- Primordial germ cells and the colonization of the mammalian embryo: A possible source for pluripotent cells?
- Organization and function of germ cells.
- Impaired spermatogenesis and new techniques to make gametes: from xenografting to in vitro gametogenesis.
Fertilization and early development
- Interaction between mammalian gametes.
- Inheritance during fertilization: What comes from where?
- What can go wrong and why? Human (In)fertility.
Keys to differentiation: From Pluripotent embryonic stem cells to adult tissues
- Stem cells as tools to monitor differentiation “in vitro”. Pitfalls and challenges.
- Somatic cell nuclear transfer for therapeutical purposes. Science or Science Fiction?
Communicating Science to the Media
- Tools and challenges of scientific writing.
Simerly C, Navara C, Hyun SH, Lee BC, Kang SK, Capuano S, Gosman G, Dominko T, Chong KY, Compton D, Hwang WS, Schatten G. Embryogenesis and blastocyst development after somatic cell nuclear transfer in nonhuman primates: overcoming defects caused by meiotic spindle extraction. Dev Biol. 2004 Dec 15;276(2):237-52
Simerly C, Dominko T, Navara C, Payne C, Capuano S, Gosman G, Chong KY, Takahashi D, Chace C, Compton D, Hewitson L, Schatten G. Molecular correlates of primate nuclear transfer failures. Science. 2003 Apr 11;300(5617):297.
Jornalista de ciência no Público, docente de Jornalismo na Universidade Nova de Lisboa.
GRANADO, António e MALHEIROS, José Vítor (2001) Como falar com jornalistas sem ficar à beira de um ataque de nervos - guia para investigadores e profissionais de comunicação. Lisboa: Gradiva.
St John JC, Amaral A, Bowles E, Oliveira JF, Lloyd R, Freitas M, Gray HL, Navara CS, Oliveira G, Schatten GP, Spikings E, Ramalho-Santos J.
The analysis of mitochondria and mitochondrial DNA in human embryonic stem cells. Methods Mol Biol. 2006;331:347-7.
Mota PC, Ramalho-Santos J.
Comparison between different markers for sperm quality in the cat: Diff-Quik as a simple optical technique to assess changes in the DNA of feline epididymal sperm. Theriogenology. 2006 Apr 15;65(7):1360-75.
Hewitson L, Dominko T, Takahashi D, Martinovich C, Ramalho-Santos J, Sutovsky P, Fanton J, Jacob D, Monteith D, Neuringer M, Battaglia D, Simerly C, Schatten G.
Unique checkpoints during the first cell cycle of fertilization after intracytoplasmic sperm injection in rhesus monkeys. Nature Med. 1999 Apr;5(4):431-3.
Organization and Goals
This course will be organized as follows:
There will be lectures, which we hope can have an informal format, and Journal Club-like Discussions. All students will have access to papers and are expected to have minimal insights into all of them beforehand (the key words here are “minimal” and “all”…). This Course in mandatory for Ph.D. students following the CNC Program in Experimental Biology and Biomedicine (BEB), but open to all other students, and general public, at least for the Monday, Tuesday and Thursday sessions.
BEB students (and other Ph.D. students who wish to participate for credit) will be asked to present assigned papers (i.e., PowerPoint presentations). These presentations will be short and to the point. The students should consider this paper as representing the pivotal paper of her/his PostDoc or PhD (just concluded), i.e., students will assume that this is “their” work, which they have just published. Each student will discuss what she/he would do next in terms of career development. In other words: which experiments would be important to do, and which directions the project would take. In short, while (briefly) mentioning the papers findings, the students should concentrate on what an outline of their first independent research proposal/grant might look like, as if they were at an interview for a position. Assignments will be discussed Monday, and discussions carried out throughout the course, mostly on Thursday and Friday, if needed.
PhD students that are not in the BEB Program (wherever they are studying, and whatever the field) are welcome to participate in this exercise. This course is open. They should just contact the course organizer for an assignment. Masters students enrolled in the Masters in Cell Biology Program at the Department of Zoology will be asked to write and discuss a one-page (I repeat, ONE page) report on a scientific paper, which will be assigned.
Accurately and effectively communicating great Science to the general public is something we certainly hope students will be involved with in the future. Therefore, midway through the Course (Wednesday, Dec 13) guest lecturer António Granado will conduct an all-day session devoted to this topic. In this session students will discuss a Press Release they prepared beforehand, relative to either one of their Manuscripts, or a Manuscript that they know well. For example, why not the same Manuscript that was assigned to them for discussion and presentation? The Press Release should consist of 4-5 paragraphs that stress the relevance of the work to a general public. So, the target of both exercises is quite different...
Monday, Dec 11
10.30-12.00 – Introduction and Course Goals.
Gametogenesis, from primordial germ cells to sperm and oocytes. Non-canonical gamete production, gamete quality and infertility. (J. Ramalho-Santos)
14.00-17.00- What goes on at the CNC in Reproductive Biology? PhD Students present and discuss their projects.
Tuesday, Dec 12
10.00-12.00 - Fertilization and Early Development (C. Navara)
14.00-17.00- Embryonic stem cells: maintenance and differentiation. Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer and stem cell derivation (C. Navara)
Wednesday, Dec 13
Thursday, Dec 14
Paper and Project Discussions
Friday, Dec 15
10.00-12.00- Free or Project Discussions
(My proposal is to go out for dinner and drinks on Thursday and forget about Friday AM…)
16.00- CNC Seminar
Do human embryonic stem cells deregulate the cell cycle, similar to early cancer cells? (C. Navara)