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Pluripotency & Reproduction
January 10 - 14
Responsible: João Ramalho-Santos



Coordinator: João Ramalho-Santos (jramalho@ci.uc.pt)


Bart Gadella (University of Utrecht, The Netherlands)
Niels Geijsen (University of Utrecht, The Netherlands)
Stephen Publicover (University of Birmingham, UK)
Alexandra Amaral (CNC, University of Coimbra & University of Barcelona, Spain)
Sandra Amaral (CNC, University of Coimbra)
Paula Mota (CNC & University of Muenster, Germany)
Ana Sofia Rodrigues (CNC & University of Pittsburgh, USA)
Beatriz Sousa (CNC & University of California San Francisco, USA)

Monday, January 10

9.30 AM- Introduction

10.00-11.00 Testicular Structure and Male Gametogenesis: Implications of Aging and Diabetes on fertility (Sandra Amaral)


11.00-12.00- Xenografting and in vitro germ culture as tools to produce gametes in non-conventional ways (Paula Mota)


12.00-13.00- A Pluripotency primer (Beatriz Sousa/Ana Sofia Rodrigues)


Tuesday, January 11

10.00-12.00 How a sperm cell fertilizes the oocyte: surface organization of gamete adhesion and membrane fusions involved. (Bart Gadella)

(w/ Break)


14.30- 16.00 Sperm Physiology: basic aspects, ejaculate heterogeneity, proteomics and Assisted Reproduction (Alexandra Amaral)

Wednesday, January 12

10.00-12.00 How sperm gets there: Hyperactivation and Chemotaxis (Steve Publicover)

(w/ Break)


14.30-18.00- Student Paper Discussions/presentations
(w/ Breaks)

Thursday, January 13

9.30-11.30- Pluripotent Stem Cells and germ cells (Niels Geijsen)


12.00-13.00 Pluripotent Stem Cells. The role of metabolism (Ana Sofia Rodrigues and Beatriz Sousa)


14.30-18.30-- Student Paper Discussions/presentations
(w/ Breaks)

Friday, January 14

10.00-12.00- Student Paper Discussions/presentations (if needed)

12.00- CNC Seminar:  Distinct Flavors of pluripotency- Niels Geijsen


14.30—CNC Seminar: The fertilizing surfaces of mammalian gametes- Bart Gadella

16.00—CNC Seminar: Ca2+ stores and store-operated channels and regulation of motility in human sperm- Stephen Publicover

This Course will touch a few of the most intriguing areas related to Reproductive Biology, starting with an overview of Gametogenesis, Fertilization and Early Development, following with an in-depth analysis of sperm function, and including and non-traditional ways of producing gametes.

Topics will include:
1-    Gametogenesis
a.    Organization and function of germ cells and the regulation of Meiosis.
b.    Architectural changes during spermiogenesis
c.    Production of functional gametes
d.    Effects of aging and diabetes on male fertility
e.    Xenografting

2-    Sperm function
a.    Keys to proper sperm activation
b.    Interaction between mammalian gametes
c.    What can go wrong and why? Human (In)fertility.

3-    Keys to differentiation: From Pluripotent stem cells to gametes?
a.    The cell biology of stem cells. Types and flavors
b.    Stem cells as tools to monitor differentiation “in vitro”.

Organization and Goals

There will be lectures (open to the general public, and notably to students from Masters Courses), which we hope can have an informal format, and Journal Club-like Discussions for PhD students with pre-assigned papers.
All PhD 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 formally (i.e., PowerPoint presentations- There are too many of those already...). Students should understand the papers assigned as representing the pivotal paper of her/his PhD (just concluded), i.e., “their” work, which they have just published. Each student will discuss not only the data, but 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/job interview might look like. This will take place on a one-on-one interview with the lecturers. Students will also have to hand in a short (repeat: “short”) one-page summary/abstract of his or her project proposal.


Bibliografia de  apoio 1

Bibliografia de apoio 2

Bibliografia de apoio 3

Ana Cristina Gregório

Ana Luísa Areia

Ângela Fernandes

Carla Lopes

Carla Paiva

Fátima Martins

Isabel Onofre

Joana Vindeirinho

Maria Joana Pinto

Olga Caramelo

Pedro Gouveia

Ricardo Leão

Rodrigo Santos

Rui Benfeitas

Sofia Ribeiro

Sonya Costa

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