13th ISTT Prize to be awarded to Dr. Alexandra Joyner

Posted by: Jan Parker-Thornburg on Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT, Inc.) is delighted to announce that the 13th ISTT Prize will be awarded to Dr. Alexandra Joyner for her pioneering work on homologous recombination in embryonic stem cells. The ISTT Prize is awarded to investigators who have made outstanding contributions to the field of transgenic technologies. The selection of Dr. Joyner as the 13th ISTT Prize winner was made by the ISTT Prize Committee. This committee is composed of previous ISTT prize awardees; the ISTT President, Wojtek Auerbach, and Vice-president, Benoit Kanzler; and the CEO of genOway, Alexandre Fraichard. GenOway fully sponsors this prestigious award. The committee unanimously agreed that Dr. Joyner’s work has been essential in the field of transgenesis for the generation of unique mutant mouse lines to study mouse development, and for creating mouse models of human genetic diseases.

Born in Ontario, Canada, Dr. Joyner completed her undergraduate study at the University of Toronto and her Ph.D. at the Ontario Cancer Institute. As a postdoctoral Fellow in Gail Martin’s lab, she developed methods for introducing DNA into ES cells and cloned the mouse equivalents of important fly developmental genes. She set up her own lab in 1986 in Toronto at Mount Sinai Hospital’s newly created Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute where she continued to work with mouse ES cells to create novel mutant mouse lines to enable gene trap, knock-in and fate mapping approaches, along with studying the roles of engrailed genes and sonic hedgehog signaling in development.

In 1994, she was invited to create a program in Developmental Genetics at New York University’s newly created Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine, where she worked for the next 12 years before accepting her present position at Memorial Sloan Kettering Institute. She has continued to apply the techniques she developed for studies of development, regeneration and cancer, with a focus on the cerebellum.

Dr. Joyner has published approximately 200 scientific papers, has been an invited speaker (often giving the keynote address) at nearly 50 meetings, and has numerous awards and honors including: Medical Research Council of Canada Scientist (1992-1994); Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator (1997-2006); Elected Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Science (2007-present); President, Society for Developmental Biology (2009-2012); Elected Member, National Academy of Medicine (2009-present).

We are pleased that Dr. Joyner has agreed to receive the ISTT Prize to be given at TT2020 meeting, thus joining the list of previously honored scientists, including Lluis Montoliu (2019), Mario Capecchi (2017), Janet Rossant (2014), Allan Bradley (2013), Ralph Brinster (2011), Francis Stewart (2010), Brigid Hogan (2008), Charles Babinet (2007), Andras Nagy (2005), Qi Zhou (2004), Kenneth McCreath (2002) and Teruhiko Wakayama (2001). All ISTT Prize winners are given an honorary ISTT membership and a unique silver sculpture representing a mouse blastocyst created by the late Hungarian artist Béla Rozsnyay. Dr. Joyner will receive her prize at the 16th Transgenic Technology Meeting (TT2020) that will be held at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel on 25-28 October 2020.


Selected References from Dr. Joyner’s lifetime achievements:

Joyner, A.L., Keller, G., Phillips, R.A. and Bernstein, A. (1983) Retrovirus mediated transfer of a bacterial gene into mouse hematopoietic progenitor cells.  Nature, 305: 556-558.

Joyner, A.L., Martin, G.R. (1987) En-1 and En-2, two mouse genes with sequence homology to the Drosophila engrailed gene: expression during embryogenesis.  Genes & Development, 1:29-38.

Martin, G.R., Silver, L., Fox, H. and Joyner, A.L. (1987) Establishment of embryonic stem cell lines from pre-implantation mouse embryos homozygous for lethal mutations in the t-complex.  Developmental Biology, 121: 20-28.

Joyner, A.L., Skarnes, W.C., Rossant, J. (1989) Production of a mutation in the mouse En-2 gene by homologous recombination in embryonic stem cells.  Nature, 338: 153-156.

Gossler, A., Joyner, A.L., Rossant, J. and Skarnes, W.D (1989) Mouse embryonic stem cells and reporter constructs to detect developmentally regulated genes.  Science, 244: 463-465.

Joyner, A.L. (1991) Gene targeting and gene trap screens using embryonic stem cells: New approaches to mammalian development.  BioEssays, 13: 649-656.

