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Staff Scientist

Genetic Disease Research Branch


Embryonic Stem Cell and Transgenic Mouse Core


B.S. Southwestern University, 1984

M.S. Hood College, 1994


Lisa Garrett is a staff scientist and director of the NHGRI Transgenic Mouse Core at the NIH. In 1984, she received her M.S. at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. Following completion of her undergraduate studies, she received technical training at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Dallas and then veterinary technical training at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. In 1989, she relocated to Frederick, Maryland and began working in the Laboratory of Molecular Oncology at NCI, Frederick, Maryland. generating transgenic mice for models of cancer. At this time, she started her graduate studies at Hood College in Frederick and received her Masters in biomedical science in 1994 and completed her thesis, The Tissue - Specificity of Mouse Ets-1 Regulatory Region in a Transgenic Model.

In 1994, Ms. Garrett began as a supervisor in the NHGRI Embryonic Stem Cell and Transgenic Mouse Core and became director in 1997. Ms. Garrett oversees the daily operations of the Transgenic Mouse Core and supervises six mouse core personnel. Her major focus is technology development and attention to individual investigators' projects. To this end, she has concentrated on developing gene-editing protocols that will provide more efficient means to generate transgenic mice and provide additional tools for NHGRI investigators to fulfill their research needs. This includes maintaining an updated guide for protocols using CRISPR/Cas9 and other gene-editing tools. This guide is provided on the in-house core website along with other useful information for using genetically engineered mice in research.

Most recently, Ms. Garrett co-authored the publication, Highly Efficient Cpf1-Mediated Gene Targeting in Mice Following High Concentration Pronuclear Injection, ( G3, (2): 719-722.. 2017. [PubMed] ). This report presents the results of a new endonuclease, Cpf1, that may be even more efficient than Cas9 for gene editing in mice. Ms. Garrett continues to investigate the usefulness of Cpf1 for generating targeted insertions and other applications for studies in transgenic mice.

Scientific Summary

The NHGRI Embryonic Stem Cell and Transgenic Mouse Core provides a shared service to NHGRI investigators. The core specializes in generating genetically engineered mice (GEM) via conventional transgenesis, ES cell targeting, and more recently gene editing using site-specific nucleases (CRISPR/Cas9). The core breeds, in-house, 90 percent of the animals to be used for generating GEM. The core utilizes several background strains for generating mice and has developed and characterized embryonic stem cells from C57Bl/6J, C57Bl/6N, C57Bl/6 albino, 129S6Sv/Ev, and 129.B6(GFP).

Additionally, the core has an in-house colony of various Cre expressing mice and other transgenics for use by investigators across many protocols. All important mice are cryopreserved and stored in separate locations for disaster purposes. All imported mice are rederived into the core by in vitro fertilization. The core routinely genotypes mice and have adapted efficient protocols to minimize mice, reagents and time.

Other services provided by the core include ENU injection, teratoma analysis, embryo harvest and dissection, isolation of mouse embryonic fibroblasts and generation of induced pluripotent stem cells. The core supports NHGRI investigators in construct design, and in basic manipulations of mouse husbandry. Yearly, the core has 30-40 transgenic projects to study the mechanisms in human genetic diseases using mouse models.


Watkins-Chow DE, Varshney GK, Garrett LJ, Chen Z, Jimenez EA, Rivas C, Bishop KS, Sood R, Harper UL, Pavan WJ, Burgess SM. Highly efficient Cpf1-mediated gene targeting in mice following high concentration pronuclear injection. G3, 7(2):719-722. 2017.[PubMed]

Kamikubo, Y., Hyde, R.K., Zhao, L., Alemu, L., Rivas, C., Garrett, L.J., Liu, P.P. The C-terminus of CBFB-SMMHC is required to induce embryonic hematopoetic defects and leukemogenesis. Blood, 24; 121(4):638-42, 2013. [PubMed]

Gao, B., Song, H., Garrett, L., and Yang, Y. Wnt signaling gradients establish planar cell polarity by inducing Vangl2 phoshorylation through Ror2. Dev Cell, 15;2:163-76. 2011. [PubMed]

Song, H., Mak K., Topol, L., Yun, K., Hu, J., Garrett, L., Chen, Y., Park, O., Chang, J., Simpson, M., Cun-Yu, W., Gao, B., Jiang, J., and Yang, Y. Mammalian Mst1 and Mst2 kinases play essential roles in organ size control and tumor suppression. PNAS, Jan 26; 107(4):1431-6. 2010. [PubMed]

Cheng, J., Dutra, A., Takesono, A., Garrett-Beal, L., and Schwartzberg, P.L. Improved generation of C57BL/6J mouse embryonic stem cells in a defined serum-free media. Genesis, 39(2):100-4. 2004. [PubMed]

Guo, X., Day, T.F., Jiang, X., Garrett-Beal, L.J., Topol, L., and Yang, Y. Wnt/beta-catenin signaling is sufficient and necessary for synovial joint formation. Genes Dev, 18(19):2404-17. 2004. [PubMed]

Crabtree, J.S., Scacheri, P.C., Ward, J.M., McNally, S.R., Swain, G.P., Hagar, J., Hanahan, D., Edlund, H., Magnuson, M.A., Garrett-Beal, L., Chandrasekharappa, S.C., Marx, S.J., Spiegel, A.M., Collins, F.S. Of mice and MEN1: Insulinomas in a conditional mouse knock-out. Mol Cell Biol, 23(17):6075-85. 2003. [PubMed]

Hirotsune, S., Yoshida, N., Chen, A., Garrett, L., Sugiyama, F., Takahashi, S., Yagami, K., Wynshaw-Boris, A., and Yoshiki, A. An expressed pseudogene regulates the messenger-RNA stability of its homologous coding gene. Nature, 423(6935):91-6. 2003. [PubMed]

Last updated: July 19, 2017