CRISPR Generated Models: A Framework for Reducing Risk and Timelines Through Careful Design and Planning for Downstream Services

Life Sciences, Drug Discovery & Development,
  • Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Nuclease-based technologies such as CRISPR and ZFN have simplified the way we genetically engineer new models. However, while modifying the genome may be more straightforward, the challenge to create an optimal model for the desired application remains. Creating reliable animal models for long-term studies can often be problematic, not necessarily due to the complexity of the genetic modification(s) required, but with how that genetic modification will perform in the model. Suboptimal design strategies can compound these challenges by generating undesired genotypic or phenotypic results thus producing an ineffective model.

CRISPR-Cas9 or zinc-finger nuclease (ZFN)-based technologies can circumvent the challenges of complex genetic alterations due to their precision. When focusing on what the exact need or application will be for the model, optimal designs can be determined that then yield a reliable model for its specific application. Whether the modification to be produced is a humanization, replacement, conditional knockout, constitutive knockout, large deletion, point mutation, cDNA insertion or reporter tagging, if careful consideration is given to the goal for the model usage and application, then optimal designs yield superior models.

When considering new model creation and development, scientists often focus on generating the model itself and overlook the downstream services required afterward, including initial model characterization, cryopreservation, breeding and colony expansion. Envigo is the scientist alongside their customers – taking in all considerations for the model application and all the products and services needed to create, develop and maintain the model.


Lauren Klaskala_envigo

Lauren Klaskala, Project Manager – Custom Transgenic Models, Envigo

Lauren Klaskala received dual BA degrees in Biology and Environmental Studies from Hendrix College in 2011.  Before moving into the role of Project Manager for Envigo’s Custom Transgenic Models, she served as an Operations Scientist at SAGE Labs, Horizon Discovery for five years.  Lauren joined Envigo in 2019 after the research models business unit of Horizon Discovery was acquired.  She develops customized proposals for novel transgenic animal models, and works closely with the customer throughout the model generation process to meet their research needs.

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Justin Zhao, Envigo

Justin Zhao, PhD, Principal Scientist, Envigo

Justin Zhao received his PhD in Comparative & Experimental Medicine from the University of Tennessee in 2005. His postdoctoral work focused on the molecular mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease and was completed at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. With nearly a decade of experience in animal model generation, Justin joined Envigo in 2019 after the research models business unit of Horizon Discovery was acquired. Prior to this acquisition, Justin served as a Principal Scientist at SAGE Labs, Horizon Discovery for more than five years. He has designed and created several hundreds of different types of genetically engineered animal models.

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Who Should Attend?

This webinar will appeal to individuals with the following or other related job titles:

  • Researcher
  • Principal Investigator
  • Scientist
  • Study Director
  • Head of Research
  • Veterinarian
  • Facility Manager
  • Operations Manager
  • Procurement/Outsourcing

Relevant areas:

  • In Vivo Research
  • Biomedical Research
  • Preclinical Research
  • Genetically Modified Animals
  • New Model Development
  • Genetics

What You Will Learn

In this webinar, our featured speakers will discuss the following:

  • What the key downstream model applications to consider during model design are
  • How much project and scientific management is needed during model creation
  • What are the important model development services to be considered before and during model creation

Xtalks Partner


Envigo provides the broadest range of research models and related services to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, government, academia, and other life science organizations. As the largest organization that is solely dedicated to providing research models and related products and services, we are committed to helping researchers realize the full potential of their critical R&D projects as we fulfill our mission to work together to build a healthier and safer world. Read more at

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