Germinal stem cells have been called the “stem cells of the species” as they provide the link between generations. Intense research centers on the origin of these cells, how can they be recognized, how they are regulated at the genetic and epigenetic levels, and how their properties and behavior affect resulting embryos. The insights into these processes have been instructive for all stem cell biology, and are crucial for understanding fertility and managing reproductive disorders. Recent advances in single cell analyses enable addressing these research topics with unprecedented sensitivity, while constantly improving strategies for germline editing raise possibilities for translating basic science findings into biomedical and biotechnological applications. The expansion of knowledge in the germline stem cell field is rapid and it is important that key developments are shared in a timely manner among the community members.
This conference will bring together leading scientists at the forefront of international research in the germ cell field in a range of vertebrate (primarily mammalian) systems. Participants will have the opportunity to present their latest research through poster and platform presentations. Honoring the tradition of Gordon Research Conferences, the meeting will be a venue to present unpublished data and cutting-edge advancements in the field, followed by robust discussions. It will highlight emerging concepts and new research directions, and help establish collaborations across disciplines and across nations. The informal setting will provide ample opportunities for exchanging ideas and brainstorming. The conference will be held in the Courtyard by Marriott Hong Kong Sha Tin overlooking the Shing Mun River. The conference participants will have easy access to exploring Hong Kong and experiencing a variety of activities including shopping, visiting cultural sites, hiking in nearby mountains, biking or jogging along the waterfront. For those planning pre- or post-conference activities Hong Kong provides an excellent gateway to exploring other parts of Asia.
The conference will consist of nine sessions, on the topics listed below. The conference chair is currently developing their preliminary program, which will include the names of the invited speakers and discussion leaders for each of these sessions. The preliminary program will be available by October 15, 2018. Please check back for updates.
- Environmental Impacts on the Germline
- Spermatogonial Stem Cells and Their Niche
- Female Germline Development
- Early Embryogenesis: The Origin of the Germline
- Genetic Regulation of Germline
- Epigenetic Programming of Germline Development
- Natural and Induced Mutations in the Germline
- Single Cell Analyses of Germ Cell Development
- Technological Advances in Germ Cell Research