|Greg FitzHarris, PhD, BSc
Professor Agregé, University of Montreal, Canada
His research interests are in development of the oocyte and early embryo. His past work includes cell signalling and homeostasis. Current research focuses on the mechanism of cell division and chromosome segregation. He works mainly with mouse oocytes and early embryos.
|Christopher A Price, PhD
Head, Department of Veterinary Biomedicine, Montreal Veterinary School, Université de Montréal, Canada
His research is centred on ovarian function in ruminants, particularly mechanisms controling differentiation of granulosa cells. His interest is currently focused on the role of fibroblast growth factors in granulosa cell health and atresia.
|Trudee Fair, PhD
Lecturer, School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Her research interests are on the role of the maternal immune system in cow fertility and bovine oocyte growth and maturation: including oocyte developmental competence and the establishment and stabilization of maternal imprints during bovine oocyte growth.
|John Aitken, PhD, ScD
Laureate Professor, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Office of the PVC Health and Medicine (Biological Sciences), The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia
Professor Aitken’s area of expertise is cell biology and biotechnology with particular emphasis on reproductive science. In recent years his focus has been on the cell biology of mammalian germ cells, particularly the male. This interest extends from the fundamental molecular mechanisms that regulate the differentiation of male germ cells in the testes to the development of clinical improvements in our capacity to diagnose and treat male infertility.
|D Randy Armant, PhD
Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Anatomy & Cell Biology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI, USA
He investigates early mammalian development with an emphasis on trophoblast biology during blastocyst implantation and placentation. His research aims to understand how trophoblast cells in the female reproductive tract process extrinsic information to regulate their differentiation and survival as it impacts pregnancy outcome.
|Nathalie Beaujean, PhD.
Director of research at the Stem Cell and Brain Research Institute, Lyon, France.
Dr Beaujean has experience in epigenetic marks, mostly with image analysis tools, some of which she developed. Her current projects are centred around on epigenetic reprogramming in embryos and stem cells. She also has interest in the dynamic changes linking ribosomal gene transcription and nucleologenesis in preimplantation mouse embryos.
|Ian Brewis BSc, PhD
Senior Lecturer, Operational Director of Central Biotechnology Services, Cardiff University School of Medicine, Cardiff, UK
His research focuses on using proteomics and other approaches to understand molecular mechanisms in sperm cells at fertilization. He is also interested in fertilization and male reproductive biology/health in general. He has a wider interest in proteomics technologies, particularly in relation to reproductive biology, and is also responsible for core facilities in genomics and bioinformatics.
|Richard Bronson, MD
Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Pathology, Director of Reproductive Endocrinology, Stony Brook University Medical Center, NY, USA
His clinical interests have centred around laboratory-assisted reproduction and his research has focused on understanding the biologic basis of fertilization failure, initially dealing with immunologic factors that play a role in impaired sperm function in humans, and more recently, gamete receptor interactions leading to successful fertilization.
|José Buratini Jr, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Physiology of the Institute of Biosciences, Co-ordinator of the Laboratory of Ovarian Molecular Physiology, Sao Paulo State University, Sao Paulo, Brazil
His research work has focused on the roles of paracrine factors, particularly fibroblast growth factors, in the regulation of ovarian folliculogenesis. Currently, he is specifically interested in the mechanisms regulating the differentiation of the cumulus-oocyte complex using the cow as a model.
|Lawrence (Larry) Chamley, PhD
Professor, The Biology and Immunology of Reproduction, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Auckland, New Zealand
Professor Chamley's research interests centre on the role of placental extracellular vesicles in feto–maternal communication during normal and diseased pregnancies and on the role of antiphospholipid antibodies in obstetric diseases. His team discovered, and studies the function of, SPRASA a protein expressed in mammalian sperm and oocytes.
|D Stephen Charnock-Jones, BSc, PhD
Professor of Reproductive Biology, University of Cambridge, UK
His research interests are in the cell and molecular biology of placental function, particularly focusing on the interactions between endothelial cells and trophoblast, endoplasmic reticulum and oxidative stress. He works with human and mouse material using genomic methods and genetic models.
|Judith Eckert, PhD
Associate Professor, Human Development and Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, UK
Her research interests lie in the regulation of mammalian preimplantation development with specific focus on blastocyst biogenesis and differentiation. She mainly works on how these processes adapt to prevailing external cues such as parental diet or in vitro culture.
