending. The real TT2014 meeting‘s kick off will be on Monday morning, 6 October. During the following three days all delegates will have the pleasure (and the privilege, owing the great interest triggered by this conference, absolutely sold out) to listen and discuss the latest advances in transgenic technologies, through lectures delivered by the key players in our field, the ones that have developed or contributed to disseminate the use of the newest tools, the most updated experimental strategies applied to generate and analyze genetically modified animals. More than 530 participants will fill the Assembly Rooms in the historic city of Edinburgh. This TT meeting has become not only the most popular ISTT conference organized to date but also the TT meeting where the highest number of posters (176) will be shown. Therefore, besides enjoying the talks, all TT2014 delegates will have a unique opportunity to browse through the work of dozens of many other laboratories and facilities, willing to share their advances, problems encountered, solutions found and innovative proposals.
The International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) is proud to have chosen Edinburgh as the venue for TT2014 and, hence, wants to congratulate the Organizing Team, led by Douglas Strathdee, Chair of the conference, along with Peter Hohenstein and Bruce Whitelaw, co-chairs, the technical secretariat provided by In-Conference and the rest of members of the Organizing committees, for having prepared what surely will be another great TT meeting, as all precedent meetings were. The TT2014 meeting will be followed by a practical workshop on Zebrafish Transgenic Techniques, where a limited number of participants will have the opportunity to meet experts in the field and learn the basic techniques applied nowadays to use this vertebrate as an alternative animal model to study gene function or disease.
If you are already in Edinburgh, enjoy the city! If you are travelling to Edinburgh: have a safe trip! If, however, and unfortunately, you have not managed to attend this time, but you are a member of the ISTT, please wait to grasp some of the excellence and talent that will be presented during next week through the talks that we will be at the members-only area, after obtaining the consent from the corresponding speakers. Also, life goes on, and ISTT is already planning for the next TT meeting, already launched: the 13th Transgenic Technology Meeting (TT2016) that will be held in Prague (Czech Republic) in March 2016, organized by Radislav Sedlacek.
See you all soon in Edinburgh!
A minimum of six registration awards for ISTT members willing to attend the 12th Transgenic Technology (TT2014) meeting, to be held in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, on 6-8 October 2014, will be sponsored by the International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT). Applications should be sent, along with the registration confirmation and the requested additional documents to email@example.com by June 30, 2014. The ISTT will pay the Registration Fee of all applicants selected for one of these TT2014 registration awards. Please note that applicants not selected for an award are required to pay the corresponding registration fee. Please note the Award covers registration fees and attendance to all social events, however, does not cover travel, accommodation expenses or attendance at pre meeting events. Award decisions will be communicated by July 15, 2014 and awardees will receive a diploma at the TT2014 Meeting.
Applications for registration awards by ISTT members should be sent to the official ISTT email address (firstname.lastname@example.org), by June 30, 2014, and should include the following documentation:
- Applicant’s CV
- Letter describing how the applicant will benefit from attendance at the TT meeting
- Only for technician/students: Letter of support from the applicant’s head/supervisor stating the support to the applicant’s participation in the TT meeting and highlighting why attendance will benefit the applicant’s career
Applicants must register first at the TT2014 website and select, as a payment method, “application for registration awards”. The ISTT will pay the Registration Fee of all applicants selected for an award. However, if they are not selected they would be kindly requested to pay the corresponding registration fee
The ISTT Council will examine all applications received. Registration Awards will be selected according to the documents submitted and with preference given to:
- Student/Technician ISTT Members
- ISTT Members submitting an abstract for presentation as a poster/short-oral communication at the TT meeting
- Any other ISTT Member
Award decisions will be communicated by July 15, 2014. Awardees will have their TT registration fees entirely waived. Awardees will receive a diploma at the Awards ceremony at the end of the TT2014 meeting. Applicants that are not yet members of the ISTT may choose to register/join first the ISTT and simultaneously submit their travel/registration award application. ISTT Registration/Travel awards for each TT meeting will only be provided to ISTT members who have paid their current annual fees.
On Thursday I got the very sad information that Ueli (Ulrich) Märki passed away on Saturday last week. This is a great loss for all that got to know him and we all mourn with his family about this tragic loss.
I first got in contact to Ueli during my university time in Heidelberg in the beginning of the 90th, while he was still working for RCC in Switzerland. I got to know him as a very dedicated scientist (thanks for teaching me a lot of mouse genetics Ueli!) a very nice colleague and in the long-run as a dear friend. When we initiated the first Transgenic Symposium in Heidelberg in 1993, he was one of the supporting persons, encouraging us to get this meeting up and running.
During the forthcoming years I met Ueli at various meetings and it was always a pleasure and a lot of fun together with him. I especially enjoyed the unofficial parts at the meetings, which we spend with a good beer or wine, discussing all the world and his brother. Even when I moved over to Sweden and he joining Taconic we kept the contact even when we then didn’t meet so often. And it was again he helping me a lot with setting up the first TT Meeting in Stockholm 1999. He was also one of the first to join the ISTT when it was founded, always supporting us with good ideas, but also challenging us when something didn’t seemed to go the right way.
I was looking forward meeting him again at the next GV-SOLAS meeting this year in September. I am going to miss and will hold him in good remembrance, as valued researcher and dear friend.
Our deepest regrets and condolences go to his family and his close friends. We are going to miss him unspeakably.
Dear ISTT members,
We are pleased to invite your proposals for hosting the 13th Transgenic Technology Meeting (TT2016) in February-March 2016. The updated ISTT bylaws, which were approved at the TT2013 meeting in China, now allow proposals to be received from anywhere in the world, without the requirement for a rotation between regions. Therefore, ISTT members from all continents are encouraged to consider hosting the TT2016 meeting in their city, with the support of their institution(s).
