Rise and Shine for the Sunrise Mini Course and a Full Day of Sessions

The Sunrise Mini Course, Life in the Genetic Fast Lane: Gene Manipulation and Genome Editing to Understand Congenital Diseases, will be held at 7:00 am on Tuesday, June 30, in the Mont Royal room. The session will introduce a variety of new genetic engineering techniques that can be used for genome editing, such as ZFNs, TALENs, and CRISPR, in a variety of model organisms. The session will also address current and future applications of genetically manipulated animal models and targeted gene editing to the study of birth defects.

Following the sunrise session, put your genetics knowledge to the test at the Robert L. Brent Lecture beginning at 8:30 am in the Westmount room. The 2015 lecture, given by Jan M. Friedman, University of British Columbia, in a joint session with OTIS, is titled Genetic Mutations Cause Many Birth Defects: What We Learned from the FORGE Canada Project.

At 9:00 am, the Public Affairs Committee Symposium will be held in the Westmount room and will explore microbiomes and emerging research showing how maternal and early infant microbiomes can affect development. This symposium will start with an overview of organ microbiomes, and will then describe fetal microbiomes and how they can be influenced by amniotic fluid composition. Other talks will include diet and obesity-induced changes in the microbiome and their relevance to the developing fetus, as well as neurobehavioral changes in offspring related to alterations in the microbiome. This symposium will feature the NBTS Elsevier Distinguished Lecturer, John F. Cryan, University College Cork, and is a joint session with INA, NBTS, and OTIS.

Also starting at 9:00 am is Platform Session 3 in the Mont Royal room. The session, made up of attendee-submitted abstracts, focuses on Developmental Toxicity of Pharmaceutical Products and will feature 12 presentations covering various issues within this topic.

In the afternoon, the ILSI HESI Workshop: Contraception in Clinical Trials will begin at 1:30 pm in the Westmount room. The workshop will address industry approaches to preventing and managing inadvertent pregnancy exposure in clinical trials. The session will focus on how nonclinical animal data are used to make decisions about contraceptive use in clinical trials; the governance processes set up by individual companies to promote consistency and compliance with contraception requirements; and methods used to determine drug-drug interactions between pharmaceutical agents and hormonal contraceptives.

At 3:45 pm the Genetic and Environment Interactions in Common Malformations Symposium will be held in the Westmount room. This session will present recent data on several common birth defects, highlighting interactions between genetic and environmental etiological factors. Speakers will provide a review of what's known about the etiology of each selected birth defect, with particular attention to how useful our current knowledge is (or is not) in a clinical setting, and how we can move the field forward toward better understanding of causes and prevention strategies.

The Tuesday poster session at 6:00 pm includes the late-breaking abstracts and other attendee submitted abstracts. Join your colleagues and engage presenters in discussions about their research. Be sure to thank the Exhibitors and learn more about what they can do for you. Don’t forget to swing by the Teratology booth to network and play the final game of the meeting!

For more details about the Annual Meeting, visit the meeting website. Information about daily activities can be viewed via the Annual Meeting Blog.

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