Academic Fellow and Group Leader, University of Leeds
Dr Forde is interested in the key question of what provides a good uterine environment capable of sustaining successful early pregnancy. To address this question, she uses a number of different in vivo and in vitro animal models as well as well as some of the ‘omic’ technologies such as transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomics analysis of reproductive tissues.
|Peter J Hansen, PhD
Distinguished Professor & LE 'Red' Larson Professor, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Florida, Gainsville, FL, USA
His research is focused on fertility in domestic animals with areas of research including maternal regulation of preimplantation embryonic development, actions of heat stress, and identification of genes containing alleles that effect embryonic survival, fertility, and body temperature regulation.
|Zuping He, PhD
Professor of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China; Director, Shanghai Institute of Andrology.
His research interests have focused on male reproduction and stem cell biology, including isolation, identification, culture, gene and microRNA regulation, and signaling pathways in regulating the self-renewal, differentiation and transdifferentiation of male germ cells.
|Isabelle Hue, PhD
UMR Biologie du Développement et Reproduction, the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), Jouy-en-Josas, France
Her research focuses on molecular and cellular bases of blastocyst growth and differentiations in ruminants. She has worked in molecular and cellular biology comparing gastrulating embryos among species and analysing gene expression profiles. Her recent work has focused on pre-implanting development in relation to uterine receptivity and maternal metabolism.
|Greg A Johnson, PhD
Associate Professor, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA
His research utilizes domestic animals (pigs and sheep) and mice to investigate the molecular, cellular and physiological interactions between the conceptus (embryo/fetus and associated placental membranes) and uterus during pregnancy recognition, implantation and placental development – with the ultimate goal of applying new knowledge towards clinical strategies to prevent pregnancy loss in women, livestock, and companion animals.
|Jason G Knott, PhD
Associate Professor of Animal Science, Adjunct Associate Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, Michigan State University, MI, USA
His research investigates the basic molecular mechanisms that regulate cell-fate decisions in preimplantation embryos and stem cells. Currently, he is focused on understanding the transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms that govern pluripotency and trophoblast lineage development in mice, humans, and cattle. The long term impact of early embryo perturbations on postimplantation embryo development and offspring health is being explored.
|Noora Kotaja, PhD
Assistant Professor of Molecular Medicine, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
Her research interests are in male reproductive biology, in particular the molecular mechanisms of spermatogenesis in mouse. Her main focus is on the regulation of gene expression, more specifically the posttranscriptional RNA regulation and non-coding RNAs in meiotic and post-meiotic male germ cells.
|Holly A LaVoie, PhD
Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, SC, USA
Her longstanding research interests are in the hormone-mediated transcriptional control of genes involved in ovarian steroidogenesis. Specific interests focus on GATA4/6 target genes including those for several START domain proteins. She utilizes mainly human and pig primary granulosa-luteal culture models.
|Rina Meidan, PhD
Professor of Reproductive Endocrinology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
Currently Professor Meidan is the academic chair of the International Graduate Program in Animal Sciences and a member of Israel Endocrine Society committee. Her research interests are centred around corpus luteum function, the processes that govern its formation (mainly hypoxia and angiogenesis) and those related to its demise where her laboratory unravelled the roles of thrombospondins, TGFB1 and serpin1.
|Tom Moore, MVB, MSc, PhD, MRCVS
Wellcome Trust/HRB 'New Blood' Research Fellow & Statutory Lecturer, Developmental Genetics Laboratory, Department of Biochemistry, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
His research interests are in molecular embryology, placental function and the evolution of maternal–fetal interactions, particularly in relation to genomic imprinting and placental hormones. A major interest is the evolution and function of the human and mouse pregnancy-specific glycoproteins. He is a member of the Irish Transgenic Network and is investigating novel modes of transgenic rodent production.
