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  • Brinster Laboratory of Reproductive Physiology

     Our research has involved studies on mammalian germ cells and early embryos. Initially, Ralph Brinster on transgenesiswe developed a culture system and manipulation techniques for mouse eggs that are the foundation for subsequent mammalian egg and embryo experiments in the field, including nuclear transfer and in vitro fertilization of human eggs.

    We then used these methods to show that mouse blastocysts can be colonized by foreign stem cells and result in chimeric adults, which led to the development of embryonic stem cells. Subsequently, we used these culture and manipulation techniques to develop transgenic mice. In recent years, our research has focused on male germline stem cells, and these studies demonstrated that spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) from a fertile male mouse can be transplanted to the testes of an infertile male where they will colonize the seminiferous tubules and generate donor cell-derived spermatozoa, thereby restoring fertility.

    In addition, SSCs of mice and other rodents can be cultured in vitro and their number increased, and the SSCs can be frozen and preserved for long periods. The ability to culture, transplant and cryopreserve SSCs makes the germline of individual males immortal. The transplantation and freezing methods are readily transferrable to the SSCs of all mammalian species.

    Ralph Brinster in ScienceHowever, a culture system for SSCs of nonrodent species has proven to be difficult to develop, and published reports of success have not been independently confirmed and are not universally accepted. Therefore, in recent studies we have attempted to develop a reliable system to culture human SSCs, which is essential to preserve and expand for later use the SSCs of prepubertal boys who will receive germ cell destroying treatment for cancer.

    As part of these studies, we are establishing the genes and regulating mechanism used by mouse and human SSCs to survive and replicate, which will contribute to the understanding necessary for human SSC culture and expansion. In the long term, a culture system will also allow the development of techniques to support SSC differentiation in vitro with production of spermatozoa capable of fertilizing eggs.

    In addition, the SSC assay system provides a powerful technique in which to test the conversion of somatic cells to functional SSCs. Over the past 10 years, we and others have identified transcription factors and micro RNAs that play key roles in SSC self-renewal. In current research, we plan to use this information to reprogram somatic cells into germ cells, specifically SSCs. The transplantation assay provides an unequivocal conformation of this reprogramming for a single cell.

    Moreover, it allows for the identification of gene activation during the differentiation process in vivo and production of progeny from sperm produced from reprogrammed cells. In the future, the approach could be used to address fertility problems in humans and possibly the correction of genetic defects.

    This research is supported by grants from National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development and the Robert J. Kleberg, Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation.

    Read More About The Brinster Laboratory of Reproductive Physiology
  • Anguera Laboratory

    XIST FISH, Anguera Lab, Penn VetOur laboratory investigates X-chromosome Inactivation, and how this epigenetic process contributes to female-biased autoimmunity.

    We are investigating how female lymphocytes maintain X-chromosome Inactivation, which is an epigenetic process responsible for equalizing gene expression between sexes.  X-chromosome Inactivation silences one X-chromosome in female cells, and this process is initiated and maintained by the long noncoding RNA Xist.

    Lab Mission:

    • To understand the female bias underlying autoimmune disorders such as lupus
    • To investigate how X-Chromosome Inactivation is maintained in female lymphocytes and becomes mis-regulated in female-biased autoimmune disorders
    • To investigate the function and mechanisms for novel X-linked long noncoding RNAs important for early human development
    • To identify therapeutic opportunities for correcting X-linked dosage imbalances in autoimmune disorders

    View the Anguera Image Gallery...

    Interested in Working With Us?

    We are always seeking highly motivated students and post-doctoral fellows with an interest in:

    • Epigenetics, X-chromosome Inactivation, Imprinting
    • Immunology and female-biased autoimmune disorders
    • Pluripotent stem cell biology
    • Long noncoding RNAs
    • Genetics
    • Bioinformatics

    Interested post-doctoral candidates should inquire by sending e-mail to anguera@vet.upenn.edu

    Interested graduate students should visit the Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology (CAMB) at UPenn or inquire by sending e-mail to: anguera@vet.upenn.edu

    Read More About The Anguera Laboratory
  • López Laboratory

    Virus-Host Interactions and Innate Immunity

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    Our laboratory studies the signals that turn on and regulate the immune system during infections with common respiratory viruses, such as the influenza virus or the respiratory syncytial virus.

    These viruses can cause or exacerbate chronic lung diseases, such as asthma, and can be fatal in some patients.