Important points to be addressed in any submitted proposal:
- The proposal must have the support of the hosting institution(s). Letters of support from the corresponding director(s) of organizing institution(s) must be provided.
- The hosting institution(s) are fully liable for the organization of the meeting, including all economic aspects.
- A proposed preliminary budget should be included in the proposal, along with suggested registration fees.
- A preliminary program for the TT2016 meeting, including topics (not necessarily speakers) and proposed workshops should be provided. This program should take into account the topics and speakers invited at previous TT meetings, avoiding unnecessary repetition. Full information regarding previous TT meetings organized is available at the members-only area, within the “meetings” tab.
- Proposed venue and dates for the TT2016 should be indicated. Exact sites and dates might be subjected to change later, if required, after obtaining the approval from the ISTT council. Information regarding the venue and/or the city where the TT2016 meeting would take place is always desirable as is proof that the venue will be available at the scheduled dates.
- Proposed committees should be presented, which should include at a minimum: Organizing Committee, Scientific Advisory Committee.
- A meeting Chair (who must be ISTT member) should be clearly identified.
- Since TT meetings are the most important activity of the ISTT, the President and other members of the ISTT Council have to be involved in committees and collaborate with local organizers in defining the final program.
- Upon selection, a contract will have to be signed between the hosting institution(s) and the ISTT
- Information regarding suggested accommodation facilities (and prices) for participants should be provided.
- The expected organization of a hands-on workshop on a selected topic, to take place immediately before or after the meeting, is always desirable.
- The involvement of a professional meeting organizer is desirable but not essential if there are viable alternatives, such as institutional meeting support staff.
- Information on accessibility of the city from international airports as well as between the conference venue and accommodation should be provided. A list of hotels close to the conference including price range is desirable.
- Finally, an outline of the proposed social activities should be included.
We look forward to receiving interesting proposals from all over the world. Please submit your proposal (ideally all information organized into a single PDF document) to email@example.com by Friday 27 June 2014. The evaluation committee might contact any proponent in order to request any additional/missing information that would be required to better assess the proposal. The selected venue will be announced by September 30, 2014, and the Chair of the selected proposal will be kindly invited to introduce the highlights of the TT2016 meeting at the closing ceremony of the TT2014 meeting in Edinburgh.
Thanks for your due consideration of this message,
ISTT Council sub-committee
in charge of evaluating TT2016 proposals
We are seeking your input for the next ISTT meeting, TT2014, Round Table Discussion. To set the scene, we would like to inform you, on behalf of the Organizing Committee of the TT2014, about a new update in the scientific program for this meeting, regarding the traditional round-table discussion on “How to Run a Transgenic Unit?“ that is regularly scheduled at every single TT meeting. This is one of our fundamental ISTT-related activities, run by and meant for ISTT members.
In Edinburgh, the TT2014 Organizers, kindly asked ISTT member James Bussell (Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK) to chair this round table, and to lead the discussion entitled “The Future of Transgenic Core Facilities“. James Bussell has invited the following four ISTT members as panelists, representing new and well-established transgenic facilities, from both academic and private institutions.
Inken Beck, Institute of Molecular Genetics, Prague, Czech Republic
Lynn Doglio, Feinberg School , Northwestern University, Chicago, USA
Sarah Johnson, MRC NIMR, Mill Hill, London, UK
Xin Rairdan, Genentech Inc., South San Francisco, California, USA
At the TT2014 meeting, these panelists will first prepare a brief presentation on the topic, with their view on the subject to be discussed and thereafter will be happy to respond to any questions or comments from the audience. In this regard, and in order to promote efficient discussion, we would like to encourage you, as ISTT members, to send James Bussell potential questions or issues you would like to hear discussed in this round table, regarding the future of transgenic facilities. Thanks in advance.
Some initial thoughts for this round table:
What does the future of our GA facilities look like. We have asked 4 facilities of varying size and funding to share their outlook on trends that will affect them in the medium and long term and would likely include areas such as production, supply and use of GA animals. We are seeing the continual evolution of the technologies surrounding our field with the ability to create mutations and editing of the genome becoming accessible to all facilities who want to invest in the technologies. Many components of the process are now common place and utilised throughout the various stages of a colonies life. For example implantation of embryos is used for rederivation of embryos, reimplantation of thawed cryopreserved stocks etc. However as per the ‘Bred but not used‘ meeting sponsored by the Dutch Government, questions around efficiency, wastage and good practice remain to be answered. Over the past years we have seen global consortia target the mouse genome via ES cells making the resources available to requesters. Furthermore National and International funding bodies such as the NIH and the EU have funded large scale production and phenotyping programs with the aim of creating a knockout for every protein coding gene. We now see new technologies that again can speed up access and refine the ability to edit the genome applying very discreet or multiple mutations to the mouse and other species where early stage embryos can be utilised.
From the panel of presenters perspective we seek their opinion on what does the future look like to them.
Some initial questions that could be posed :
• Should we be looking to large production centres to create and distribute the colonies.
• Could more dedicated facilities better use their funds by removing elements of their production or archiving.
• Would this cause a loss of key skills from within the community.
• If so how should knowledge be shared or disseminated.
• How do commercial groups see their place within the community.
• If the genome editing technologies become so accessible do we need large scale consortia.
• How do researchers engage with funding bodies to access support for their research.
Thanks in advance for providing your questions or items for discussion (send the questions/items for discussion to: James Bussell) .
See you all in Edinburgh!