|Mary Mullins, PhD
Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA
She studies oogenesis and the maternal regulation of embryonic development in the zebrafish. Through forward genetic adult mutant screens, she has discovered key regulators of oocyte polarity, the oocyte to embryo transition, egg activation, cell cleavage, early embryonic patterning, as well as male fertility.
|Romana Nowak, PhD
Professor, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, USA
Dr. Nowak's research focuses on two main areas in reproductive biology, 1) women's reproductive diseases using human and domestic animal models; and 2) embryo implantation and placental development using mouse genetic approaches.
|Christopher O'Neill, PhD, FSRB
Professor of Reproductive and Developmental Medicine, Royal North Shore hospital, The University of Sydney, St Leonards, Australia
His primary research interests are in molecular and cellular embryology. His particular research interests are in the actions of embryotrophic mediators on the preimplantation embryo, the regulation of embryonic gene expression, the mechanisms of epigenetic reprogramming in the early embryo and stem cells, and the long-term consequences for health of stresses imposed on the gametes and early embryo.
|Vasantha Padmanabhan, PhD
Professor of Pediatrics, Obstetrics, and Gynecology, Molecular and Integrative Physiology, and Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Michigan, USA
Her current research focuses on understanding the fetal origin of reproductive and metabolic disorders. Utilizing integrative approaches, her laboratory investigates the impact of maternal exposure to native steroids (testosterone, estradiol) and environmental pollutants such as bisphenol-A in programming adult diseases. Her work currently has an emphasis on reproductive neuroendocrine and ovarian defects and insulin resistance such as hyperandrogenic disorders like Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and identifying prevention and treatment strategies.
|Lori Raetzman, PhD
Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Her research interests are in stem cells in the pituitary and hypothalamus, especially with regard to signalling pathways involved in cell fate decisions. Additionally, her current research explores the impact of maternal exposures to endocrine disrupting chemicals on pituitary development and function. She works with whole animal mouse models and primary organ and cell culture.
|João Ramalho-Santos, PhD
Associate Professor of Cell, Reproductive and Developmental Biology, University of Coimbra, Portugal
His research focuses on metabolism and mitochondria, as it relates both to sperm quality (with implications for human Assisted Reproduction Technologies), and pluripotent stem cells (and their ability to differentiate).
|Lawrence P Reynolds, Ph.D
University Distinguished Professor, North Dakota State University, USA
For nearly 40 years, Dr. Reynolds’ research program has focused on improving both fertility (the ability to conceive and to establish a pregnancy) and pregnancy outcomes (i.e., survival and long-term health of offspring) in livestock. Specifically, Dr. Reynolds’ program is focused on placental vascular development and factors (e.g., maternal nutrition, age, assisted reproductive technologies, etc.) affecting placental vascular development and function, and consequenly pre- and postnatal well-being (so-called ‘developmental programming’) in livestock.
|Rocío Melissa Rivera, PhD
Associate Professor, Mammalian Embryology/Developmental Epigenetics, College of Agricuture, Food and Natural Resources, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA
Her research aims to identify mechanisms that lead to alterations of the epigenome in oocytes and embryos as a result of procedures commonly used during assisted reproduction in humans and animals. The main projects in her laboratory focus on the characterization of large offspring syndrome and the study of the effects of superovulation and ageing on the oocyte's epigenome in mice.
|Eduardo Roldan, PhD
Research Professor, Department of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, Madrid, Spain.
Professor Roldan's research focuses on reproductive phenotype-genotype associations and on relationships between mammalian sperm form, function and fertility. He is interested in the molecular and cellular biology of spermatozoa and fertilization and the development of assisted reproductive technologies for endangered felids and ungulates. He was Wolfson Research Fellow of the Royal Society and was the recipient of awards from the People's Republic of China for his work on male reproduction.
