The 3Rs Committee of the International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) is delighted to announce the winner of the 2020 ISTT 3Rs Prize: Lydia Teboul, for her abstract titled "Evolving the generation by genome editing of complex alleles and their validation". Thanks to our 3Rs prize sponsors - Janvier Labs - Lydia will receive free 2021 membership, free registration for the TT2022 meeting and a cash prize of 500 Euro. Lydia leads the Molecular and Cellular Biology group at the Mary Lyon Centre, MRC Harwell who generate a broad variety of mouse models with complex alleles using genome editing techniques.
Gene editing has facilitated the creation of increasingly complex animal models, with improved translational value within a shorter time scale and using fewer animals than was previously possible. However, delivery of CRISPR/Cas9 to embryos commonly yields mosaic founders that contain a variety of unpredictable alleles. It is essential to precisely identify the animals that carry the correct mutations for germline transmission. This is a challenge with standard PCR and sequencing techniques. Lydia's group have developed a long-read based sequencing method to quickly and accurately screen mosaic founders for the presence of correct alleles. This improved validation technique thus helps to avoid the unnecessary breeding of false-positive founders thereby reducing the number of animals used to create novel research models. This work has been conducted using mouse models but is applicable to genome editing in many other species. This approach implement's the principle of reduction, one of the 3Rs principles of humane experimental technique (Reduction, Refinement, Replacement) defined by Russel & Burch in 1959.
The 3Rs Committee, together with the ISTT board, would also like to take this opportunity to commend the other ISTT members whose work was also under consideration for the prize.