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Jan Parker Thornburg, Ph.D.

Present Title & Affiliation

Primary Appointment

Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

Research Interests

  •     Genetic engineering in mice
  •     Mouse models

Mouse models are an essential part of assessing the role of a gene or gene variant in the cause and effect of human disease. However, the technology required to generate mouse models is complex and expensive. 

The Genetically Engineered Mouse Facility (GEMF) provides a common source of expertise and technical skills for investigators to generate, maintain and archive their genetically engineered mouse models. We perform the work to generate genetically modified animals, either through pronuclear injection, or by embryonic stem cell (ESC) targeting, followed by blastocyst injection. 

When a project is finished, the GEMF provides the expertise to archive valuable animals through cryopreservation. If animals from another institution are required for the aims of the project, the GEMF will rederive those animals to specific pathogen-free status for use within MD Anderson Cancer Center. By providing these services as a shared resource, the duplication of efforts and materials is minimized, resulting not only in lower cost to investigators, but also in limiting the use of animals. 

Because of the individual nature of each mouse project, the facility is occasionally asked to initiate work using a new procedure, mouse cell line or mouse strain. In each case, the eventual success of the project is evaluated and a decision is made to include the new service or amend the service to optimize results.  

The reputation of MD Anderson in development of genetically engineered mouse models is supported by our efforts and publications. Our staff has worked to perfect methods and techniques, as well as develop new approaches that enable us to become more effective. These efforts led to our 2005 Transgenic Research publication on use of cryopreserved embryos for blastocyst injection [Parker-Thornburg J, et al. Transgenic Res 14(5):685-90, 2005], and abstracts published in April 2010 describing experiments performed in our facility [Parker-Thornburg J. Trans Res 19(2):346, 4/2010; Luo C et al Trans Res 19(2):339, 4/2010]. 

We recently concluded experiments funded by the Grants in Laboratory Animal Science (GLAS) peer-reviewed funding, through the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS), to develop better super-ovulation protocols.

Contact Information

Phone: 713-745-2654


View a complete list of publications.

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center