IGTRCN Technical Short Course – 2017 Apply Now! Only 24 seats.

2017 IGTRCN Technical Short Course


Insect Genetic Technologies: Theory and Practice

July 23 – 28, 2017

The Insect Transformation Facility

Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research

University of Maryland College Park

Applications by May 1, 2017  (24 seats available)

Registration Fee $500  (after acceptance of application)

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Insect Genetic Technologies: Theory and Practice provides participants with a broad foundation in both the theory and practice of many of today’s insect genetic technologies enabling them to read and understand contemporary research literature in which advanced genetic technologies are being applied and to plan and undertake insect genetic modification experiments in their own laboratories.

Who Should Take This Course?
This course is valuable to scientists at all career stages who wish to gain theoretical and practical knowledge of contemporary insect genetic technologies. All students should have knowledge of and experience with basic laboratory practices.  A basic working knowledge of insect reproductive biology and behavior will be very useful.

Learning Outcomes:
Students completing this course will know and understand:

  • Early embryology of insects in the major orders of insects and its relevance and importance to delivering insect genetic technologies to somatic and germ cells.
  • Theory underlying the major contemporary genome modification and manipulation technologies including transposon-based, site-specific recombination-based and CRISPR-based technologies, among others.
  • Practicalities of implementing the major insect genome modification and manipulation technologies.
  • Biosafety and regulatory dimensions associated with creating genetically modified insects and their release into the environment.

Learning outcomes will be met through lectures by experts working with these technologies, discussions of primary research literature, and practical laboratory exercises and assignments that enable students to work with platform-technologies and to teach them the essential steps involved in delivering insect genetic technologies to individuals, tissues and cells of interest for the purposes of creating transgenic insects, transiently expressing transgenes and silencing gene expression.

Guide RNA interacting with target DNA. Image credit: William Reid

Guide RNA interacting with target DNA, part of the Gene Editing module.  Image credit: William Reid, Ph.D., Course Instructor, IGTRCN Technical Workshop 2015.

Lecture Topics:
Lecture topics will include Insect Development Relevant to Genetic Technologies;

Primary Transgene Integration Platforms and Systems;

Secondary Genetic Technologies such as gene/enhancer/protein trapping, lineage marking, site specific recombination, recombineering;

Next Generation Technologies including genome editing and modification;

Transgene Expression Control including binary and conditional transcription systems and RNA-based silencing;

Biosafety including a survey of regulatory and legal issues.

Here is the Class Schedule for 2016

Laboratory Topics:

Practical laboratory exercises will include working with insect embryos, immature stages and adults. Students will be trained in current microinjection methods for all insect life stages. This will include microinjection needle production, collection, dechorionation, dessication of appropriately aged embryos, preparation of embryos for microinjection and the creation of transgenic insects. Post embryo-injection-methods, including setting up genetic crosses and screening for transgenics will be presented. Training will be provided on the use of genome editing technologies – specifically the design and testing of guide RNAs for creating knockout mutations using the CRISPR/Cas9 system in insects. A variety of insect systems will be used in this course including systems easy to manipulate for genetic modification purposes to systems that present considerably more challenges.

Students are encouraged to bring their own insects if possible to enhance their training (contact IGTRCN.org well in advance of the course so appropriate arrangements can be made to house and maintain these insects)—-> More


David A. O’Brochta, Ph.D., University of Maryland College Park
Urs Schmidt-Ott, Ph.D., University of Chicago
Arnaud Martin, Ph.D.., George Washington University
Koen Venken, Ph.D., Baylor School of Medicine
Marce Lorenzen, Ph.D. North Carolina State University
Robert Harrell, Insect Transformation Facility, University of Maryland College Park
Channa Aluvihare, Insect Transformation Facility, University of Maryland College Park


Location: University of Maryland College Park, Institute for Bioscience & Biotechnology Research, Insect Transformation Facility, 9600 Gudelsky Drive, Rockville, MD 20850

UMBI_Exteriors_10The Insect Transformation Facility is a service facility providing insect genetic modification services to researchers worldwide for a wide range of insects. The Facility is staffed by highly experienced and technically skilled experts.

UMCP’s Institute for Bioscience & Biotechnology Research is located on the University System of Maryland’s Shady Grove Campus in suburban Montgomery County, Maryland. About 20 miles from central Washington, D. C., Shady Grove is served by Washington’s Metrorail System, providing direct access to the capitol and surrounding areas.

A block of rooms have been reserved at a local hotel. 

Students are responsible for the costs of their accommodations.

Breakfast and Lunch are provided by the Course

Application Process:
Applicants must complete the online application, which comprises the following elements. Written elements must be provided in PDF format and should be prepared in advance of beginning the online application.

  • Applicant’s Personal Statement in PDF. Personal Statements should be 1000 words or less and should cover the following points:
    • Why you are applying for this course;
    • What you hope to gain from the course;
    • How your training will impact others;
    • The insect systems you work on or would like to work on;
    • Your current level of experience and knowledge of insect genetic technologies and any specific learning objectives;
  • Applicant’s CV in PDF
  • Applicant’s photo portrait, optional (minimum size 240 x 320 pixels)
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Application deadline May 1, 2017
  • Decisions by May 19, 2017
  • Commitment and Registration deadline June 2, 2017  ($500)
  • Cancellations after June 2, 2017 forfeit registration

Registration Fee $500

Apply for Technical Workshop

Additional Information at admin@igtrcn.org

This event is an activity of the University System of Maryland Foundation, Inc (USM Foundation). Funds earned or contributed will be managed by the USM Foundation for the benefit of the 2017 IGTRCN Insect Genetic Technology: Theory and Practice course.


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