The 2011 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 Annual Meeting includes three education courses, seven cutting-edge scientific symposia, one State-of-the-Art lecture, one special lecture, and one teratogen update lunch box session. There are also opportunities for open research communications such as platform talks and poster presentations. The session topics address newer concepts in the field and are likely to generate lively interaction.
Separate registration is required for the Education Course Sessions and the Sunrise Mini Course, so please register early!
Education Course—From Bench to Community: Methods for Identification of Novel Teratogens
Session I: Preclinical Developmental Toxicity Studies This session will start with an overview of different methods for identification of novel human teratogens. It will specifically focus on pre-clinical studies, discuss regulatory requirements, and provide examples of developmental toxicity studies, e.g., for biological products.
Education Course—From Bench to Community: Methods for Identification of Novel Teratogens
Session II: Postmarketing Surveillance Studies and Communication of Risk
This session will focus on postmarketing surveillance studies and communication of risk. Different study designs most commonly used for assessment of human teratogens, e.g., case reports and case series, case-control, and cohort and longitudinal studies will be discussed. In addition, expectations and challenges for communicating the information needed to define maternal and fetal risk/benefit of drug use during pregnancy and lactation will be discussed.
Sunrise Mini Course—Developmental Biology of Zebrafish Model and Stem Cells
This course will cover developmental biology of zebrafish model and stem cells and application of these methods in developmental toxicology. This session provides details for topics that will be covered in the Wiley-Blackwell Symposium: Zebrafish Development: Basic Science to Translational Research on Tuesday afternoon.
Pregnancy Registry Workshop
This TS/OTIS Joint Workshop will build upon previous workshops, bringing industry, clinicians, researchers, and pregnancy registry leaders together to discuss current issues. There will be three sessions on the following: the use of control groups, inclusion/exclusion of specific cardiac defects in birth defects research, and communicating risks to the public. Each session will be chaired by a moderator with expertise in that topic. A 20 minute introduction will be followed by four 10 minute oral presentations selected from submitted abstracts. Colleagues are invited to submit abstracts related to the three topics. There will also be a poster session. When submitting an abstract for consideration for the workshop, please make sure to indicate the workshop as your preferred means of presentation during step five of the submission process.
Josef Warkany Lecture
A Tail of Mice and Men, Embryos and Ethanol
Kathleen Sulik, University of North Carolina
This presentation will focus on the genesis of facial and CNS abnormalities that result from prenatal ethanol exposure in a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) mouse model. Highlighted will be the results of high resolution magnetic imaging-based investigations and the promise of this technology to aid in advancing understanding of a broad range of ethanol-induced congenital abnormalities and their developmental stage dependency. Notable is that permanent CNS damage follows acute insult to mice at a time corresponding to the 3rd week of human embryonic development. Also described will be application of these findings to primary FASD prevention efforts. This has entailed development of middle and high school science and health curricula that emphasize the message that maternal alcohol use even prior to the time that most pregnancies are recognized can cause serious damage to the conceptus.
Update on Human Teratogens
Sonja Rasmussen, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
This presentation will discuss highlights of the past year in the study of human teratogens. The update will include a discussion of recent studies that implicate new agents as possible teratogens, evaluations that provide novel insights into mechanisms of known teratogens, and public policy developments that could affect the exposure of pregnant women to potential teratogens.
The F. Clarke Fraser Award
This annual award honors F. Clarke Fraser, one of the founding members of the Teratology Society, for his many contributions to the field of developmental toxicology. The awardee will give a presentation related to his/her research. It is intended that the presentation will serve as a demonstration to pre- and postdoctoral students of the development of an independent career in birth defects research.
James G. Wilson Publication Award
This annual award is presented in recognition of the best paper accepted or published in the journal Birth Defects Research.
Obesogens, Stem Cells and the Maternal Programming of Obesity
Bruce Blumberg, University of California, Irvine
The obesogen hypothesis proposes that exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals can influence adipogenesis and obesity and might be important and understudied contributors to the burgeoning obesity epidemic. This talk will discuss the evidence for the existence of obesogens and how prenatal exposure to obesogenic chemicals might predispose an individual to weight gain later in life. Recent data demonstrating that at least one class of obesogens (organotins) acts by altering the fate of multipotent mesenchymal stem cells to favor the adipocyte lineage at the expense of the bone lineage will be presented.
