Animal Science Courses

Expression of GFP transgene in mouse blastocyts following pronuclear micro injection (DNA stained blue).

Expression of GFP transgene in mouse blastocyts following pronuclear micro injection (DNA stained blue).

ANSC435 Experimental Embryology:  Students have the opportunity to perform various embryo manipulations, including in vitro fertilization, pronuclear DNA injection, embryo biopsy, and ESC characterization. Their successful pronuclear injection of a GFP reporter gene construct into the pronucleus of a mouse zygote was validated by expression at the blastocyst stage of the green fluorescent protein (GFP) under the control of a constitutive promoter (See photo).  Students also write a project draft proposal, participate in peer-review, and submit a final project proposal. This process qualifies the class as a Scholarship-in-Practice course.

ANSC437 Animal Biotechnology: Students learn about various techniques and applications of animal biotechnology, including production methods, regulations, intellectual property, economic and ethical issues. 

Keefer Lab Group (Clockwise from left: L. Lei, L. Vansandt, E. Nestle, M. Brown, H. Sigal, C. Keefer)

Keefer Lab Group (Clockwise from left: L. Lei, L. Vansandt, E. Nestle, M. Brown, H. Sigal, C. Keefer)

Current Postdoctoral Fellows

Jaewook Chung, PhD:  2016-present

Current Graduate Students

Undergraduate Researchers
 Yael Ad                                                                                                                


Former undergraduate lab members: 

 Jessica Bridge                          Jessica Brown                     Morganne Campbell                               Jake Clements Kelly Degerdon                 Melissa Dickson                  Carley Gallon                          Carley Guiltman                Aikeen Jones                        Janelle Livesay                       Ilana Schafer                       Hannah Warshawsky         Tyler Wieland                        Morgan Wooten

Former Graduate Students 

Ran Zhou, PhD dissertation topic (2018): Felid stem cells for preservation of endangered species (in collaboration with Dr. P. Comizzoli of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute). (Postdoctoral fellow, Carnegie Institute)  Megan Brown, PhD dissertation (2017): Reproductive management of the whooping crane (Grus americana). Research collaboration involving Dr. N. Songsassen of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) and Dr. S. Converse (PWC).                       (Postdoctoral fellow, SCBI)                                                                                                                  Halli Sigal Weiner, PhD dissertation (2015): Investigating Spermatozoal Metabolism and Substrate Utilization in domestic and non-domestic felids (Tokyo Metropolitan University, Japan)
Lindsey Vansandt, DVM, PhD dissertation (2014) : Spermatogonial Stem Cells in the Domestic Cat (Postdoctoral fellow, Cincinnati Zoo) 
Megan Brown MS thesis (2013): Multidisciplinary approach to understanding the poor reproduction in the whooping crane (Grus americana) (Doctoral student, Keefer laboratory, ANSC, UMD)
Emily Nestle  MS thesis (2012):The impact of culture media on the in vitro production of cat blastocysts and explant quality (Research Technician, Shady Grove Fertility Institute)
Andrew Schiffmacher  PhD dissertation (2010):Investigating the roles of OCT4 and CDX2 in directing bovine trophectoderm lineage development  (Postdoctoral fellow in Taneyhill laboratory, ANSC, UMD)
C. Wynne Collins, MVB  PhD dissertation (2010): Understanding the reproductive biology of the Przewalski's horse (Equus ferus przewalskii) (Lecturer, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Queensland, AU)
Disha Pant  PhD dissertation (2008): Towards the derivation of bovine embryonic stem cells (DVM)
Ashley Meece  MS thesis (2007): Evaluation of Lef1 transcription factor in mammalian preimplantation embryos (Research technician, USDA)

Postdoctoral Fellow/Research Associates 

2005-2008 Shuyang He, PhD (Research Scientist, Stem Cell Research, Celgene) 
2009-2014 Lei Li (Research Assistant, UMD)                                                                                .

Visiting China Scholar 

2010-2011 Lei Lei, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, China (PhD 2012) 


Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute: 

  • P. Comizzoli

  • A. Crozier

  • B. Pukathenzhi

  • N. Songsassen

U.S. Geological Survey, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center: S. Converse

ANSC: B. Bequette  - Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering:  G. Sriram   - Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry                                                                                                                                             MECH: J. Desai - Atomic Force Microscopy 


AJ presenting his research - AGNR Undergraduate Research Day