Dec. 13  —  Dec. 15, 2023

Workshop on CRISPR Genome Editing in Mice: GONAD and microinjection

Registration is closed. Please contact [email protected] for further information.

This workshop will provide up to 16 students with the foundational skills to design and carry out CRISPR experiments in mouse models. Applicants will have the opportunity to perform GONAD experiments using EGFP mRNA on two consecutive days, with success measured by embryo fluorescence the following mornings.

Lectures on CRISPR basics, principles and design will be used as a framework for discussing the limitations of GONAD and the necessity for microinjection, which participants will also have the opportunity to perform on several days over the course of the workshop. Additional time will be allotted for topics such as mutant screening strategies, principles of CRISPR project design using published papers as examples and design of students’ individual projects.


Cost includes lunch for the three days of the workshop and dinner on the final Friday night; cost does not include travel, accommodations or other meals.

  • $1,250* for academic registration
  • $2,500* for corporate registration

*$100 discount for members of the International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT)

Wednesday, December 13, 2023


  • 8:15 am Students arrive and check in; at 8:25 am class heads to seminar room.
  • 8:30 am Introduction by Dr. Bart Williams, Director of Core Technologies and Services, Professor in the Department of Cell Biology.
  • 8:45 am Lecture on using CRISPR/Cas9 in mice: basics and advances in genome engineering methods.
  • 9:30 am Lecture on GONAD: a novel genome engineering method.
  • 10:00 am Coffee break.
  • 10:15 am Tour of VAI Level 2 lab space.
  • 11:00 am Short presentations by each student.
  • 12:10 pm Overview of mouse work: anesthesia, analgesia, after care, plug checking, etc. Brief introduction to GONAD CRISPR mix preparation and juxtaposition with EGFP mix used for class.
  • 12:30 pm Lunch.
  • 1:30 pm Mouse handling overview: scruffing, surgical prep, anesthesia protocol, etc.
  • 2:15 pm Students observe GONAD demonstrations at two stations with demo oculars.
  • 3:00 pm Hands-on sessions: GONAD practice for all students at four stations
    ~30 minutes per session for each student.

Thursday, December 14, 2023


  • 7:45 am Optional: students observe zygote isolation.
  • 8:30 am Visualizing students’ GONAD treated embryos: demo of fluorescent image capture and analysis of day 1 results.
  • 9:30 am Lecture on microinjection: background strains, superovulation, needle pulling, micromanipulators, microinjection chamber, etc. Preparation of GONAD CRISPR KI mix/juxtaposition with demo EGFP mRNA electroporation is highlighted.
  • 10:30 am Coffee break.
  • 10:45 am Demonstration of microinjection.
  • 11:30 am Lecture on methods for specific CRISPR applications: design of KO, large deletion, KI, conditional alleles and large insertions (Easi-CRISPR vs plasmid-based template). Discussions of limitations of GONAD in comparison to microinjection.
  • 12:30 pm Lunch.
  • 1:30 pm Lecture on design and construction of gRNAs.
  • 2:15 pm Computer lab session: Hands-on instruction aimed at designing gRNAs to student genes of interest.
  • 3:00 pm Hands-on sessions: Group A students perform GONAD.
    Group B students perform microinjection.
  • 4:00 pm Hands on sessions continue: student groups switch with group B performing GONAD and group A performing microinjection.

Friday, December 15, 2023


  • 7:45 am Optional: students observe zygote isolation.
  • 8:30 am Visualizing students’ GONAD treated embryos: analysis of day 2 results.
  • 9:00 am Group discussion of molecular biology and the previous two days’ GONAD results.
  • 9:30 am Lecture on specialized GONAD techniques: GONAD in C57BL/6 (Kobayashi et al), GONAD in rats (Namba et al), GONAD at earlier timepoint with 3 min wait/hyaluronidase (Takabayashi et al), etc.
  • 10:30 am Lecture on GONAD experiments/applications.
  • 11:30 am Lecture on screening CRISPR founders.
  • 12:30 pm Lunch.
  • 1:30 pm Computer lab session on designing students GONAD/other CRISPR projects.
  • 2:30 pm Student open time: Continued CRISPR project design, GONAD and microinjection practice.
  • 5:00 pm Farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Interested in sponsoring the workshop? Please contact Courtney Zirkle at [email protected].

Additional information regarding possible discounted hotel rooms and transportation will be provided in the coming weeks.


Gerald R. Ford International Airport

Where to Stay:

Amway Grand Plaza, Curio Collection by Hilton (0.6 miles)
187 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

JW Marriott Grand Rapids (0.7 miles)
235 Louis St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

AC Hotel (0.6 miles)
50 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

We provide financial assistance in the form travel grants for trainees attending the VAI CRISPR Genome Editing in Mice: GONAD and microinjection Workshop. Four $500 awards are available; two sponsored by BEX and two sponsored by VAI. An application for these grants may be found in the registration link.