    Our long-term goals are to better understand the factors that modulate virus pathogenesis and to harness this knowledge for the development of better vaccines and antiviral therapies.

    Read More About The López Laboratory
  • Equine Pharmacology Laboratory

    Dr. Mary Robinson, Equine Pharmacology

    Our Mission: The mission of the Equine Pharmacology Laboratory at New Bolton Center is to promote the welfare of the working horse and the integrity of sport through pharmacological and forensic research.

     

    Read More About The Equine Pharmacology Laboratory
  • Marshak Dairy

    Marshak Dairy, New Bolton CenterThe Marshak Dairy is named in honor of Robert Marshak, the ninth dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine whose support was instrumental in establishing the farm. Built in 1996, the greenhouse dairy was the first of its kind and was recognized as a dairy of distinction in 1998. The greenhouse design uses natural lighting and excellent ventilation within the barn to promote a healthy environment for the cows.

    The Marshak Dairy provides an easily accessible working dairy farm for research trials. In addition, the Dairy serves as a laboratory for teaching students on topics related to cow healthcare, preventive medicine, nutrition and food safety.

    Read More About The Marshak Dairy
  • Preclinical Service Core - Comparative Orthopedic Research Laboratory

    CORL surgery, Penn Vet

    In the current medtech landscape, investors, and ultimately payers (insurance companies, hospitals and patients), require medical innovation that provides value – reducing health care costs through better clinical outcomes and/or reduced procedure costs. This means product development decisions need to be thoughtful of 1) the overall cost for developing a product and its ultimate release, as well as, 2) the value it brings.

    Appropriately aligning your product development efforts, including your preclinical testing, can make your team more efficient and ultimately increase the likelihood of a successful product. For over a decade, we have taken time to listen to you and to understand the product development plan, intended market, and the value proposition for your investigational therapy or device. Our objective is to ask the right questions in order to choose a refined preclinical model with high translational fidelity. This approach has delivered answers in the context of the intended clinical indication of your technology. Together, we have successfully moved numerous new therapies to market; and we have failed, but failing at the preclinical stage is a whole lot better than later in clinical trials.

    The Preclinical Service Core at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) is focused on non-clinical and clinical (VICH-GL9) translation. Leveraging the multi-disciplinary specialties at Penn Vet, PRS & CORL provide a refined platform of successful translation using experimental and naturally-occurring disease models. We partner with pharmaceutical and medical-device companies, government agencies, and academic institutions to meet a broad range of R&D needs.

    Specialties: Preclinical study design and execution from proof-of-concept to pivotal trials compliant with the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) Regulations, 21 CFR Part 58 and VICH-GL9. Bioskills training and prototype testing.

    Read More About The Preclinical Service Core - Comparative Orthopedic Research Laboratory
  • Avadhani Laboratory
    The research in Dr. Avadhani's laboratory is focused on the following aspects of mitochondrial genetics and regulation of mitochondrial membrane biogenesis in mammalian cells:

    1. Mechanisms of dual targeting of cytochrome P450 and related proteins to ER and mitochondria and mechanisms of activation of the chimeric N-terminal signal by cAMP and other physiological factors. 

    2. Characterization of a novel mitochondria-to-nucleus stress signaling in cells subjected to mitochondrial specific genetic, and or, metabolic stress, which operates through altered [Ca2+]c, and the role of mitochondrial stress signaling in tumor progression and metastasis.

    3. Regulation of cytochrome oxidase gene expression, and modulation of enzyme assembly/activity under chemical and oxidative stress conditions. 

    4. Role of mitochondrial stress signaling in Embryonic Stem Cell function/differentiation, and mammalian mitochondrial transcription under chemical and oxidative stress in ES cells.
    Read More About The Avadhani Laboratory
  • Reference Andrology Laboratory

    Holiday Schedule

    The Reference Andrology Lab will be closed December 25, 2017, through January 1, 2018, for Christmas and New Year’s Day. We will return on Tuesday, January 2, 2018.

    The last day we are accepting samples is Wednesday, December 20, 2017. We are unable to process samples arriving December 21, 2017 through January 1, 2018. Please keep this in mind when you are planning your December testing. Thank you.

    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

    The Reference Andrology Laboratory provides complete testing of neat, cooled and frozen-thawed semen from mammalian and avian species. The primary purpose of these services is to aid practitioners in their differential diagnosis of individual/herd/flock reproductive problems.

