2015 IGTRCN Short Course


Gal4/UAS Enhancer-Trapping in Anopheles stephensi.


Gal4/UAS Enhancer-Trapping in Anopheles stephensi.


Insect Genetic Technologies: Theory and Practice

August 17 – 21, 2015

The Insect Transformation Facility

Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research

University of Maryland College Park

Applications Required (25 seats available) by May 29, 2015

Registration Fee $500

Apply for Technical Workshop

Insect Genetic Technologies: Theory and Practice is a course intended to provide students 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.

Who Should Take This Course?
This course can be 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. Basic skills in molecular genetics including DNA isolation, PCR, gel electrophoresis as well as some 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.
  • 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.

Lecture Topics:
Lecture topics will include Insect Development and Phylogeny 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. —-> More

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.—-> More

David A. O’Brochta, Ph.D., University of Maryland College Park
Urs Schmidt-Ott, Ph.D., University of Chicago
Zach Adelman, Ph.D., Virginia Tech University
Koen Venken, Ph.D., Baylor School of Medicine
Max Scott, 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

Special Symposium: MAP
Flies, Monarchs and Mosquitoes: Insights Using Genetic Technologies
In the evening of August 19, 2015 a special scientific program open to local scientists and the public will be presented by scientists who are leaders in their respective fields and are developing and/or using genetic technologies to gain deep insights into insect biology and beyond.  Students’ attendance at this symposium is included.  Symposium Lectures:

Norbert Perrimon, Ph.D., Harvard University
Steven Reppert, M.D., University of Massachusetts Medical School
Leslie Voshall, Ph.D., Rockefeller University

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 insects other than Drosophila melanogaster. The Facility has an array of equipment available on which students can train and is staffed by experienced technical 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 (Quality Suites) with free shuttle service to the class (2 miles).  Students are responsible for the costs of their accommodations.


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 29, 2015
  • Decisions by June 3, 2015
  • Commitment and Registration deadline June 8, 2015  ($500)
  • Cancellations after June 30, 2015 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 2015 IGTRCN Insect Genetic Technology :Theory and Practice course and the Flies, Monarchs and Mosquitoes: Insights Using Genetic Technologies Symposium.