The Frozen Zoo
Kurt Benirschke, University of California, San Diego
The frozen zoo is a collection of tissue-cultured cells preserved in liquid nitrogen for long-term storage. It became necessary when a large facility at the National Zoo in DC was closed and too many biopsy samples became available. Most of the material comes from tissue-cultures of skin samples and now there are more than 5000 such specimens frozen. More recently, DNA and sperm samples have been added so that most taxa in zoological collections are available. The samples are coordinated and much use has been made of this material by many investigators as new techniques have become available.
TS/OTIS Joint Lecture: The Robert L. Brent Lecture
Translational Research in Birth Defects—Evolution and Development: Potential New Mechanisms of Teratogenesis
Scott Gilbert, Swarthmore College
In addition to obvious anatomical changes brought about by disruptive environmental compounds, physiological changes can also be effected. This talk will look at some of the mechanisms by which teratogenic compounds and endocrine disruptors alter gene expression or enzyme activity to generate phenotypes that are physiologically altered. In some instances, the effect can be seen relatively soon after birth, while in other instances, the disruptive effect isn't seen until much later in the life of the organism. Several agents, including ethanol and organic tin compounds, appear to have actions at both the genomic and protein levels, and may have both immediate and delayed consequences. This talk will look at some of the multiple mechanisms of teratogenesis at the protein and DNA levels.
European Teratology Society and TS Exchange Session: All Mixed Up about Mixtures: How Big of a Problem and What to Do about It?
The European Teratology Society (ETS) and Teratology Society have set up an Exchange Session again this year. This session will provide an opportunity for interactions and to share perspectives. The ETS perspective will be presented by Ulla Hass; Edward W. Carney will represent TS. Come and express your opinions.
March of Dimes Symposium: Challenges to Epidemiologic Studies of Medications during Pregnancy: SSRIs as an Example
Several medications (e.g., thalidomide, isotretinoin, and valproic acid) have been identified as human teratogens. However, for most medications, information on safety during pregnancy is unavailable, making it difficult for pregnant women and their health care providers to assess the risks vs. benefits of treatment with specific medications during pregnancy. In recent years, several epidemiologic studies have been published that address the safety of selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) when used during pregnancy, often with conflicting results. These studies raise a number of methodologic issues in epidemiology that affect the interpretation of study findings. These issues will be reviewed and specifically discussed with regard to studies of SSRIs.
TS/NBTS/OTIS Joint Symposium: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: The Role of Prenatal and Postnatal Environment
ADHD is considered a neurobehavioral problem with strong genetic background. In this symposium, however, we will address the role of intrauterine exposure to environmental factors in the etiology of ADHD. In addition to a general introduction on clinical, diagnostic and therapeutic issues of ADHD, the speakers will discuss the role of prenatal exposure to tobacco smoking, opiates and other substances of abuse as well as environmental contaminants in the etiology of ADHD. Although much of the discussion will present data in humans, there will also be some description of experimental animal models. In the summary and conclusions of the symposium we will try to address the future of research in this area and the possibility for prevention.
Determining the Risk of Environmental Chemicals to Reproduction and Development Symposium
There continue to be allegations that multiple environmental chemicals are associated with, or are causative agents in neurobehavioral, developmental problems and cancer in children on a global scale. This symposium will not focus or debate on what risk levels are, or are not appropriate for protection of human health, but rather aims to bring a number of perspectives forward on how scientific tools, studies, and new technologies and advancements may better enable us to discern and, ultimately identify and predict health risk. An EPA perspective on chemical risk and regulation will be presented as well as discussion on some controversial chemicals, followed by perspectives on research tools/approaches that can inform on questions such as risk and the margin of exposure for these controversial chemicals and how to assess activity on targets and pathways relevant to developmental toxicity.
TS/NBTS Joint Session: Public Affairs Committee Symposium: The Thyroid and Iodine: Impacts on Pregnancy and Child Health
This symposium will review the issue of iodine deficiency during pregnancy, which is the leading preventable cause of mental retardation according to the World Health Organization (WHO). This concern is not only for women that are severely iodine deficient, but also women who are marginally deficient. Approximately half of the prenatal vitamins marketed in the US contain no iodine and there is concern that iodine nutrition may be insufficient for some women who are pregnant or are breastfeeding. In addition, a number of environmental chemicals can alter thyroid status; their effects on the thyroid system and the implications of subclinical hypothyroidism resulting from such exposures will be discussed. The PAC intends to explore these issues, discuss solutions, and is considering the concept for development of a position paper.
