Caitlin A. Cooper, Ph.D.


Research scientist


CSIRO Australian Animal Health Laboratory

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Presentation description:

Technology presentation
Marker-assisted point of lay sex selection in chickens

Estimates indicate that each year 7 billion day-old male chickens from the global egg industry are culled as they do not lay eggs and are not an economically or environmentally sustainable option for meat production. In this presentation, learn more about how laser detection is being developed to allow for inexpensive, non-invasive, industrial scale sorting of the male eggs at point-of-lay so they no longer need to be incubated, hatched and culled.


Caitlin Cooper’s background is in genome engineering in agricultural species and pest animals. Her Ph.D. research focused on using milk from transgenic goats and cows that contained recombinant human antimicrobial proteins to improve food safety and decrease intestinal infections in developing countries. She continued working in the food safety space after her Ph.D., taking a post-doctoral position at the CSIRO Australian Animal Health Laboratory on a project aimed at decreasing the spread of pathogens from poultry products. She developed two lines of transgenic chickens that overexpress native chicken antimicrobial proteins, and in the transgenic eggs, growth of Salmonella enterica, E. coli, and Listeria monocytogenes is inhibited. During this time, Cooper also spearheaded a project looking at novel ways of delivering gene editing tools to the single cell zygote in chickens, which lead to the development of sperm transfection assisted gene editing, or STAGE. Currently she is focused on developing poultry gene editing and genome engineering technologies and transitioning them from the lab into industry practice to improve animal outcomes, specifically genome engineering technology to enable marker assisted point of lay sex sorting in the poultry industry.

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