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Gametes Meet in the time of COVID-19
Gametes Meet in the time of COVID-19
Jul 25, 2021, 9:00 AM CDT – Jul 30, 2021, 1:00 PM CDT
Zoom link will be sent upon registration
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Welcome to the "Gametes meet in the time of COVID-19" online meeting! ​

Due to the stage of the COVID-19 pandemic in the world and the uncertainties about vaccinations, the 2021 Gordon Research Conference/Seminar: "Fertilization and Activation of Development" has been canceled and it has been postponed until 2023. However, we still want to meet and keep our community engaged. For this reason, we decided to organize a virtual meeting, Gametes meet in the time of COVID-19. 

We invite all of you to join and participate to this online meeting. Let's keep science moving! 

Celia M. Santi, Rafael A. Fissore, Nicolás Brukman and Farners Amargant i Riera.   

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Sunday, July 25th


Monday, July 26th

9-10.30am (CT-US)  Session 1: Oocyte Maturation and Preparation for Fertilization

9:00-9:05: Introduction by Discussion Leader : Dr. Rong Li, John Hopkins U. School of Medicine.

9:05-9:25: Dr. Marie-Helene Verlhac, Center for Interdisc. Research in Biology. College de France. "Cytoplasmic forces functionally reorganize nuclear condensates in oocytes"  

9:30-9:50: Dr. Sadie Wignall, Northwestern U., Chicago, USA. "Mechanisms that promote acentrosomal spindle formation and stability during oocyte meiosis" 

9:55-10:15: Dr. Eva Hoffmann, U. of Copenhagen, Denmark. “Genome instability during oocyte maturation and fertilization in human”

10:15-10.30: General Discussion

10.30-11.30 Break

11:30am-1:00pm (CT-US) Session 2: The Genetics and Epigenetics of Fertilization and Embryo Development

11:30-11:35 Introduction by Discussion leader: Dr. Steve L'Hernault, Emory University, USA

11:35-11:55: Dr. Qi Chen, U. of CA, Riverside, USA. “The ‘sperm RNA code’ in programming offspring phenotype through early embryo development” 

12:00-12:20: Dr. Don Conrad, Oregon Health and Sci. U., USA. “Genetic analysis of human sperm production”

12:25-12:45: Dr. Patricia Cuasnicú, IBYME Argentina. "Deletion of multiple murine Crisp genes reveals their essential role for fertility" 

12:45-1:00: General Discussion

Tuesday, July 27th

9-10.30am (CT-US) ) Session 1: The Molecular Mechanisms Involved in Acquisition of Sperm Fertilization Competence

9:00-9.05 Introduction by Discussion Leader: Dr. Richard Cardullo, U of CA Riverside, USA

    9:05-9:25: Dr. Takafumi Kawai, Osaka U., Japan. "The function of Voltage-sensing phosphatase in mouse spermatozoa." 

    9:30-9:50: Dr. Adan Guerrero, UNAM, Mexico. “Assessing egg’s location through robust sampling of chemical cues”  

    9:55-10:15: Dr. Hermes B-Gadêlha, U. Of Bristol, England. “Resolving the riddle of how human sperm swim in 3D”

    10:15-10.30: General Discussion

    10.30-11.30 Break

    11:30am-1:00pm (CT-US) Session 2: Identification of Novel Contraceptive Targets Based on their Role in Fertility.

    11:30-11:35 Introduction by Discussion leader: Dr. Polina Lishko, U of CA, Berkeley, USA

    11:35-11:50: Dr. Gustavo Blanco, Kansas U., USA. “Achieving male contraception by targeting the testis specific Na,K-ATPase isoform”  

    11:50-12:05: Dr. Aaron Crapster, Stanford U. / Vibliome Therapeutics, USA. “Targeting HIPK4 and spermiogenesis for male contraception” 

    12:05-12:20: Dr. Paula Cohen, Cornell University, USA. “The boys are back in town: the search for the [elusive] male contraceptive”

    12:20-12:35: Dr. Wei Yan, Lundquist Inst. UCLA, USA. "Triptonide is a reversible non-hormonal male contraceptive agent in mice and monkeys"

    12:35-1:00 Discussion Panel: Speakers,  Dr. Stephen Ward (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation), Dr. Logan Nickels (Male Contraceptive Initiative), Heather Vahdat (Male Contraceptive Initiative) and Dr. Daniel Johnston (NIH/IHCHD)

    Wednesday, July 28th

    Trainee's Sessions: talks from selected abstracts

    9-11.00am (CT-US)  Session 1

    Discussion Leaders: Farners Amargant i Riera and Nicolás Brukman.   

    9:00-9:05 Introduction by Discussion Leader. Dr. Nicolás Brukman, Technion Israel Institute of Technology, Israel

    9:05-9:20: Sushil Khanal, University of Toledo, USA. "Centriole remodeling forms dynamic sperm centrioles"

    9:25-9:40: Martina Jabloñski, IBYME, Argentina. "Dynamic changes in mouse sperm midpiece during acrosomal exocytosis". 

    9:45-10:00: Dr. Caroline Wiesehöfer,  Institute of anatomy, U. Clinic Essen, Germany. "Changes of the chiral memory of sperm induced by Zona pellucida glycoprotein 2 (ZP2)".