Assistant Professor, Department of Genetics at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, USA
Dr Schindler’s research program focuses on understanding how chromosome segregation is regulated during oocyte meiotic maturation and preimplantation embryogenesis. She recently published detailing variants in human Aurora kinase genes that could be protective of gamete euploidy and published a review on the roles of the Aurora kinase proteins in meiosis in peer-reviewed journals..
|Norah Spears, PhD
Professor of Reproductive Physiology at the Centre for Integrative Physiology, University of Edinburgh, UK
Her interests focus on gonadal development, particularly the ovary. Current research is as part of Edinburgh Fertility Preservation, investigating how chemotherapy treatment can affect the gonads: for young people, effects of cancer treatment on fertility are of great concern, yet the primary site of action of chemotherapeutic drugs on the gonads is still unknown, hampering the development of treatments to mitigate these adverse effects.
|Karl Swann, PhD
Chair of Reproductive Cell Biology, School of Biology, Cardiff University, UK
Professor Swann's primary interest is in egg activation at fertilization. He first described the existence of a sperm factor with a phospholipase C (PLC) activity that can cause sustained Ca2+ oscillations and egg activation in mammals. Working with Tony Lai he helped identify the sperm factor as PLCzeta. This is now recognized as the sperm protein that stimulates development in mammals. He has also published papers on metabolism and mitochondria function in mammalian eggs.
|Marta Tesone, PhD
Principal Investigator, IBYME-CONICET and Associate Professor, Department of Biological Chemistry, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina
The principal aim of her research is the study of the mechanisms involved in the autocrine and paracrine regulation of angiogenic factors on the growth of the ovarian follicle and corpus luteum development. This research has an impact on human health, as failures in ovarian development can produce different disorders such as: polycystic ovary syndrome, ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, premature ovarian failure, endometriosis, etc.
|D N Rao Veeramachaneni, BVSc, MScVet, PhD
Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Animal Reproduction and Biotechnology Laboratory, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA
His primary research interests are in male reproduction,spanning the areas of morphology, pathophysiology and toxicology. Working with a variety of farm, wild, and laboratory animals,his research seeks to determine if deteriorating reproductive health in males is really idiopathic, as male infertility often is labelled, or a consequence of exposure to environmental pollutants.
|Erica Watson, PhD
Research Fellow, Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, University of Cambridge, UK
Her research focuses on the effects of environmental influences on the epigenetic regulation of placental development, fetomaternal interactions, and germ cell reprogramming in mice. Of particular interest are the effects of vitamin deficiency on the regulation of trophoblast stem cells leading to a poor reproductive outcome, and on the regulation of DNA methylation in germ cells leading the persistence of congenital malformations over multiple generations.
|Suzannah Williams, PhD
Senior Research Fellow, Nuffield Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
Her research is focused on ovarian physiology and understanding the role of the oocyte in ovarian function predominantly using mice as a model species. Specific aspects she is working on are follicle selection, ovarian ageing, premature ovarian failure and fertility preservation.
|Joachim Wistuba, PhD
Researcher, Biologist, Centre of Reproductive Medicine and Andrology, University of Münster, Münster, Germany
His main research interests are in reproductive biology with a strong focus on spermatogenesis, aiming at the understanding of testicular organization, evolution and development. Additionally, he is working with various animal models using translational approaches to elucidate mechanisms resulting in human male infertility.
|Kaiping Yang, PhD
Professor of Obstetrics & Gynaecology and Physiology & Pharmacology, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University; and Chair of Maternal, Fetal and Newborn Health Division, Children's Health Research Institute & Lawson Health Research Institute, London, Canada.
His current research interests include: molecular mechanisms of fetal growth restriction; early-life origins of central obesity; and impact of environmental exposure on fetal development.
|STATISTICS: Andy Vail, MSc
Professor of Clinical Biostatistics, University of Manchester, UK
He is a statistician who has worked on research studies in reproductive medicine since the early 1990s. His interests lie in research design as well as in the presentation and interpretation of data. He collaborates widely with laboratory, clinical and epidemiological scientists.
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