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Center for Animal Transgenesis and Germ Cell Research

Techniques have been developedtransgenesis - detection of synatonemal complexes w Scp1 im.fluor. in pachytene spermatids copy to enable the modification of individual genes in animals and plants and thereby precisely alter inherited traits. These genetically altered animals and plants are called transgenic and are of enormous value in medicine and agriculture. An improved understanding of the basic processes governing germ cell and embryo development and of the biology of gametes (sperm and oocytes) and embryonic stem cells will enable us to improve reproductive efficiency, generate animal models of human and animal disease and help provide the knowledge base for regenerative medicine, as well as toward the treatment of infertility.

Over the past 30 years, techniques have been developed that enable the modification of individual genes in animals and plants and thereby precisely alter inherited traits. These genetically altered organisms, called transgenic, and are of enormous value in medicine and agriculture. An improved understanding of the basic processes governing germ cell and embryo development and of the biology of gametes (sperm and oocytes) and embryonic stem cells will enable us to improve reproductive efficiency, generate animal models of human and animal disease and help provide the knowledge base for regenerative medicine, as well as toward the treatment of infertility.

 

Scientists at the School of Veterinary Medicinetransgenesis - integration of GFP labeled ES cells into blastocysts copy performed pioneering studies in the development of transgenic techniques and were responsible for production of the first transgenic mice and farm animals. Capitalizing on years of foundation research, the Center for Animal Transgenesis and Germ Cell Research was established in 1998. Our primary mission is to undertake innovative research on stem cell biology, germ cell development, and animal transgenesis. A major objective of this research is to improve the health and productivity of domestic animals by genetic modification and to develop animal models for biomedical research.  To achieve these goals, the School of Veterinary Medicine has established the Center for Animal Transgenesis Core Facility.

 

Mission:

transgenesis - DNA injection into zygotic pronucleus copyThe Center for Animal Transgenesis Core Facility at University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine provides an array of embryological services for the generation and preservation of genetically engineered transgenic and gene knockout mice on a fee-for-service basis. The Transgenesis Core is equipped with state of the art equipment and is supported by fully trained personnel and is located in a barrier, pathogen free small animal facility that is accredited by Association for Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) and supervised by trained veterinarians.

Current studies at the Center are focused on exploring the biology of germ line stem cells, as well as male and female gametes:

  • Study and manipulation of male germ line stem cells has implications for control of fertility, large animal transgenesis and genetic preservation
  • Analysis of the molecular mechanisms involved in chromatin dynamics, homologous recombination, and chromosome segregation during meiosis will elucidate causes for infertility and birth defects as a result of aneuploidy
  • transgenesis - targeting of red fluorescent reporter cassettes in murine ES cells copyElucidation of biogenesis and functions of piRNAs (Piwi-interacting small non-coding RNAs) in the germline
  • Investigation and development of optimum cell culture media used for germ cell lines both in the laboratory and for use on the farm as assisted reproductive technologies.
  • Study of molecular mechanisms of mammalian sperm motility and testicular degeneration has implications for treatment of infertility and contraception
  • Learning about chromatin remodeling processes and preservation of genomic integrity during germ cell development and fertilization—e.g., as facilitated by poly (ADP-ribose) metabolism—will yield important information on the pathobiology of infertility and tumorigenesis
Standing Faculty
Name Title
Gary Althouse, MS, PhD, DVM Professor and Chair, Clinical Studies, New Bolton Center
Ralph L. Brinster, VMD, PhD Richard King Mellon Professor of Reproductive Physiology
Margret L. Casal, DVM, MS, PhD Associate Professor of Medical Genetics
John D. Gearhart, PhD James W. Effron University Professor
Director, Institute for Regenerative Medicine
Professor, Cell and Developmental Biology
Professor, Animal Biology
George L. Gerton, PhD Research Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Center for Research on Reproduction and Women's Health
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Ralph G. Meyer, PhD Assistant Professor, Developmental Biology
Hans R. Scholer, PhD Adjunct Professor
Patricia Sertich, MS, VMD Associate Professor, CE, of Medicine and Reproduction
Director, Equine Endometrial Biopsy Service
Director, Clinical Service, Hoffman Research Center
New Bolton Center
Regina M. Turner, VMD, PhD, Dipl. ACT Assistant Professor, Section of Reproduction and Behavior, New Bolton Center
Jeremy Wang, MD, MS, PhD Associate Professor of Developmental Biology
Director, Center for Animal Transgenesis and Germ Cell Research
Support Staff
  Name Title
  Patricia I. Bodek Billing Coordinator
  Theresa W. Jordan Barrier Facility Lab Manager
  Stephanie Sterling
Barrier Facility Lab Manager

To apply for membership, please send a cover letter and CV to Dr. Wang.

Services include, but are not limited to:

  • Transgenic animal generation by microinjection DNA and BAC constructs
  • Generation of chimeric animals from embryonic stem (ES) cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells.
  • Cryopreservation of sperm and embryos
  • Rederivation of mouse lines by embryo transfer and in vitro fertilization
  • Derivation of new ES cell lines from various mouse strains, including inbred, hybrid, and genetically modified strains.
  • Rescue of transgenic lines via ovarian transplantation

Consultation for all aspects of transgenic and gene knockout animals including construct design, Crispr/Cas9-based gene targeting, ES cells selection and subcloning, as well as the generation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells.

 

Please use the downloadable form below to request services.

For more information, please contact Dr. Jaspal Khillian:

(610) 925-6164
Rm 106, Myrin Bldg. - New Bolton Center
328 West Street
Kennett Square, PA 19348

Terry Jordan, Barrier Facility Manager:
610-925-6580

Stephanie Sterling, Barrier Facility Manager:
610-925-6020