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Fertilization & Activation of Development
Gordon Research Conference

Uniting Eggs and Sperm, from Fundamentals to Applications

Dates

July 16-21, 2017

Location

Holderness School
Holderness, NH Site Information

Organizers

Chair:
Mariana F. Wolfner

Vice Chair:
Steven W. L'Hernault

Application Deadline

Applications for this meeting must be submitted by June 18, 2017. Please apply early, as some meetings become oversubscribed (full) before this deadline. If the meeting is oversubscribed, it will be stated here. Note: Applications for oversubscribed meetings will only be considered by the Conference Chair if more seats become available due to cancellations.

Meeting Description

The union of egg and sperm creates a new totipotent cell – the zygote. In addition to starting the development of a new organism, fertilization also provides an excellent system in which to investigate important questions in developmental biology, physiology and cell/molecular biology, evolutionary biology, and basic and applied reproductive biology. All of these areas are brought together in this Gordon Research Conference, the 22nd in an exciting and stimulating series of conferences. The conference will consider mechanisms that lead to formation of fertilization-competent gametes, that bring these gametes together and fuse them to form the zygote, and that cause this zygote to transition to undertake early development. Through invited presentations by junior and senior field leaders who study these areas, enriched by late-breaking research presentations chosen from abstracts submitted by conference participants, we will hear the latest advances on these topics as they occur in a range of organisms. The GRC will be linked to, and immediately preceded by a Gordon Research Seminar in which graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and early career scientists gather to present and exchange findings and ideas to one another, in a mentored setting. Findings and ideas to be presented at the GRC and GRS range from basic mechanistic work and evolutionary aspects, to applications such as environmental effects on fertility, assisted reproductive technologies, and the fertility of vectors or pathogens of diseases such as Zika and malaria, respectively. Intense, friendly, and lively discussion occurs during platform sessions, moderated by discussion leaders, and at poster sessions. The GRC keynote speaker, Dr. Allen Spradling, will emphasize the incredible conservation that underlies fertility across organisms, as well as the long-term effects on development, health, and biology of this critical early life stage. In addition to the formal sessions, the meeting has large blocks of time during the afternoons and after the evening session reserved for further informal discussion including interactions that can lead to collaboration or at least to "cross-fertilization" of approaches and ideas. These open times will also include some mentoring activities open to everyone but aimed at students, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty.

Related Meeting

This GRC will be held in conjunction with the "Fertilization & Activation of Development" Gordon Research Seminar (GRS). Those interested in attending both meetings must submit an application for the GRS in addition to an application for the GRC. Refer to the associated GRS program page for more information.

