Thomas L. Saunders, Ph.D.
Research Associate Professor
Department of Internal Medicine


Phone: 734-647-2910

Room 2570, Medical Science Research Building II,
1150 West Medical Center Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 41809-5674

Lab Website
: http://www.med.umich.edu/tamc

Research Interests

Applications of transgenic technology to genome engineering. As the Director of the University of Michigan Transgenic Animal Model Core I am focused on generating new mouse and rat models with genetic modifications that can serve as models of human genetic disease.  The methodology to manipulate the genome in mice and rats is constantly evolving and changing. The application of cutting edge approaches to genome engineering can accelerate the pace of delivering useful transgenic mice, transgenic rats, gene-targeted mice produced by genetically engineered mouse embryonic stem cells, and gene knockout rats to improve our understanding gene function. These animal models are important for pre-clinical translational studies of therapies designed to improve the health of human patients.

Education and Training

1984 Ph.D., University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Selected Publications (2001-current)

Mears AJ, Kondo M, Swain PK, Takada Y, Bush RA, Saunders TL, Sieving PA, Swaroop A. Nrl is required for rod photoreceptor development. Nat Genet, 2001 Dec; 29(4):447-452. (PMID 11694879).

Sun D, Samuelson LC, Yang T, Huang Y, Paliege A, Saunders T, Briggs J, Schnermann J. Mediation of tubuloglomerular feedback by adenosine: evidence from mice lacking adenosine 1 receptors. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2001 Aug 14; 98(17):9983-9988. (PMID 11504952)  PMC 55564.

Chen C, Bharucha V, Chen Y, Westenbroek RE, Brown A, Malhotra JD, Jones D, Avery C, Gillespie PJ, 3rd, Kazen-Gillespie KA, Kazarinova-Noyes K, Shrager P, Saunders TL, Macdonald RL, Ransom BR, Scheuer T, Catterall WA, Isom LL.  Reduced sodium channel density, altered voltage dependence of inactivation, and increased susceptibility to seizures in mice lacking sodium channel beta 2-subunits. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2002 Dec 24; 99(26):17072-17077. (PMID 12481039)  PMC 139271.

Heilig CW, Saunders T, Brosius FC, 3rd, Moley K, Heilig K, Baggs R, Guo L, Conner D. Glucose transporter-1-deficient mice exhibit impaired development and deformities that are similar to diabetic embryopathy. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2003 Dec 23; 100(26): 15613-15618. (PMID 14673082)  PMC 307616.

Jones JM, Datta P, Srinivasula SM, Ji W, Gupta S, Zhang Z, Davies E, Hajnoczky G, Saunders TL, Van Keuren ML, Fernandes-Alnemri T, Meisler MH, Alnemri ES. Loss of Omi mitochondrial protease activity causes the neuromuscular disorder of mnd2 mutant mice. Nature, 2003 Oct 16; 425(6959):721-727. (PMID 14534547).

Saunders TL. Reporter molecules in genetically engineered mice. Methods Mol Biol, 2003; 209:125-143. (PMID 12357949).

Seong E, Saunders TL, Stewart CL, Burmeister M. To knockout in 129 or in C57BL/6:that is the question. Trends Genet, 2004 Feb; 20(2):59-62. (PMID 14746984).

Van Keuren ML, Saunders TL. Rederivation of transgenic and gene-targeted mice by embryo transfer. Transgenic Res, 2004 Aug; 13(4):363-371. (PMID 15517995).

Filipiak WE, Saunders TL. Advances in transgenic rat production. Transgenic Res, 2006 Dec; 15(6):673-686. (PMID 17009096).

Zhang K, Shen X, Wu J, Sakaki K, Saunders T, Rutkowski DT, Back SH, Kaufman RJ. Endoplasmic reticulum stress activates cleavage of CREBH to induce a systemic inflammatory response. Cell, 2006 Feb 10; 124(3):587-599. (PMID 16469704).