Director, Transgenic Core, Van Andel Institute

Tristan Kempston has more than a decade of experience developing and leading gene targeting projects. He earned his B.A. in biology from Grand Valley State University, later training with Dr. Thom Saunders at University of Michigan. Tristan joined the Transgenic team at Van Andel Institute in 2010 collaborating on VAI’s first CRISPR experiments in 2014 and carrying out dozens of research projects in the years since.

Professor and Director, Core Technologies and Services, Van Andel Institute

Dr. Williams received his Ph.D. in biology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1996 where he trained with Tyler Jacks. For three years, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health in the laboratory of Harold Varmus, former Director of NIH. Dr. Williams joined VAI as a Scientific Investigator in July 1999. He is now a professor and previously served as chair of the Department of Cell Biology. In 2022, he was appointed Director of VAI’s Core Technologies and Services.

Professor, Tokai University School of Medicine

Dr. Masato Ohtsuka is a professor in Tokai University School of Medicine, Japan. His primary research interest is to develop genetic engineering technologies using mouse as a model organism. He is an inventor of some original technologies in the field, namely PITT/i-PITT, Easi-CRISPR GONAD/i-GONAD, CRISPR-KRISPR and published over two dozen papers in close collaboration with Dr. CB Gurumurthy. Specifically, their two contributions, Easi-CRISPR and i-GONAD, have been regarded, by the community, as the methods that have redefined the gold-standard transgenic methods that were practiced for the previous three decades. He has organized more than 15 practical courses and workshops on GONAD/i-GONAD in Japan, USA and Europe and has trained over 200 students, technicians, and researchers. His current interest also includes development of gene therapy and gene delivery tools and technologies.

Professor, Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Anatomy, University of Nebraska Medical Center

Dr. CB Gurumurthy (Guru) is the Director of Mouse Genome Engineering Core Facility at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC), Omaha, Nebraska and he is also a professor in the department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Anatomy. He develops and improves mouse genome editing technologies. In collaboration with Dr Masato Ohtsuka, Tokai University, Japan, he has published several landmark papers on CRISPR and mouse genome engineering technologies. Two of their breakthrough technologies, Easi-CRISPR and i-GONAD, are now widely adapted at core facilities and laboratories. Several hundreds to thousands of mouse models are generated each year using their methods. Guru has received over 100 invitations within USA and over 20 invitations from 12 countries to deliver keynote talks or presentations, to organize workshops and to chair sessions at conferences. He is one of the six researchers to receive inaugural Outstanding Genomic Innovator award from the National Human Genome Research Institute.

What if I need accessible parking? 

Please contact Courtney Zirkle at [email protected] to discuss any accessibility needs.

What if I have dietary needs? 

Please include any dietary allergies or restrictions on your registration or application form. Every effort will be made to accommodate requests.

How do I become a sponsor? 

Please contact Courtney Zirkle at [email protected] for more information on sponsorship opportunities.

How do I get to VAI? 

Van Andel Institute is located in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, and is approximately 20 minutes from the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. VAI is conveniently located within walking distance of multiple local hotels. Lyft, Uber, and taxi services are available in Grand Rapids.

Looking for accommodations? Here are some close suggestions: 

Amway Grand Plaza, Curio Collection by Hilton (0.6 miles)
187 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

JW Marriott Grand Rapids (0.7 miles)
235 Louis St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

AC Hotel (0.6 miles)
50 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Code of Conduct Guidelines  

We are dedicated to providing a harassment-free, non-discriminatory symposium experience for all participants, regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, pregnancy, height, weight, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other personal characteristics covered by applicable law. We will not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form. We expect participants at our events to engage in constructive and professional discussions at all times. Harassment can include unwelcomed attention, inappropriate comments or jokes that refer to gender differences, sexual topics, requests for dates, or other sexual activities as well as the use of language that may demean or degrade individuals. These behaviors are not appropriate for any of our conference venues, including talks, workshops, networking sessions, poster sessions, social networking platforms, and other online media platforms. Any participant violating these guidelines will be removed from the symposium at the discretion of the conference organizers.

Anyone who has experienced the above, or who has witnessed such behavior, should notify Courtney Zirkle. Anonymous reporting may also be done through the EthicsPoint Hotline.

Event Details

Venue: Van Andel Institute 333 Bostwick Ave. NE Grand Rapids

Contact Info:

Email: Courtney Zirkle

Thanks to our wonderful sponsors!

Supporting Sponsors