Sedivy, J. and Joyner, A. L. (1992) Gene Targeting. W.H. Freeman & Company, N.Y., N.Y.

Skarnes, W.C., Auerbach, B.A. and Joyner, A.L. (1992) A gene trap approach in mouse embryonic stem cells: The lacZ reporter is activated via splicing, reflects endogenous gene expression and is mutagenic.  Genes & Development, 6: 903-918.

Gene Targeting: A Practical Approach, 1st edition (1993), 2nd edition,  (2000) ed. A.L. Joyner, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Wurst, W. and Joyner, A.L. (1993) Production of targeted embryonic stem cell clones.  In: Gene Targeting: A Practical Approach, ed. A.L. Joyner, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Pedersen, R.A., Papaioannou, V.A., Joyner, A.L. and Rossant J. (1993) Targeted mutagenesis in mice: A video guide. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

Auerbach, W., Dunmore, J.H., Fairchild-Huntress, V., Fang , Q., Auerbach, A.B., Huszar, D., and Joyner, A. L. (2000) Establishment and chimera analysis of 129SvEv and C57BL/6-derived ES cell lines.  Biotechniques, 29: 1024-1032.

Hanks, M., Wurst W., Anson-Cartwright L., Auerbach, B.A. Joyner, A.L., (1995). Rescue of the En-1 mutant phenotype by replacement of En-1 with En-2Science, 4: 679-682.

Chen, M., Tomkins, D.J., Auerbach, W., McKerlie, C., Youssoufian, H., Liu, L., Gan, O., Carreau, M. , Auerbach, A., Groves, T., Guidos, C.J., Freedman, M.H., Cross, J., Percy, D.H., Dick, J.E., Joyner, A.L. and Buchwald, M. (1996) Inactivation of Fac in mice produces inducible chromosomal instability and reduced fertility reminiscent of Fanconi anemia.  Nature Genetics, 12: 448-451.

Bai, C. B. and Joyner, A.L. (2001) Gli1 can rescue the in vivo function of Gli2. Development, 128: 5161-5172.

Auerbach, A., Norinsky, R., Ho, W., Losos, K., Guo, Q., Chatterjee, S. and Joyner, A.L.  (2003) Strain-dependent differences in the efficiency of transgenic mouse production.  Transgenic Research, 12: 59-69.

Sgaier, S., Millet, S., Villanueva, M., Berenshteyn, F., Song, C. and Joyner, A. (2005) Morphogenetic and cellular movements that shape the mouse cerebellum: Insights from genetic fate mapping.  Neuron, 45: 27-40.

Legué, E. and Joyner, A.L. (2010) Genetic fate mapping using site-specific recombinases. Methods in Enzymology, 477: 153-181.

Lao, Z., Raju, P., Bai, B. and Joyner, A.L. (2012) MASTR: a technique for mosaic mutant analysis with spatial and temporal control of recombination using conditional floxed alleles in mice. Cell Reports, 2: 386-396.

Legué, E., Riedel, E. and Joyner, A.L. (2015) Clonal analysis reveals granule cell behaviors and compartmentalization that determine the folded morphology of the cerebellum. Development, 142:1661-1671.

Wojcinski, A., Lawton, A., Bayin, N.S., Lao, Z., Stephen, D. and Joyner, A.L. (2017) Cerebellar granule cell replenishment post-injury by adaptive reprogramming of Nestin+ progenitors. Nature Neuroscience, 20:1361-1370.

Tan, I.*, Wojcinski, A.*, Rallapalli, H., Lao, Z., Sanghrajka, R.M., Stephen, D., Volkova, E., Korshunov, A., Remke, M., Taylor, M., Turnbull, D.H., and Joyner, A.L. (2018) Lateral cerebellum is preferentially sensitive to high sonic hedgehog signaling and medulloblastoma formation. PNAS, 115:3392-2297. *equal contributions

Wojcinski, A., Morabito M, Lawton, A., Stephen, D., Joyner, A.L. (2019) Genetic deletion of genes in the cerebellar rhombic lip lineage can stimulate compensation through adaptive reprogramming of ventricular zone-derived progenitors.  Neural Development, 14:4.


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