The XVIII North American Testis Workshop, chaired by Population Council senior scientist Matthew Hardy, will be held 30 March - 2 April in Seattle, Washington. Participants will discuss findings from the large body of recent research on male reproduction.
The theme of the workshop is testicular cell dynamics and endocrine signaling. Accordingly, the meeting has been organized into six sessions: genetics, development, endocrine axis, steroidogenesis, spermatogenesis, and clinical correlates. Each of the two full days of the meeting will also have two short, 10-minute oral presentations that allow late-breaking developments to be added to the program's agenda.
When applied to gene expression in the male, the genomics approach revealed previously unknown patterns of gene expression and proteins localized in male reproductive tract tissues and cells. These discoveries pave the way for an enhanced understanding of male reproductive biology, including the processes by which sperm are formed in the seminiferous tubule and androgen is synthesized in the interstitium of the testis.
Studies of the different levels of organization in the testis-including the stages of spermatogenesis, enzymatic steps of steroidogenesis, and the intracellular signaling pathways of hormones-improve the selection of potential targets for drug development. This scientific foundation will facilitate the development of male reproductive health products, including male contraception.
Conference chair Matthew Hardy studies androgen secretion and male reproductive health, stress and reproduction, environmental toxicants and male fertility, and male contraception. He is co-editor-in-chief of the American Society of Andrology's (ASA) Journal of Andrology. The ASA is the sponsor of the testis workshop.
The Population Council is an international, nonprofit, nongovernmental research organization that seeks to improve the well-being and reproductive health of current and future generations around the world and to help achieve a humane, equitable, and sustainable balance between people and resources. The Council conducts biomedical, social science, and public health research and helps build research capacities in developing countries. Established in 1952, the Council is governed by an international board of trustees. Its New York headquarters supports a global network of regional and country offices.