Contributors

Meeting Program

Sunday
2:00 pm - 9:00 pmArrival and Check-in
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 7:40 pmWelcome / Introductory Comments by GRC Site Staff
7:40 pm - 9:30 pmEpigenetic, Environmental, and Aging Effects on Fertilization and the Early Embryo
Discussion Leader: Carmen Williams (National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH, USA)
7:40 pm - 7:45 pmOpening Remarks
7:45 pm - 7:55 pmIntroduction by Discussion Leader
7:55 pm - 8:20 pmPatricia Hunt (Washington State University, USA)
"Environmental Effects on Gametogenesis and Reproductive Tract Development"
8:20 pm - 8:25 pmDiscussion
8:25 pm - 8:50 pmMarisa Bartolomei (University of Pennsylvannia, USA)
"Epigenetic Reprogramming in the Germline and Early Embryo"
8:50 pm - 8:55 pmDiscussion
8:55 pm - 9:20 pmMiguel Ramalho-Santos (University of California, San Francisco, USA)
"Epigenetic Regulation of Pluripotency and Inheritance"
9:20 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
Monday
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
8:30 amGroup Photo
9:00 am - 12:30 pmInfluences of the Reproductive Tract on Fertilization, Gametes, and Early Embryos
Discussion Leader: Sylvie Breton (Massachusetts General Hospital / Harvard Medical School, USA)
9:00 am - 9:10 amIntroduction by Discussion Leader
9:10 am - 9:35 amRachel Mullen (University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, USA)
"Reproductive Tract Development, Cell Types, and Function"
9:35 am - 9:45 amDiscussion
9:45 am - 10:10 amWipawee Winuthayanon (Washington State University, USA)
"Estrogen Signals: Roles During Pre- and Post-Fertilization in the Mouse Model"
10:10 am - 10:20 amDiscussion
10:20 am - 10:50 amCoffee Break
10:50 am - 11:15 amMark Siegal (New York University, USA)
"Are the Two Spermathecae of a D. melanogaster Female Identical?"
11:15 am - 11:20 amDiscussion
11:20 am - 11:45 amClemence Belleannee (Université Laval, Canada)
"DICER-phering the Role of MicroRNA in the Epididymis"
11:45 am - 11:55 amDiscussion
11:55 am - 12:20 pmClive Wilson (University of Oxford, United Kingdom)
"Behavioural and Hormonal Effects on Exosome and Other Secretion by Drosophila Reproductive Tissues"
12:20 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
3:00 pm - 4:00 pmPower Hour
The GRC Power Hour is an optional informal gathering open to all meeting participants. It is designed to help address the challenges women face in science and support the professional growth of women in our communities by providing an open forum for discussion and mentoring.
Organizer: Mariana Wolfner (Cornell University, USA)
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmSperm
Discussion Leader: George Gerton (University of Pennsylvania, USA)
7:30 pm - 7:45 pmIntroduction by Discussion Leader
7:45 pm - 8:10 pmHaifan Lin (Yale University Stem Cell Center, USA)
"The Epigenetic Function of piRNAs During Spermatogenesis"
8:10 pm - 8:20 pmDiscussion
8:20 pm - 8:45 pmPolina Lishko (University of California, Berkeley, USA)
"Steroids, Endocannabinoids and Sperm Ion Channels"
8:45 pm - 8:55 pmDiscussion
8:55 pm - 9:20 pmPablo Visconti (University of Massachusetts, USA)
"Sperm Signaling as Subject for ART and Science"
9:20 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
Tuesday
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmSperm Function / Finding, Binding, and Fusing with the Egg
Discussion Leader: Jurrien Dean (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, NIH, USA)
9:00 am - 9:05 amIntroduction by Discussion Leader
9:05 am - 9:25 amTomer Avidor-Reiss (University of Toledo, USA)
"Centriole Remodeling During Spermatogenesis and Its Role in Fertilization"
9:25 am - 9:35 amDiscussion
9:35 am - 9:55 amBenjamin Loppin (Laboratoire de Biométrie et Biologie Évolutive, CNRS / Université de Lyon, France)
"Unlocking Sperm Chromatin at Fertilization in Insects"
9:55 am - 10:05 amDiscussion
10:05 am - 10:25 amLaura Harrington (Cornell University, USA)
"Aedes Mosquito Sperm and Control of Reproduction of Disease Vectors"
10:25 am - 10:35 amDiscussion
10:35 am - 11:00 amCoffee Break
11:00 am - 11:20 amMariano Buffone (Instituto de Biologia y Medicina Experimental, CONICET, Argentina)
"Mechanisms of Fertilization in Mammals: New Insights About Sperm Acrosomal Exocytosis and Hyperactivation"
11:20 am - 11:30 amDiscussion
11:30 am - 11:50 amJeff Lee (University of Toronto, Canada)
"Molecular Architecture of the Human Sperm Izumo1 and Egg Juno Fertilization Complex"
11:50 am - 12:00 pmDiscussion
12:00 pm - 12:20 pmBenjamin Podbilewicz (Technion- Israel Institute of Technology, Israel)
"FUSEXINS: FUSion Proteins Essential for Sexual Reproduction and EXoplasmic Merger of Plasma Membranes"
12:20 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmFertilization Interactions and New Findings in Fertilization, Sperm, and Environment
Discussion Leader: William Kinsey (University of Kansas Medical Center, USA)
7:30 pm - 7:40 pmIntroduction by Discussion Leader
7:40 pm - 8:00 pmAnja Geitmann (McGill University, Canada)
"Sperm Delivery in Plants Requires a Cellular Catheter"
8:00 pm - 8:10 pmDiscussion
