Gordon Research Conferences
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Conference Program
 
Fertilization & Activation of Development
July 14-19, 2013
Holderness School
Holderness, NH
Chair:
Pablo E. Visconti

Vice Chair:
Gary Wessel

Related Meeting Information
The Fertilization & Activation of Development Gordon Research Conference was held in conjunction with the Fertilization & Activation of Development Gordon-Kenan Research Seminar. Please refer to the Fertilization & Activation of Development GKRS web page for more information.

The Gordon Research Conference on Fertilization and Activation of Development started in 1974, and has met every other year since 1977, making 2013 the 20th of these conferences. This Gordon Research Conference addresses the biological phenomena - biochemical, biophysical, molecular, cellular, and physiological - that render the gametes "fertilization-competent," the central events of fertilization itself, and the transition into early embryonic development. As has been a tradition at this conference, the 2013 conference will integrate conserved mechanisms and approaches to these questions across a wide range of species. The study of other animal models has led in the recent past to new ways to manage human reproduction and in the near future these investigations will have direct relevance to problems related with infertility and contraception. The awarding of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to Dr. Robert G. Edwards for the development of in vitro fertilization underscores the significance of this area of biology and biomedical research. The scientific program for the 2013 conference is diverse and has presentations on a wide array of species and by speakers at all career stages. It includes talks focusing in reproductive epigenetics; in sperm and oocyte maturational processes; in gamete competition and evolution; and also in those phenomena occurring during and after fertilization which mediate successful early embryogenesis. The keynote address will be presented by Masaru Okabe, PhD, who has pioneered the use of Knock out technology to analyze fertilization phenotypes. Dr. Okabe will present his work in fertilization and gamete biology from both historical and present perspectives. Added to our usual format, this 2013 conference will be the first to integrate an associated Gordon Research Seminar with the goal of providing a forum for graduate students and post-docs to present their work in the field of gamete research and fertilization.


