Congento, the Consortium for Genetically Tractable Organisms: providing advanced services for mice, zebrafish and drosophila
24th MAY | 13:30
CONGENTO, the Consortium for genetically tractable organisms: providing advanced services for mice, zebrafish and drosophila
CONGENTO - Consortium for Genetically Tractable Organisms - is a unique infrastructure to integrate the expertise in fruitflies, zebrafish and mice in one research supporting facility. CONGENTO was born from the realization of the needs in Portugal and the opportunity of synergizing efforts by the participating institutions (CF, IGC, FCM-UNL, IMM). Three main domains of services are being implemented: 1) maintenance and hosting of genetically modified lines from the 3 species, either live or cryopreserved, 2) generation of new genetic lines and technologies in the different species, and 3) continuous education and certification in animal research and technology. CONGENTO has internationally recognized experts in these 3 domains, and has the combined spatial and equipment needs to support the Portuguese (and also to some extent European) Biomedical Research Community.
Ana Catarina Certal has a PhD in Cell Biology and has been a researcher in the fields of cell and developmental biology for more than 15 years having published several papers using different plant and animal models, including zebrafish.
In 2011, she joined the new Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown (CCU), in Lisbon, Portugal, as Head of the Fish Platform where she was
responsible for the design and installation of a state-of-the-art zebrafish facility with a total capacity of more than 70,000 fish, as well as the implementation of its scientific, operational, health and training programs.
Apart from the oversight of the facility program with continuous development of protocols resulting in several communications and papers
published, the CCU Fish Platform provides supporting advanced services to researchers, from fish crosses to line maintenance, coordination of genetic screens, advanced training, database management, embryo microinjection, full generation of transgenic lines and CRISPR KOs, etc. The Platform is intimately involved with research labs in the development of new technologies for transgenesis and gene editing as well as with
companies for the validation of new feeds and generation of new engineering solutions for facility management.
Catarina is also the Fish Coordinator of CONGENTO (Consortium for Genetically Tractable Organisms), which comprises four institutions and is part of the National Roadmap of Research Infrastructures to develop new technologies and provide centralized services in drosophila, zebrafish and mice. Since January 2017, she is also responsible for the Molecular and Transgenic Tools Platform and is co-PI in a cancer research project. Catarina is also an invited assistant professor at the Faculty of Sciences and Technology at Universidade NOVA de Lisboa (FCT NOVA) teaching a master course on Developmental Biology.