    10:05-10:20: Jolie Anna Carlisle, University of Washington, Department of Genome Sciences, US. "Biochemical Characterization of a Protein-Protein Interaction Mediating Species-Specific Fertilization in Abalone"

    10:25-10:40: Dr. Xue Mei, Rutgers University, US. "SPE-51, a sperm secreted protein with Immunoglobulin-like domain, is required for sperm-egg fusion in Caenorhabditis elegans"

    10:45-11:00: Krista Gert, IMP, Austria. "Identification of the functional sites of Bouncer, an essential fertilization factor in zebrafish" 

    11.00-11.30 Break

    11:30am-1:50pm (CT-US) Session 2

    Discussion Leaders: Farners Amargant i Riera and Nicolás Brukman. 

    11:30-11:35 Introduction by Discussion Leader: Dr. Farners Amargant i Riera, Northwestern University, USA

    11:35-11:50: Melody Devos, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Belgium. "Impact of first-line chemotherapy prior to ovarian tissue cryopreservation on primordial follicle activation and survival in pre-pubertal and young adult patients"

    11:55-12:10: Dr. Abira Ganguly, Washington University of St. Louis, USA. "Nuclear envelope membrane protein 1 (Nemp1) is required for mammalian"

    fertility and forms dynamic clusters at the nuclear envelope.    

    12:15-12:30: Dr.  Di Wu, NIDDK, USA. "RNA exosome complex protects mouse oogenesis by regulating H3K27me3 demethylases and clearing pervasive transcripts"

    12:35-12:50: Maiko Kitaoka, University of California, Berkeley, USA. "Distinct mechanisms underlying chromosome segregation defects in inviable Xenopus hybrids".

    12:55-13:10: Benjamin Wood, University of Cambridge, England. "A population of actin in the meiotic spindle of Drosophila melanogaster".

    13:15-13:30: Corie Owen, UConn Health Center, USA. "Luteinizing hormone causes inward migration of granulosa cells in ovarian follicles preceding ovulation".

    13:35-13:50: Dr. Cristina Soriano-Ubeda, University of Massachusetts, USA. "TRPM7-KO zygotes display Ca2+ oscillations at fertilization but fail to progress beyond the 8-cell stage".

    Thursday, July 29th

    9-10.30am (CT-US) ) Session 1: The Reproductive Environment and Gamete Maturation

    9:00-9.05 Introduction by Discussion Leader: Dr. Clemence Belleannée, CHU de Quebec Research Center, Canada

    9:05-9:25: Dr. Kazuyoshi Chiba, Ochanomizu University, Japan. “SGK-dependent oocyte maturation in starfish”

    9:30-9:50: Dr. Agustina Battistone, Mass. Gen. Hosp. Harvard Med., USA. “Proton-secreting epithelial cells as key modulators of epididymal mucosal immunity”  

    9:55-10:15: Dr. Tracy Bale, U. of MD Sch. of Med., USA. “Of mice and men: Paternal stress and changes in extracellular vesicle and sperm sncRNA content in fertilization and development”.  

    10:15-10.30: General Discussion

    10.30-11.30 Break

    11:30am-1:00pm (CT-US) Session 2: Embryo Development

    11:30-11:35 Introduction by Discussion Leader: Dr. Carmen Williams, NIEHS USA

    11:35-11:55: Dr. Verena Ruprecht, Centre for Genomic Regulation, Barcelona, Spain. “Clearance mechanisms for correcting errors in early embryo development”.

    12:00-12:20: Dr. Erica Bianchi, Wellcome Sanger Institute, UK. "The embryo transit in the mammalian oviduct is controlled by an adhesion G protein-coupled receptor"

    12:25-12:45: Dr. Antonio Giraldez, Yale U. “Mechanisms of genome activation through histone acetylation”

    12:45-1:00: General Discussion

    Friday, July 30th

    9-10.30 am (CT-US) Session 1: The Molecular Basis of Sperm-Egg Recognition.

    9:00-9.05 Introduction by Discussion Leader: Dr. Benjamin Podbilewicz, Technion-Israel Inst. of Tech., Israel

    9:05-9:25: Dr. Masahito Ikawa, Osaka U., Japan. "Mammalian sperm-oocyte fusion, ever more puzzling"

    9:30-9:50: Dr. Luca Jovine, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden. “What the cryo-EM structure of a urinary protein filament tells us about vertebrate egg-spern interaction”

    9:55-10:15: Dr. Alice Cheung, U. of MA, Amherst, USA. “Interconnected strategies for sperm delivery and generating a polyspermy block in flowering plants” 

    10:20-10:30 Dr. Tomokasu Kawashima, U of Kentucky. "Molecular mechanism controlling sperm nuclear migration for fertilization in flowering plants”. 

    10:30-10:45: General Discussion

    10:45-11:30 Break

    11:30am-1:00pm (CT-US) Session 2: Evolution of Reproductive Mechanisms and Behaviors

    11:30-11:35: introduction by Discussion Leader: Dr. Eduardo Roldán, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, Madrid, Spain

    11:35-11:55: Dr. Thomas Price, U. of Liverpool, UK. ”Fertility and Climate Change”

    12:00-12:20: Dr. Simone Immler, U of East Anglia UK. "Haploid gametic selection and its consequences"

    12:25-12:45: Dr. Aurora Ruiz-Herrera, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain. "Chromatin remodeling during spermatogenesis: a functional and evolutionary perspective"

    12:45-1:00: General Discussion

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    Of mice and men: Paternal stress and changes in extracellular vesicle and sperm sncRNA content in fertilization and development

    Dr. Tracy Bale
    University of Maryland, School of Medicine

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