    These services are also frequently used by practitioners and studs as a third-party quality control component in an ongoing stud auditing process.

    The laboratory strives to perform objective, validated techniques for assessing samples for the basic spermiogram parameters of sample volume, motility, morphology, and concentration. With advanced notification, we will also try to accommodate requests for supplemental assessment techniques on sperm subcellular structures. We also offer semen extender analysis and microbiological testing of the extended semen product and purified water used in extenders.

    Read More About The Reference Andrology Laboratory
  • Bale Laboratory

    Our research focuses on developing mouse models of stress sensitivity related to neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disease. We utilize genetic and prenatal manipulations to elucidate mechanisms contributing to disease predisposition.

    We have focused on utilizing approaches that range from fetal antecedents in programming of long-term disease risk to genetic targeting of cell type specific knockout mice.

    We have focused on developing models of disease including affective disorders and obesity utilizing approaches that range from fetal antecedents, involved in programming of long-term disease risk, to genetic targeting of cell type specific knockouts.

    We have initiated multiple lines of investigation that will provide insight into the timing and sex specificity of early life events promoting disease susceptibility, the maturation of central pathways during key periods of development, and the epigenetic mechanisms involved in long-term effects following stress exposure.

     

    Read More About The Bale Laboratory
  • Vite Laboratory

    The focus of the Vite lab is to improve the characterization and treatment of neurological Niemann-Pick Disease, Penn Vet, Vite Laboratorydiseases by studying naturally-occurring feline and canine models of human diseases.

    Our lab develops and identifies ante-mortem biochemical and nuclear magnetic resonance markers of disease severity and progression and uses these markers to evaluate the efficacy of gene therapy, cell-based therapy, and pharmacotherapy to treat disease. 

    Read More About The Vite Laboratory
  • Scott Laboratory

    Dr. Scott's current research is focused on understanding the development, regulation and maintenance of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in order to design new vaccines and immunotherapies for infectioleishmaniaus diseases.

    The laboratory primarily focuses on experimental murine infections with the protozoan parasite, Leishmania, which provides a well-characterized model of T helper cell differentiation.

    Read More About The Scott Laboratory
  • Mason Immunotherapy Research Laboratory

    Learn more about Dr. Mason's research

    Dr. Mason's lab currently focuses on immune therapy approaches to treat osteosarcoma and lymphoma.

    Read More About The Mason Immunotherapy Research Laboratory
  • Volk Laboratory
    extracellular-matrix-protein

    The goals of the Volk laboratory are to understand regulatory mechanisms governing dynamic interactions between cells and their surrounding extracellular matrix in the wound healing-fibrosis-cancer progression triad and to apply this knowledge to develop innovative regenerative and oncologic therapies for veterinary and human patients.

    Read More About The Volk Laboratory
  • Hunter Laboratory

    T gondii in the retina, Hunter Lab

    Dr. Christopher Hunter's research team has been working on various aspects of basic parasitology since 1984.

    For nearly 25 years, Dr. Hunter's team has focused on understanding how the immune response to Toxoplasma gondii is regulated to allow the development of protective immunity as well as to limit T cell mediated pathology in multiple sites including the gut and brain.

    Read More About The Hunter Laboratory
  • ASMG Laboratory - Microbial Genomics

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    The Agricultural Systems and Microbial Genomics Laboratory (ASMG Laboratory) was established to support Dr. Dou and Dr. Pitta in their research endeavors.

    Dr. Pitta is the ruminant nutrition and microbiologist at the Center for Animal Health and Productivity (CAHP), New Bolton Center, University of Pennsylvania.

    Microbial Genomics

    Research in the Microbial Genomics section of the ASMG lab focuses primarily on the gut microbial composition of ruminants, utilizing both culture-based and advanced molecular methodologies. The alimentary tract of a ruminant is colonized by millions of microbes living in a symbiotic relationship with the host. Therefore, knowledge of the microbial composition of the entire gut can provide insights into improving the overall health and productivity of the animal.

    Microbiology Component

    new-bolton-center-asmg-lab-microbial-genomics 400The recent advent of next generation sequencers has greatly enhanced the ability to explore community microbial populations. The ASMG lab has the capabilities to perform metagenomic studies including sample preparation, genomic DNA extraction and generating 16S amplicon libraries for sequencing on next generation platforms. The sequenced data is analyzed at the ASMG laboratory utilizing the appropriate bioinformatics tools for data interpretation. The lab is in the process of streamlining the protocols for generating 18S libraries for protozoa and fungal communities.

