The 2012 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, six cutting-edge scientific symposia, four workshops, one roundtable, and seven special lectures. There are also opportunities for open research communications such as platform talks (six sessions) and poster presentations (two sessions). 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!
- TS/NBTS/OTIS Joint Symposium: Strategies for Reducing the Impact of Known Teratogens
This symposium will focus on factors that mitigate or ameliorate the detrimental effects of a teratogen. This is a novel approach that recognizes that all pregnancy exposures cannot be prevented, and that improved outcomes may result from strategies to reduce toxicity. We will highlight work in both human and animal populations that aims to reduce the neurobehavioral teratogenicity of drugs through interventions.
- March of Dimes/Public Affairs Committee Symposium: Vitamin D Deficiency in Pregnancy and Neonatal Development
This symposium will focus on Vitamin D deficiency which has historically been associated with inadequate bone development and low bone density. Data from the Women’s Health Initiative and NHANES III studies have confirmed that vitamin D deficiency is widespread and have shown a significant association with low 25-hydroxy vitamin D serum levels to low bone mineral density and increased risk of fracture, highlighting the need for more effective levels. Vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy and lactation can lead to adverse health outcomes such as a higher prevalence of preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, preterm delivery, low birth weight, neonatal hypocalcemia, poor bone development and an increased incidence of autoimmune diseases.
- Wiley–Blackwell Symposium: Computational Embryology: Integration and Modeling of Developmental Mechanisms
Developmental toxicity involves complex interactions among chemicals and various cellular pathways in its host. Computational tools and approaches that aid our ability to predict and understand key events leading to adverse outcomes in complex systems such as the developing embryo or pregnant mother are research areas focused on unraveling this complexity. Both computational and experimental approaches are needed to unravel complex networks through which specific perturbations are propagated to adverse outcomes in development. This integrative approach promises to bring together discovery-driven data from high throughput/content screening (HTS/HCS) technologies, results from hypothesis-driven research, and knowledge of the system at multiple biological levels of organization. This symposium is geared toward a broad audience focused on learning and understanding more sustainable approaches for developmental toxicity, such as using in silico models and techniques that can be used to find parameter values to inform the model.
- Joint TS/NBTS Symposium: Effects of Prenatal Methamphetamine: Clinical, Preclinical, and Translation Aspects
The abuse of methamphetamine rose dramatically during the 1990’s and early 2000’s. Many women who use/abuse methamphetamine are of child-bearing ages and use typically continues during pregnancy. Terplan et al. (2009) reported that the latest available data (through 2006) showing that among pregnant women seeking drug abuse treatment, 1 in 4 report methamphetamine as their primary drug of abuse. This rate has been rising steadily since 1994 when it was <1 in 10. There has been a considerable lag in clinical and basic science research on this topic, but over the last 10 years this has begun to slowly change. This symposium, for the first time, brings both clinical and basic research on the effects of prenatal exposure on brain and biobehavioral development together. Dr. Linda Chang has done seminal neuroimaging work on children retrospectively ascertained who were prenatally exposed to methamphetamine and Dr. Lynne Smith is leading the first (and only) prospective study following children with documented prenatal methamphetamine exposure. Data suggest the presence of long-lasting alterations in brain structure and function in children exposed to methamphetamine in utero. Drs. Peter Wells and Charles Vorhees have developed animal models of developmental exposure to methamphetamine on brain development and behavior which provide mechanistic data on brain neuroadaptions. Preceding the symposium, Dr. Joseph Frascella, Director of the Division of Clinical Neuroscience and Behavioral Research at the National Institute on Drug Abuse will provide an address on “Addiction: A Developmental Disorder” that will provide an NIH perspective on this emergent problem.
- Developmental Exposures and Effects on Adult Reproductive Function Symposium
A number of childhood diseases and adult diseases with developmental origins, including autism, asthma, obesity, and reproductive/developmental syndromes, are strongly influenced by gene-environment interactions. These childhood diseases are of global concern as reports indicate that cryptorchidism, hypospadias, early puberty, autism, asthma, and obesity are increasing worldwide. The goal of the symposium is to provide examples of new findings and innovative approaches to studying genetic and environmental interactions for developmental or adult outcomes with developmental origins in both animal model and human studies.
- ILSI HESI Symposium: Predictive Toxicology: Screening Tools and Mechanistic Support
Developmental toxicity involves complex interactions among the chemical and cellular pathways in its host. To understand this complexity, the traditional way to test for developmentally toxicity is to assess chemical effects in vivo, usually in pregnant rats or pregnant rabbits. Although the traditional paradigm may provide an adequate representation of developmental toxicity, it has drawbacks. These drawbacks include lengthy experiment time, low throughput, and high expense. Techniques are being developed to screen compounds using more high-throughput and sustainable approaches that can scale to the large number of chemicals needing toxicity information. This symposium is geared towards a broad audience focused on learning and understanding the potential application of newer in vitro approaches for pathway-based models predictive of developmental toxicity that can help inform when animal studies might be needed and perhaps in which species is most appropriate.
- Grant Funding Organizations: Their Priorities and Upcoming Opportunities Workshop
- TS/OTIS Joint Pregnancy Registry Workshop
The annual Pregnancy Registry Workshop is one of the only continuing scientific venues where methods for pregnancy registries are discussed among investigators who conduct these studies, along with other basic scientists, clinical researchers, clinicians and counselors. As the requirement or post-marketing commitment for pregnancy registries has expanded dramatically in the last several years, and because registries have become a primary source of safety data for new drugs/vaccines, the Workshop plays an important role in this evolving specialty field. The Workshop for 2012 is focused on several key and timely questions which will be addressed by invited speakers, followed by a panel discussion. The final product of the workshop is intended to be a consensus document regarding recommendations which will be submitted for publication. The key questions to be addressed include the following:
1) What is the most appropriate comparison group for a pregnancy registry?, 2) What are the opportunities for collaboration between existing pregnancy registries and the newer REMS programs?, 3) How can pregnancy registries be global in nature?, 4) How can pregnancy registries compliment or work with clinical trials?, 5) Should pregnancy registries report interim data to the public? The speaker panel includes experts in the field from FDA, CDC, academia, Pharma, CRO, and teratology information services.
- Story of Drug Safety in Pregnancy: From a Cell to the Label Morning Workshop
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.
- 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.
- TS/NBTS/OTIS Joint Poster Session I and Poster Session II
Attendees of all three Societies present abstracts during the first poster session of the meeting and the attendees of Teratology Society 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.
- Annual Banquet
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 2012 program represents the great strengths of our multidisciplinary Society and presents something for everyone. We invite you to experience the excitement in Baltimore!