8:10 pm - 8:30 pmMarcelo Jacobs-Lorena (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA)
"Molecular Mechanisms of Plasmodium Fertilization"
8:30 pm - 8:40 pmDiscussion
8:40 pm - 8:45 pmIntroduction by Discussion Leader
8:45 pm - 8:55 pmShort Talk Selected from Poster Abstracts
8:55 pm - 9:00 pmDiscussion
9:00 pm - 9:10 pmShort Talk Selected from Poster Abstracts
9:10 pm - 9:15 pmDiscussion
9:15 pm - 9:25 pmShort Talk Selected from Poster Abstracts
9:25 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
Wednesday
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmEggs, Egg Activation, and Early Embryos
Discussion Leader: Rafael Fissore (University of Massachusetts, USA)
9:00 am - 9:05 amIntroduction by Discussion Leader
9:05 am - 9:30 amLaurinda Jaffe (University of Connecticut, USA)
"Regulation of Mammalian Oocyte Meiosis by Intercellular Communication Within the Ovarian Follicle"
9:30 am - 9:35 amDiscussion
9:35 am - 10:00 amMonica Colaiacovo (Harvard Medical School, USA)
"Aneuploidy and Environmental Exposures: Mechanistic Insights from C. elegans"
10:00 am - 10:05 amDiscussion
10:05 am - 10:30 amKarl Swann (Cardiff University, United Kingdom)
"Ca2+ Oscillations During Egg Activation: From Mechanism to Clinical Potential"
10:30 am - 10:35 amDiscussion
10:35 am - 11:00 amCoffee Break
11:00 am - 11:25 amMasahito Ikawa (Osaka University, Japan)
"Fertilization and Oocyte Activation: New Insights Using Genome Editing"
11:25 am - 11:30 amDiscussion
11:30 am - 11:55 amMarco Conti (University of California, San Francisco, USA)
"The Translational Program at the Oocyte-to-Zygote Transition"
11:55 am - 12:00 pmDiscussion
12:00 pm - 12:25 pmJay Baltz (Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Canada)
"Initiation of Cell Volume Homeostasis During Meiosis and Egg Activation"
12:25 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:00 pm - 7:30 pmBusiness Meeting
Nominations for the Next Vice Chair; Fill in Conference Evaluation Forms; Discuss Future Site and Scheduling Preferences; Election of the Next Vice Chair
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmEvolution
Discussion Leader: Susan Suarez (Cornell University, USA)
7:30 pm - 7:40 pmIntroduction by Discussion Leader
7:40 pm - 8:00 pmErin Kelleher (University of Houston, USA)
"Host Tolerance of TE Activity in the Drosophila Female Germline"
8:00 pm - 8:10 pmDiscussion
8:10 pm - 8:30 pmEric Haag (University of Maryland, USA)
"Rapid Evolution of Sperm Function in Self-Fertile Caenorhabditis Nematodes"
8:30 pm - 8:40 pmDiscussion
8:40 pm - 9:00 pmColeen Murphy (Princeton University, USA)
"Revenge of the Hermaphrodite: How C. elegans Kills Males Through Its Own Pheromone"
9:00 pm - 9:10 pmDiscussion
9:10 pm - 9:30 pmGeneral Discussion
Thursday
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmNew Findings on Fertilization, Eggs, and Early Embryos, and Cross-Cutting Themes
Discussion Leader: Steven L'Hernault (Emory University, USA)
9:00 am - 9:10 amIntroduction by Discussion Leader
9:10 am - 9:20 amShort Talk Selected from Poster Abstracts
9:20 am - 9:25 amDiscussion
9:25 am - 9:35 amShort Talk Selected from Poster Abstracts
9:35 am - 9:40 amDiscussion
9:40 am - 9:50 amShort Talk Selected from Poster Abstracts
9:50 am - 9:55 amDiscussion
9:55 am - 10:05 amShort Talk Selected from Poster Abstracts
10:05 am - 10:10 amDiscussion
10:10 am - 10:45 amCoffee Break
10:45 am - 10:50 amIntroduction by Discussion Leader
10:50 am - 11:00 amShort Talk Selected from Poster Abstracts
11:00 am - 11:05 amDiscussion
11:05 am - 11:15 amShort Talk Selected from Poster Abstracts
11:15 am - 11:20 amDiscussion
11:20 am - 11:30 amShort Talk Selected from Poster Abstracts
11:30 am - 11:35 amDiscussion
11:35 am - 11:40 amIntroduction by Discussion Leader
11:40 am - 12:20 pmAllan Spradling (Carnegie Institution for Science / Howard Hughes Medical Institute, USA)
"Early Gonadal Germ Cell Development: The First Five Divisions Last a Lifespan"
12:20 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmTranslating our Results: Applications and Implications
Discussion Leader: Christopher Barratt (University of Dundee, United Kingdom)
7:30 pm - 7:40 pmIntroduction by Discussion Leader
7:40 pm - 8:05 pmJoseph Nadeau (Pacific Northwest Research Institute, USA)
"Do Gametes Woo? Evidence for Non-Random Union at Fertilization"
8:05 pm - 8:15 pmDiscussion
8:15 pm - 8:40 pmMary Herbert (Newcastle University, United Kingdom)
"Uncoupling the Inheritance of Nuclear DNA from Mitochondrial DNA to Avoid Transmission of Mitochondrial DNA Disease"
8:40 pm - 8:50 pmDiscussion
8:50 pm - 9:15 pmPaolo Rinaudo (University of California, San Francisco, USA)
"ART and the Developmental Origin of Health and Disease"
9:15 pm - 9:25 pmDiscussion
9:25 pm - 9:30 pmClosing Remarks
Friday
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 amDeparture

Research reported in this publication was supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute Of Child Health & Human Development of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number U13HD091983. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
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