Hughes ED, Qu YY, Genik SJ, Lyons RH, Pacheco CD, Lieberman AP, Samuelson LC, Nasonkin IO, Camper SA, Van Keuren ML, Saunders TL. Genetic variation in C57BL/6ES cell lines and genetic instability in the Bruce4 C57BL/6 ES cell line. Mamm Genome, 2007 Aug; 18(8):549-558. (PMID 17828574).

Kim I, Saunders TL, Morrison SJ. Sox17 dependence distinguishes the transcriptional regulation of fetal from adult hematopoietic stem cells. Cell, 2007 Aug 10; 130(3):470-483. (PMID 17655922)  PMC 2577201.

Qu YY, Xing LY, Hughes ED, Saunders TL. Chromosome Dropper Tool: Effect of slide angles on chromosome spread quality for murine embryonic stem cells. J Histotechnol,
2008 Jun; 31(2):75-79. (PMID ISI:000258533900007).

Tan M, Davis SW, Saunders TL, Zhu Y, Sun Y. RBX1/ROC1 disruption results in early embryonic lethality due to proliferation failure, partially rescued by simultaneous loss of p27. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2009 Apr 14; 106(15):6203-6208. (PMID 19325126) PMC 266938

Van Keuren ML, Gavrilina GB, Filipiak WE, Zeidler MG, Saunders TL. Generating transgenic mice from bacterial artificial chromosomes: transgenesis efficiency, integration and expression outcomes. Transgenic Res, 2009 Oct; 18(5):769-785. (PMID 19396621) PMC 3016422.

Lu LY, Wu J, Ye L, Gavrilina GB, Saunders TL, Yu X. RNF8-dependent histone modifications regulate nucleosome removal during spermatogenesis. Dev Cell, 2010 Mar 16; 18(3):371-384. (PMID 20153262)  PMC 2840054.

Nakada D, Saunders TL, Morrison SJ. Lkb1 regulates cell cycle and energy metabolism in haematopoietic stem cells. Nature, 2010 Dec 2; 468(7324):653-658. (PMID 21124450) PMC 3059717.

Saunders TL
. A survey of internet resources for mouse development. Methods Enzymol, 2010; 476:3-21. (PMID 20691857).

Choi BY, Kim HM, Ito T, Lee KY, Li X, Monahan K, Wen Y, Wilson E, Kurima K, Saunders TL, Petralia RS, Wangemann P, Friedman TB, Griffith AJ. Mouse model of enlarged vestibular aqueducts defines temporal requirement of Slc26a4 expression for hearing acquisition. J Clin Invest, 2011 Nov; 121(11):4516-4525. (PMID 21965328) PMC 3204851.

Saunders TL
. Inducible transgenic mouse models. Methods Mol Biol, 2011; 693:103-115. (PMID 21080277).

Tan M, Zhao Y, Kim SJ, Liu M, Jia L, Saunders TL, Zhu Y, Sun Y. SAG/RBX2/ROC2 E3 ubiquitin ligase is essential for vascular and neural development by targeting NF1 for degradation. Dev Cell, 2011 Dec 13; 21(6):1062-1076. (PMID 22118770)  PMC 3241850.

Ding L, Saunders TL, Enikolopov G, Morrison SJ. Endothelial and perivascular cells maintain haematopoietic stem cells. Nature, 2012 Jan 26; 481(7382):457-462. (PMID 22281595)  PMC 3270376.

Gopalakrishnan K, Kumarasamy S, Abdul-Majeed S, Kalinoski AL, Morgan EE, Gohara AF, Nauli SM, Filipiak WE, Saunders TL, Joe B. Targeted disruption of Adamts16 gene in a rat genetic model of hypertension. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2012 Dec 11; 109(50):20555-20559. (PMID 23185005)  PMC 3528556.

Books & Book Chapters

Pease S, Saunders TL, International Society for Transgenic Technologies. Advanced protocols for animal transgenesis : an ISTT manual. Heidelberg; New York; Springer; 2011.



Updated 5/20/13