     

    Read More About The ASMG Laboratory - Microbial Genomics
  • Swine Teaching and Research Center
    Penn Vet's Swine facilityToday the US swine industry finds itself confronted with rapidly changing public opinion and policy on how gestating sows should be housed. Penn Vet is uniquely positioned to provide the industry with relevant scientific data collected from this living laboratory.
    Read More About The Swine Teaching and Research Center
  • Walter Flato Goodman Center for Comparative Medical Genetics

    Medical genetics is the broad field of science that deals with the role of genes in disease. This involves the identification and characterization of genes that cause disease, as well as the application of genetic knowledge to the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of genetic diseases. Genetic diseases include disorders in which a single gene mutation is both necessary and sufficient to cause the disease, as well as complex disorders involving the interactions of multiple genes and other factors.

    Essentially all of the genetic diseases that occur in humans can be expected to occur in other mammals due to the basic homology between the human genome and the genomes of other mammalian species. However, the recognition of genetic disorders in animals depends upon the degree of medical surveillance utilized and the amount of family information that is available. Domestic animals, particularly the dog and cat, are a rich source of potential models because they are examined by veterinarians for individual diseases at a level that is comparable to human medicine.

    The Walter Flato Goodman Center for Comparative Medical Genetics (CCMG) is designed to foster interdisciplinary research and research training in this field through the development of shared resources. The investigators focus their research primarily on naturally-occurring genetic diseases of animals that are true homologs of human genetic diseases.

    Read More About The Walter Flato Goodman Center for Comparative Medical Genetics
  • Mari Lowe Center for Comparative Oncology Research

    The Mari Lowe Center for Comparative Oncology Research (MLCCO) was established in 1994 as a result of an endowment from the estate of Miss Elizabeth Lowe. Members of the Mari Lowe Center represent all four departments of the School of Veterinary Medicine. The Center acts as a facilitator and works closely with other centers within the School and across the University of Pennsylvania to develop broad-based clinical oncology and interdisciplinary cancer research and training programs.

    The Center’s mission is to develop a multidisciplinary program in oncology that exploits small animal spontaneous tumor models for use in understanding basic mechanisms of cancers and their treatment.

    This program is envisioned to also develop diagnostic and treatment modalities beneficial to both animal and human patients.

    Components of the program include basic, translational, and clinical research activities, and development of training programs in oncology. Members of MLCCO represent all four departments of the School of Veterinary Medicine. The Mari Lowe Center closely collaborates with the colleagues from the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania and Comparative Oncology Research Group.

    Read More About The Mari Lowe Center for Comparative Oncology Research
  • Veterinary Clinical Investigations Center

    Welcome to Penn Vet's Veterinary Clinical Investigations Center (VCIC). We are a center  for the advancement and coordination of clinical studies and trials.

    VCIC is located within the Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. The center's primary focus is the establishment of clinical trials directed at investigating novel treatments or diagnostic tools in a variety of spontaneous disease processes in client-owned pets. 

    Read More About The Veterinary Clinical Investigations Center
  • Center for Interaction of Animals & Society

    The Center for the Interaction of Animals and Society (CIAS) was established to provide a forum for addressing the many practical and moral issues arising from the interactions of animals and society. The study of human-animal interactions—sometimes known as Anthrozoology—is still a new and developing field that straddles the boundaries between traditional academic disciplines. The CIAS therefore strives for an interdisciplinary approach and the involvement of scholars and researchers from a wide variety of different backgrounds and interests.

    The mission of the CIAS is to promote understanding of human-animal interactions and relationships across a wide range of contexts including companion animals, farm animals, laboratory animals, zoo animals, and free-living wild animals. Specifically, the CIAS aims to:

    1. Study the influence of relationships with animals on human physical and mental health and well-being.
    2. Investigate the impact of these relationships on the behavior and welfare of the animals involved.
    3. Encourage constructive, balanced, and well-informed debate and discussion on the ethics of animal use.
    4. Use the knowledge and information gained from this work to benefit both people and animals.

    CIAS is also home to the C-BARQ — the world’s most referenced behavioral assessment tool for dogs — and, more recently, the Fe-BARQ a brand new behavioral evaluation tool for cats.

     cbarq logo
    Fe-BARQ logo
    Read More About The Center for Interaction of Animals & Society