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Frontiers in Veterinary Medicine Seminar Series launches for 2013-2014 academic year

With the academic year in full-swing, UCVM and the Research Office will be featuring an exciting lineup of speakers this year in the Frontiers in Veterinary Medicine  (FIVM)  Seminar Series. Speakers are internationally recognized researchers and innovators within the areas of veterinary and comparative medicine research.

On Friday, September 20, 2013 Dr. Scott Fahrenkrug from the University of Minnesota will present on "Molecular Scissors for Editing Livestock Genomes".  All University of Calgary students, staff, and faculty are invited to listen to Dr. Fahrenkrug's timely talk.

"Harnessing the power of designer endonucleases to make targeted genetic changes is a powerful approach in genetics research with exciting potential applications in medicine as well as genetic engineering of animals, "says Fahrenkrug. 

He pioneered the use of transposon, and more recently TAL-effector nuclease (TALEN) based strategies for targeted genetic engineering in livestock. Potential applications include inducing disease resistance, affecting sexual maturation to reduce the need for routine castration of male livestock, and 'genetic dehorning' to produce cattle that do not have horns.

"As TALEN-based targeted genetic alterations do not introduce foreign genetic material into the animals' genome, resulting animals would not be considered transgenic under current regulatory guidelines" says Fahrenkrug.

Scott Fahrenkrug

Dr. Fahrenkrug holds a PhD in molecular, cellular, developmental biology and Genetics from the University of Minnesota. He was a molecular biologist with the USDA Meat Animal Research Center, Clay Center, NE, before joining the University of Minnesota where he currently is a tenured associate professor in Functional Genomics and the director of the Animal Biotechnology Center.

He also is the CEO and Chairman of Recombinetics, Inc.  

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Presented on September 20, 2013.