Contributors

SUNDAY
2:00 pm - 9:00 pmArrival and Check-in
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 7:35 pmWelcome / Introductory Comments by GRC Site Staff
7:35 pm - 7:40 pmChair's Welcome by Pablo Visconti (University of Massachusetts-Amherst)
7:40 pm - 9:30 pmContribution of the reproductive tract to fertilization
7:40 pm - 7:45 pmDiscussion Leader: Sylvie Breton (Massachusetts General Hospital)
"Introduction"
7:45 pm - 8:10 pmNicolas Da Silva (Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School)
"Towards elucidating the role of mononuclear phagocytes in the epididymis"
8:10 pm - 8:20 pmDiscussion
8:20 pm - 8:45 pmRobert Sullivan (Laval University, Quebec, Canada)
"Epididymosomes and mammalian sperm maturation in the male reproductive tract"
8:45 pm - 8:55 pmDiscussion
8:55 pm - 9:20 pmMariana Wolfner (Cornell University)
"Interactions between seminal proteins and the female reproductive tract that cause post-mating changes in female Drosophila"
9:20 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
MONDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
8:30 amGroup Photo
9:00 am - 12:30 pmMolecular mechanisms of male gamete function
9:00 am - 9:10 amDiscussion Leader: Gustavo Blanco (Kansas University)
"Introduction"
9:10 am - 9:35 amChristoph Brenker (Center of Advanced European Studies and Research, Bonn, Germany)
"Ion channels in human sperm"
9:35 am - 9:45 amDiscussion
9:45 am - 10:10 amGustavo Martinez-Mekler (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico, Cuernavaca, Mexico)
"Network Model Reveals CatSper Channel Relevance to Sea Urchin Sperm Motility"
10:10 am - 10:20 amDiscussion
10:20 am - 10:50 amCoffee Break
10:50 am - 11:15 amRavi Palanivelu (University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ)
"Molecular genetic analysis of LORELEI function in male-female recognition during Arabidopsis reproduction"
11:15 am - 11:25 amDiscussion
11:25 am - 11:50 amPascal Gagneux (University of California San Diego)
"Role of glycans in sperm evolution and capacitation"
11:50 am - 12:00 pmDiscussion
12:00 pm - 12:15 pmPetra Sipilä (University of Helsinki, Finland)
"Dicer1 ablation in the proximal mouse epididymis causes infertility and instability of the sperm membrane"
12:15 pm - 12:20 pmDiscussion
12:20 pm - 12:30 pmGeneral Discussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session I
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmEvolution of gametes and fertilization mechanisms
7:30 pm - 7:40 pmDiscussion Leader: Eduardo Roldan (Museo de Ciencias Naturales, Madrid, Spain)
"Introduction"
7:40 pm - 8:05 pmSteve Ramm (Evolutionary Biology, University of Bielefeld, Germany)
"Towards an evolutionary ecology of sperm, spermatogenesis and the testis"
8:05 pm - 8:15 pmDiscussion
8:15 pm - 8:40 pmEduardo Roldan (Museo de Ciencias Naturales, Madrid, Spain)
"Postcopulatory sexual selection and the evolution of sperm function in mammals"
8:40 pm - 8:50 pmDiscussion
8:50 pm - 9:15 pmDon Levitan (Department of Biological Sciences, Florida State University)
"Sperm availability and the evolution of gamete recognition proteins in sea urchins"
9:15 pm - 9:25 pmDiscussion
9:25 pm - 9:30 pmGeneral Discussion
TUESDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmSignaling processes in sperm and oocytes
9:00 am - 9:10 amDiscussion Leader: Harvey Florman (University of Massachusetts Medical School)
"Introduction"
9:10 am - 9:35 amJean-Ju Chung (Children's Hospital Boston, Harvard University)
"Three dimensional organization of CatSper Ca2+ nanodomain in spermatozoa"
9:35 am - 9:45 amDiscussion
9:45 am - 10:10 amPolina Lishko (University of California, Berkeley)
"Human CatSper Channel in Health and Disease"
10:10 am - 10:20 amDiscussion
10:20 am - 10:50 amCoffee Break
10:50 am - 11:15 amRafael Fissore (University of Massachusetts-Amherst)
"Novel aspects of Ca2+ homeostasis in mouse oocytes and eggs"
11:15 am - 11:25 amDiscussion
11:25 am - 11:50 amJian Jun Sun (Carnegie Institution for Science)
"Ovulation: Lessons from Drosophila"
11:50 am - 12:00 pmDiscussion
12:00 pm - 12:15 pmJochen Buck (Cornell University Medical School, New York)
"Mechanistic studies of the synergistic activation of soluble adenylyl cyclase by calcium and bicarbonate"
12:15 pm - 12:20 pmDiscussion
12:20 pm - 12:30 pmGeneral Discussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session I (continued)
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmEpigenetics in Reproduction
7:30 pm - 7:40 pmDiscussion Leader: Jacquetta Trasler (McGill University, Montreal, Canada)
"Introduction"
7:40 pm - 8:05 pmBrad Cairns (HHMI & Dept. of Oncological Sciences, Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah Medical School)
