Breakthroughs in the biology of infertility – animal models to clinical practice – Professor Martin Matzuk, Baylor College of Medicine, USA

This talk will cover:

1. Learn about the power of CRISPR/Cas9 to disrupt the germline in mice

2. Hear about genes that function in acrosome biogenesis and sperm migration

3. Understand the concept of DNA-Encoded Chemistry Technology for finding novel drugs

Professor Martin M. Matzuk MD, PhD, is Director of the Center for Drug Discovery and Chair of the Department of Pathology & Immunology at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Matzuk graduated from Washington University School of Medicine, performed residency training in clinical pathology at the University of Pennsylvania and BCM, and joined the BCM faculty in 1993. Dr. Matzuk is acknowledged for his interrogation of TGFβ superfamily, germ cell, and hormonal signaling pathways using functional genomics and chemical biology approaches. Dr. Matzuk has mentored over 50 trainees and received the 2015 Trainee Mentoring Award from the Society for the Study of Reproduction. He is a member of the National Advisory Child Health and Human Development Council, is discipline chair of the National Academy of Sciences Animal Genetics and Physiology Section, and chaired the NIH CMIR study section. He has published more than 370 papers and has been supported continuously by the NIH since 1991. Dr. Matzuk has many honors, including a prestigious NIH MERIT award, and he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and The Academy of Medicine, Engineering, and Science of Texas in 2014 and as a Fellow in the National Academy of Inventors in 2016.

Differentiation of the human germline – towards in vitro gametogenesis –Professor Amander Clark, UCLA, USA

This talk will enable delegates to:
• Distinguish between different types of stem cells.
• Understand how stem cells can be used to study germ cells.
• Learn about human-specific mechanisms in fetal germ cell development.

Professor Amander Clark PhD is an Australian American stem cell biologist specialising in pluripotency and germline cell differentiation. Her laboratory was the first in the world to isolate human germline cells called primordial germ cells for genomic analysis, and to identify the stages of human germline epigenetic reprogramming at single base resolution. Results from the Clark Laboratory provide the fundamental basis for translational projects related to in vitro gametogenesis. Dr Clark is Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology, she is a key member of the Broad Stem Cell Research Center at UCLA and is an elected office holder on the Executive Committee for the International Society for Stem Cell Research. Dr Clark is a recipient of a Young Investigator Award from the Lance Armstrong Foundation, a Research and Career Development award from STOP Cancer, a Research Award from the Concern Foundation and a Young Investigator Award from the International Society for Stem Cell Research. Dr Clark is a member of the Hinxton Group, an International consortium of scientists, ethicists and policy makers responsible for position statements affecting policy for the use of pluripotent stem cell derived gametes and germline genome editing in human embryos.