Wiley-Blackwell Symposium: Zebrafish Development: Basic Science to Translational Research
This session will address the increasingly useful zebrafish model system, its amenability to genetic manipulation to generate highly-relevant models for human development and disease, and use in high throughput-screening to identify small molecules in chemical biology and toxicology. To learn more about developmental biology of zebrafish model and stem cells consider attending the Sunrise Mini Course on Tuesday.
ILSI HESI Symposium: Paternally Mediated Developmental Toxicity
This symposium will explore if and how exposure of the father to drugs or environmental chemicals impacts on progeny outcome. The first question to be addressed is whether exposure of pregnant females to drugs in seminal fluid presents a risk of embryo-fetal harm. This symposium will review current regulatory guidance and describe laboratory studies that are underway to determine the potential routes of embryo-fetal exposure and how these different routes might impact risk assessment. The second major objective of this symposium is to explore the effects of paternal exposures on male germ cells that impact on pregnancy outcome. Evidence, from human/epidemiological and animal studies, that both genetic and epigenetic mechanisms underlie the effects of drugs and life style exposures of the father on his progeny will be presented.
Use of Embryonic Stem Cells for Toxicity Testing Symposium
Embryonic stem cells hold a great deal of promise in the fields of developmental biology and regenerative medicine. Additionally, they are being proposed for use in toxicity testing and drug development. This symposium will address the current practice of using mouse embryonic stem cells for screening purposes in drug development. The possible uses of human embryonic stem cells for various types of toxicity testing will also be examined. Since the use of human embryonic stem cells has numerous legal and ethical considerations, a comparison of human embryonic and induced pluripotent cells will be included. Finally, the symposium will include a look at the state of the stem cell science, especially in regard to legal and ethical issues.
The Teratology Society is pleased to offer a venue for companies who are active in the field of teratology to meet with the Annual Meeting attendees. Exhibitors will be on hand to discuss their products and how they can help you achieve your research and professional goals. Plan to visit the exhibitors and learn more about their products and services during the Welcome Reception, both poster sessions and during the breaks occurring in the Exhibit Hall.
TS/NBTS Joint Welcome Reception
Don’t miss the first social event of the meeting and a chance to participate in the silent auction. This is an excellent opportunity to catch up with old friends and make new ones.
The Teratology Society intends to hold a Silent Auction again this year during the Welcome Reception on Sunday, June 26. Perhaps you have a book or another relevant item to donate as a item in the Silent Auction. If you have an item to donate, please contact Christy Ours in the business office at email@example.com.
The Silent Auction will be held during the Welcome Reception on Sunday, June 26. Items will be provided to the highest bidder beginning on Monday. Your donated items will help raise funds to support the trainee activities during the 2012 meeting. Donations will be acknowledged in the registration materials and on the bidding sheets.
Your generosity will help us continue our mission and support the fun and excitement that will be experienced in Coronado. Plan now to be there!!
TS/NBTS/OTIS Joint Poster Session 1 and TS/NBTS Joint Poster Session 2
Attendees of all three Societies present abstracts during the first poster session of the meeting and the attendees of Teratology Society and NBTS present abstracts during the second poster session. The poster sessions provide a relaxed atmosphere to interact with both trainees and established scientist while viewing the latest research in the field of teratology.
Teratology Society 30th Annual Volleyball Game
Whether you want to join the game or cheer on your colleagues, don’t miss this landmark event. For the past 29 years the attendees of the Teratology Society meeting have gathered on a local volleyball court and enjoyed a friendly, albeit competitive, game of volleyball.
The scientific sessions have ended, friendships and professional contacts have been made, now it is time to relax. Plan to attend the last event of the meeting and join your colleagues in honoring those selected to receive awards. Watch the Society’s President pass on the gavel, enjoy great food, and dance the night away.
Each Teratology Society attendee receives a ticket to the banquet. The tickets are non-transferable. Additional tickets can be purchased at the registration desk.
As you can see, the 2011 program represents the great strengths of our multidisciplinary Society and presents something for everyone. We invite you to experience the excitement in Coronado!