The ability to modify genes at the level of the mouse germ line by transgenesis and gene
targeting has been crucial for our understanding of gene function and has yielded many highly
valuable models for human diseases. This course will show how CRISPR/Cas technology has
revolutionized genetic engineering in animals, both in the germ line and in somatic tissue.
Genetic engineering, when combined with the recently developed technology of wholeanimal cellular and molecular imaging (e.g., bioluminescence, MRI, multiphoton imaging),
allows direct visual access to complex biological processes in their native environment, thus
providing a better insight into mammalian biology than ever before. Genetically modified mice
were traditionally made through embryonic stem cell (ESC) technology, which includes ESC
derivation, in vitro culturing and genetic modification, and the generation of chimeric mice.
Most recently, the spectacular advances in CRISPR/Cas9 technology provided direct access to
the mouse zygote, bypassing the need for ESCs, and to somatic tissues.
The course will cover technology and applications of genetic engineering in basic and medical
research. During four days, lectures given by experts in the field will provide participants with
an overview of the latest mouse genetic engineering and imaging technologies. Thereafter,
participants attend the online seminar series “11th Workshop on Innovative Mouse Models”.
Keynote speakers from leading laboratories present the latest developments on advanced
genome alteration protocols, efforts to improve the relevance of disease models, including
models for viral infection, and ethical issues related to animal experimentation. The course
will be closed by meet-the-expert sessions with selected speakers.