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Laible, Dr Goetz
Senior Scientist

Group:  Animal Productivity


+64 7 838 5002

Götz leads the transgenic livestock programme, focused on the development and evaluation of transgenic technology for livestock applications.

He obtained a PhD in biochemistry from the Free University of Berlin, Germany in 1989 for his studies at the Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Genetics, Berlin, in the group of Dr Regine Hakenbeck, where he investigated the molecular events underlying the development of antibiotic resistance in Streptocpoccus pneumoniae.

After his PhD, Götz was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft to work in the laboratory of Dr Christopher Lamb at the Salk Institute in San Diego, USA, where he studied regulatory elements involved in chromatin–dependent gene expression in transgenic plants. He then moved to the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna, Austria to join the group of Dr Thomas Jenuwein. Focusing on the epigenetic regulation of gene expression in mammals, he isolated novel mammalian homologues of a class of chromatin regulators from Drosophila melanogaster which subsequently led to the discovery of histone methylases.

With the breakthrough in animal cloning and the prospect to apply the sophistication of cell mediated-transgenesis for the genetic improvement of livestock Götz joined AgResearch in 1997. Since then, his research has focused on the development of transgenic cattle with improved production traits and in particular dairy animals engineered for the production of biopharmaceuticals in milk. Götz’s team has been the first to transfer the concept of improving the composition of milk from mouse models into a dairy animal and generated several transgenic cattle lines which produce milk with novel properties associated with potential nutritional and processing benefits. In addition, the team has produced several lines of transgenic cattle to demonstrate proof-of- concept for biopharming with the expression of large amounts of recombinant human proteins in milk which have potential therapeutic applications for the treatment of human diseases. More recently, the concept of biopharming has been successfully extended into a second dairy species with the production of transgenic goats engineered for the expression of therapeutic antibodies in milk.

A further line of research is aimed at improving the precision and control of the introduced genetic modifications and is centred on the application of site-specific approaches and novel extra-chromosomal vector systems.

Recent publications

Antony, J., Oback, F., Chamley, L.W., Oback, B. and Laible, G. (2013). Transient JMJD2B-mediated reduction of H3K9me3 levels improves reprogramming of embryonic stem cells into cloned embryos. Molecular and Cellular Biology 33, 974-983.

Jabed, A., Wagner, S., McCracken, J., Wells, D. N. and Laible, G. (2012). Targeted micro RNA expression in dairy cattle directs production of beta-lactoglobulin-free, high casein milk. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 109, 16811-16816.

Alonso-González, L., Couldrey, C., Cole, S. A., Wells, D. N. and Laible, G. (2012). Primary transgenic bovine cells and their rejuvenated cloned equivalents show transgene-specific epigenetic differences. PLoS ONE 7, e35619.

Wagner, S., McCracken, J., Cole, S. and Laible, G. (2010). DNA Oligonucleotides and Plasmids Perform Equally as Donors for Targeted Gene Conversion. Biochemical Genetics 48, 897-908.

Al-Ghobashy, M.A., Cucheval, A., Williams, M.A.K., Laible, G. and Harding, D.R.K. (2010). Probing the interaction between recombinant human myelin basic protein and caseins using surface plasmon resonance and diffusing wave spectroscopy. Journal of Molecular Recognition 23, 84-92.

Wall, R., Laible, G., Maga, E., Seidel Jnr, G. and Whitelaw, B. (2009). Animal Productivity and Genetic Diversity: Cloned and Transgenic Animals. Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST). Issue Paper 43