"Dynamic Chromatin Accompanying Zebrafish Gametogenesis, Fertilization and Early Embryos"
8:05 pm - 8:15 pmDiscussion
8:15 pm - 8:40 pmOliver Rando (University of Massachusetts Medical School at Worcester)
"Paternal dietary effects on offspring metabolism"
8:40 pm - 8:50 pmDiscussion
8:50 pm - 9:15 pmAlex Meissner (Harvard University)
"DNA Methylation Dynamics in Mammalian Development"
9:15 pm - 9:25 pmDiscussion
9:25 pm - 9:30 pmGeneral Discussion
WEDNESDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmMeiosis resumption in the oocyte
9:00 am - 9:10 amDiscussion Leader: Laurinda Jaffe (University of Connecticut Health Center, CT)
"Introduction"
9:10 am - 9:35 amPaula Stein (University of Pennsylvania)
"Essential role for small RNAs during meiosis in mouse oocytes"
9:35 am - 9:45 amDiscussion
9:45 am - 10:10 amKeith Jones (University of Southampton, UK)
"Aneuploidy in aging mouse eggs, what goes wrong with meiosis?"
10:10 am - 10:20 amDiscussion
10:20 am - 10:50 amCoffee Break
10:50 am - 11:15 amEvelyn Houliston (CNRS/University Pierre and Marie Curie, France)
"Oocyte maturation in the cnidarian Clytia hemisphaerica"
11:15 am - 11:25 amDiscussion
11:25 am - 11:50 amMelina Schuh (MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK)
"New insights into asymmetric spindle positioning in oocytes"
11:50 am - 12:00 pmDiscussion
12:00 pm - 12:15 pmMichael Whitaker (Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)
"Activation of ERK kinase at fertilization in sea urchin eggs"
12:15 pm - 12:20 pmDiscussion
12:20 pm - 12:30 pmGeneral Discussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session II
6:00 pmDinner
7:00 pm - 7:30 pmBusiness Meeting
Nominations for the next Vice Chair; Fill out Conference Evaluation Forms; Discuss future Site & Scheduling preferences; Election of the next Vice Chair
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmMolecular Basis of Fusion Processes
7:30 pm - 7:40 pmDiscussion Leader: Gary Wessel (Brown University)
"Introduction"
7:40 pm - 8:05 pmBenjamin Podbilewicz (Dept of Biol. Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel)
"How cell fusion works in C. elegans"
8:05 pm - 8:15 pmDiscussion
8:15 pm - 8:40 pmElliott Abrams (University of Pennsylvania)
"Nuclear Envelope Fusion during early development"
8:40 pm - 8:50 pmDiscussion
8:50 pm - 9:15 pmKhurts Shilagardi (John Hopkins University, School of Medicine)
"Actin-Propelled Invasive Membrane Protrusions Promote Fusogenic Protein Engagement During Cell-Cell Fusion"
9:15 pm - 9:25 pmDiscussion
9:25 pm - 9:30 pmGeneral Discussion
THURSDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmThe egg-to-embryo transition
9:00 am - 9:10 amDiscussion Leader: Janice Evans (Johns Hopkins School of Public Health)
"Introduction"
9:10 am - 9:35 amKarl Swann (Cardiff University, UK)
"How does PLCzeta cause Ca2+ oscillations that activate the egg?"
9:35 am - 9:45 amDiscussion
9:45 am - 10:10 amSteve Ward (Institute for Biogenesis Research, University of Hawaii at Manoa)
"The Sperm Nuclear Matrix and Licensing of the Paternal DNA for Replication"
10:10 am - 10:20 amDiscussion
10:20 am - 10:50 amCoffee Break
10:50 am - 11:15 amTomokazu Kawashima (Temasek Lifesciences laboratories, Myanmar, Singapore)
"Novel Cytoskeleton Dynamics for Fertilization in Flowering Plants"
11:15 am - 11:25 amDiscussion
11:25 am - 11:50 amColeen Murphy (Princeton University)
"Slowing the Ticking Clock: What C. elegans can teach us about oocyte decline"
11:50 am - 12:00 pmDiscussion
12:00 pm - 12:15 pmHitoshi Sawada (Nagoya University, Japan)
"Self-sterile Mechanism in an Ascidian (Primitive Chordate) Ciona intestinalis: Its Reproductive Tactics Shared with Flowering Plants"
12:15 pm - 12:20 pmDiscussion
12:20 pm - 12:30 pmGeneral Discussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session II (continued)
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmKeynote Session
7:30 pm - 7:45 pm Closing Remarks
7:45 pm - 8:00 pm Christopher Barratt (University of Dundee, Scotland)
"Remembering Bob Edwards and the scientific challenges in achieving human IVF in 1978"
8:00 pm - 8:10 pmDiscussion Leader: Patricia Cuasnicu (Biology and Experimental Institute, IBYME, Buenos Aires, Argentina)
"Introduction"
8:10 pm - 9:10 pmKeynote Lecture: Masaru Okabe (Osaka University, Osaka, Japan)
"Sperm-egg interaction and gene-manipulated animals"
9:10 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
FRIDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 amDeparture

Funding for this conference was made possible (in part) by Grant 1 R13HD76443-01from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention by trade names, commercial practices or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

 
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