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Fertility
 
November 7 - 11
Coordinator: João Ramalho-Santos

Topics
Gametogenesis
  1. Primordial germ cells and the colonization of the mammalian embryo: A possible source for pluripotent cells?
  2. Organization and function of germ cells.
  3. Impaired  spermatogenesis and new techniques to make gametes: from xenografting to in vitro gametogenesis.
Fertilization and early development
  1. Interaction between mammalian gametes: Too many proteins and pathways. Is there an easy solution?
  2. Inheritance during fertilization: What comes from where?
  3. Recognition and Implantation.
  4. What can go wrong  and  why? Human (In)fertility.
Keys to differentiation: From Pluripotent stem cells to adult tissues
  1. Stem cells as tools to monitor differentiation “in vitro”. Pitfalls and challenges.
  2. Embryonic vs. adult vs. cord blood stem cells. What do we REALLY know?
  3. Somatic cell nuclear transfer for therapeutical purposes. Science or Science Fiction?
 
Organization and Goals
The Course will be organized in standard fashion. There will be lectures (open to the general public), which we hope can have an informal format, and Journal Club-like Discussions. Those are open to BEB students only.
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”…). Students will not be asked to present any given papers formaly (i.e., PowerPoint presentations), or in detail.
However, on Wednesday or Thursday students (individually or in groups of two) will be assigned one of the papers already discussed (review articles will NOT be included in the exercise). This paper will represent the pivotal paper of her/his PostDoc or PhD (just concluded), i.e., the students will assume that this is “their” work, which they have just published. The following day (Thursday afternoon or Friday Morning, depending on when the assignment was given) 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 next and which directions the project would take. In short, what an outline of their first independent research proposal/grant might look like. This will take place on a one-on-one interview with one (or more) of the lecturers. Given that BEB organizers have also asked for an evaluation of writing abilities, each student will also have to hand in a short (repeat: “short”) one page summary/Abstract of their project proposal. This can be done in person or by email to the Course organizer.
Affiliation and contacts
Justin St.  John - University of  Birmingham, UK
 
St John JC, Ramalho-Santos J, Gray HL, Petrosko P, Rawe VY, Navara CS, Simerly CR, Schatten GP. The expression of mitochondrial DNA transcription factors during early cardiomyocyte in vitro differentiation from human embryonic stem cells. Cloning Stem Cells. 2005;7(3):141-53.
Barratt CL, St John JC, Afnan M., Clinical challenges in providing embryos for stem-cell initiatives. Lancet. 2004 Jul 10-16;364(9429):115-8.
 
 
Christopher Navara - University of Pittsburgh, USA
 
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.
 
 
Stefan Schlatt - University of Pittsburgh, USA
 
Honaramooz A, Snedaker A, Boiani M, Scholer H, Dobrinski I, Schlatt S. Sperm from neonatal mammalian testes grafted in mice. Nature. 2002 Aug 15;418(6899):778-81.
 
 
Olga Genbacev-Krtolica - University of San Francisco, USA
 
Genbacev OD, Prakobphol A, Foulk RA, Krtolica AR, Ilic D, Singer MS, Yang ZQ, Kiessling LL, Rosen SD, Fisher SJ. Trophoblast L-selectin-mediated adhesion at the maternal-fetal interface. Science. 2003 Jan 17;299(5605):405-8.
Program
 
Monday, Nov 7
9.00-11.30 AM
Gametogenesis, from primordial germ cells to sperm and oocytes (S. Schlatt)
 
 
14.30-17.00
Non-canonical  gamete production (S. Schlatt)
 
Discussions (framed by a few papers):
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tuesday, Nov 8
9.00-11.30 AM
Fertilization and Early Development (C. Navara)
 
 
14.30-15.30
Recognition during Implantation and Placental Development (O. Genbacev)
15.30-17.00
Discussions
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Wednesday, Nov 9
8.30-10.30 AM
Embryonic stem cell derivation, characterization and differentiation (O. Genbacev)
 
 
14.30- 15.30
Somatic cell Nuclear Transfer and stem cell derivation (C. Navara)
 
Discussions
 
 
 
 
 
Thursday, Nov 10
9.00-11.30 AM
Mitochondrial DNA during gametogenesis, fertilization, somatic cell nuclear transfer and stem cells (J. St John)
 
Discussions:
 
 
 
 
 
14.30-17.00
Project Discussions
 
 
Friday, Nov 11
9.30-11.30 AM
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 (C. Navara)
 

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