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The 2008 Program Committee of the Teratology Society, partnering with the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS) and Neurobehavioral Teratology Society (NBTS), has arranged for an outstanding and expansive scientific program. The program for the Teratology Society 2008 Annual Meeting includes two education courses, several cutting-edge scientific symposia, one workshop, three special sessions, and five lectures. There are also opportunities for open research communications such as platform talks or poster presentations. The session topics address newer concepts in the field and are likely to generate lively interaction.

Education Courses
The Education Course will focus on the functional development of the CNS. Topics include epidemiology, pre- and postnatal development, structure and function relationships, endocrine effects, methodology for functional assessment in humans and animal models, CNS teratogens and mitigation of adverse effects. The recipient of this year’s Narsingh Agnish Fellowship is Devendra M.
Kochhar. He will be recognized and briefly address the attendees of the Education Course on Saturday.

Our Sunrise Mini-Course will focus on nanoparticles as an emerging technology. This course will provide an overview of this new technology and provide some examples of current application as it relates to the field of teratology. Topics discussed will include general principles, methodology for development of nanoparticles, environmental distribution/routes of exposure, application of nanoparticles to study development, and impact on the placenta.

Symposia on Cutting-Edge Mechanistic Research and Translation to Clinical Applications
The general scientific program will begin Sunday afternoon with the March of Dimes Symposium on embryonic and fetal hypoxia. For many years it has been known that oxygen concentrations are carefully regulated by organisms throughout pregnancy, and it is increasingly recognized that oxygen homeostasis is a critical factor in a wide variety of reproductive and developmental outcomes, including fetal growth restriction, preeclampsia, placental abruption, prematurity, miscarriage, malformations, and endometriosis. A variety of pathways, including hypoxia-inducible factors, are currently being experimentally probed to help understand this essential biological process. At the same time, we are beginning to appreciate that chemical exposures, physiological and stress processes may induce short or long-term perturbations in oxygen homeostatic mechanisms and ultimately alter developmental programs.

On Tuesday, a special symposium on the state of the art in embryonic stem cell research will draw on speakers involved in studying the control of growth and differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells, the development of stem cell treatments for degenerative and metabolic diseases, reprogramming of cells to pluripotency, and modeling early developmental events in vitro.

Wiley-Liss will sponsor a symposium to round out the scientific program on Wednesday covering the development of left-right patterning. Talks on embryonic origins, models of left-right asymmetry, and interspecies comparisons will lay the groundwork for an overview of the human heterotaxy syndromes.

Joint Symposia with TS/NBTS/OTIS
On Monday morning, NBTS and the Teratology Society will jointly sponsor a symposium on pesticides and neurodevelopment with cohort study results presented from several of the NIEHS Children’s Environmental Health Research Centers throughout the United States. On Tuesday morning, OTIS and the Teratology Society will jointly sponsor a symposium on the National Birth Defects Prevention Study (NBDPS) with talks covering the latest findings regarding birth defects and nutritional factors, medications, genetic risk factors, and longer-term outcomes from this large on-going epidemiologic study.

Symposia on Clinical/Epidemiological Advances and Emerging Public Health Issues
The Office of Rare Diseases, National Institutes of Health, DHHS will sponsor a symposium Wednesday on vascular disruptive defects, including the embryology of these defects, epidemiologic evidence regarding vasoactive exposures and vascular disruption, and genetic risk factors for vascular compromise in fetal development. New research on nutrition and food safety across the developmental spectrum will be presented on Monday afternoon, with talks covering flavonoids and infant leukemia, acrylamide in foods, and nutrigenomics and the future of food safety in child development. ILSI Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI)-Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology Technical Committee will sponsor a symposium on vaccine safety covering the risks of vaccinating vs. the risks of not vaccinating, preclinical testing, regulatory considerations, and ending with a case study of influenza vaccine and its use in pregnancy.

Sessions on Methods—from Developmental Toxicity Screening to Post-Marketing Surveillance to Teaching Teratology
The Middle Atlantic Reproductive and Teratology Association (MARTA) and Midwest Teratology Association (MTA) will sponsor a symposium Tuesday Morning on comparing and contrasting various methods for developmental toxicity screening. This will be followed by a special evening debate entitled “One Generation Versus Multi-Generation Reproductive Toxicity Testing.”

Another special workshop on methods will be jointly sponsored by the Teratology Society, OTIS, and the International Society for Pharmacoepidemiology, Tuesday afternoon and will bring together groups who currently are involved with pregnancy registries to discuss the many thorny design and interpretation issues common to these types of studies.

A special Tuesday evening session, organized by the Student Affairs Committee of the Teratology Society, will appeal to students and mentors alike with a thought-provoking overview of the future face of teaching embryology and teratology in the 21st century presented by some of the top educators in the field.

Special Lectures
The meeting will kick-off on Sunday morning with the Josef Warkany Lecture given by Richard Finnell. The F. Clarke Fraser Award, and James G. Wilson Publication Award for best paper published in the Teratology Society journal, Birth Defects Research, will be presented after lunch on Sunday. On Monday morning a Special Lecture: Year in Review will be presented by Anthony R. Scialli. The Robert L. Brent Lecture will be presented on Monday afternoon by Jan M. Friedman. Dr. Friedman’s lecture is entitled “Can Maternal Hypertension Be Safely Treated During Pregnancy?” Tuesday morning will begin with a special lecture by Scott F. Gilbert entitled “Signals from Above: The Normative Interactions of Embryos and the Environment.”

Special Events
A strategic planning update will be held Monday afternoon to report on, and discuss, the Strategic Planning Session held in April 2007 by the Teratology Society. This is an important time for input to chart the course of the future of our Society.

An update on this year’s major expansion of the National Children’s Study will be presented by Peter Scheidt, Director of the Study, and Investigators from the California Vanguard Center on Tuesday afternoon. And of course the usual opportunities exist to firm-up special relations with colleagues at the Welcome Reception on Sunday and the Banquet on Wednesday.

As you can see, the 2008 program represents the great strengths of our multidisciplinary Society and presents something for everyone. We invite you to experience the excitement in Monterey in 2008!

Rev. Thursday, November 13, 2008; at 8:25:01 PM EST

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