Animal Genetic Engineering


Topics covered in the Whitelaw lab

double-stranded break repairs
A double stranded break (DSB) can be repaired to produce desirable edits. NHEJ = Non-homologous end joining, HDR = Homology-directed repair

We aim to improve livestock health, develop new livestock breeding strategies to enhance overall agricultural productivity, and progress innovative biotech solutions in biomedicine through evaluating application of genetic engineering and advanced reproductive technologies.

By altering livestock genomes using precise genome editing technology like CRISPR-Cas9 we:

  • tackle costly livestock diseases,
  • devise innovative breeding strategies,
  • address the challenge of increasing protein production in livestock agriculture,
  • investigate how gene drives could be applied in animals and
  • explore opportunities to develop new disease-treatments.

CRISPRs create double-stranded breaks that can be used to introduce desirable edits.



Here are some of our research interests:

Fighting infectious diseases

Tackling the leading cause of losses in livestock.

Improving food security (milk production)

How can we make better milk?

Gene drive

Alternative pest control

Multiplex gene editing

Targeting multiple regions in a genome

Human disease models

Livestock can be good models for studying human diseases.

Breeding for the future

New breeding technologies for the future