The School of Veterinary Medicine dedicated two new units at the New Bolton Center on October 29, both major components of the School's Center for Animal Transgenesis and Germ Cell Research.
The Margaret McGrath Rockefeller Laboratory in Animal Reproduction will concentrate on germ cell biology and animal transgenesis. The work will incorporate basic science and clinical approaches and will involve the Section of Reproduction. The late Mrs. Rockefeller, a breeder of Simmental cattle, spent many hours at the New Bolton Center to increase her understanding of animal reproduction and genetics, Dean Alan Kelly recalled. She "was generous in sharing her experience and knowledge," he said, and she once organized a basic animal husbandry course for cattle breeders.
The Marion Dilley and David George Jones Laboratory in Animal Reproduction will focus on the basic science aspects of germ cell research. The late David George Jones, W '24, maintained dairy cattle on two farms in Marlton, NJ. He was particularly interested in research in better reproductive health of food-producing animals. The new laboratory will continue to foster this intent of David George Jones at both the basic science and applied level, the Dean said.
The Center for Animal Transgenesis and Germ Cell Research was established to capitalize on the more than 30 years of pioneering research in the development of transgenic techniques by scientists at the School of Veterinary Medicine. One of its goals is the development of new approaches for producing transgenic farm animals and understanding germ cell biology.
Current research at the Center focuses on several aspects of germ cell biology, including studies on genetic regulation of the earliest events that identify cells destined to produce sperm or eggs. In addition, modifications that pre-program the genes in sperm and eggs are being investigated. A major initiative of the Center is to culture and transplant spermatogonial stem cells, which are responsible for generating spermatozoa. These approaches are expected to generate a more com-prehensive understanding of farm animal reproduction, as well as provide the framework to develop new methods for introducing beneficial genes into farm animals to enhance their health and productivity.
Funds for the construction of the two new laboratories were provided
by the Estate of Margaret McGrath Rockefeller, the Estate of David George
Jones, and the Commonwealth and General Assembly of Pennsylvania.
Needlework: A far cry from the traditional framed sampler is the handiwork of the late Margaret McGrath Rockefeller, who came to New Bolton Center with her farm manager Don Homer to learn how to perform a C-section on cows. At the dedication of the new lab named for her, Mr. Homer displayed an example of her practice stitching, prized by her husband, David Rockefeller, who gave it the name "Peggy's Stitches."
Almanac, Vol. 45, No. 11, November 10, 1998