Experimental Methods and Techniques in Reproductive Biology Webinar Series

The Experimental Methods and Techniques in

Reproduction Webinar Series

The Experimental Methods and Techniques in Reproduction series aims to provide SSR membership with webinars on important experimental methods in our field. The webinars will be technical, with a focus on a method rather than research. They will include brief scientific background regarding method principle, detailed step-by-step strategy, applicability, and examples of studies done with the use of the technique. The speakers will be invited to submit a protocol paper for a publication in Biology of Reproduction. The protocol paper will be available for viewing/download on the SSR website and on PubMed with no charge.

May 18

5-6 pm EDT

Serial Sampling of Epididymal Sperm in Mice

Gonzalo Moreno Del Val, PhD
(Moderator, Miguel Brieno-Enriquez)


Read Gonzalo Moreno Del Val's Biography

Gonzalo Moreno-del Val is the head veterinarian at the Instituto de Neurociencias (IN) de Alicante (Spain). He´s responsible of the animal facility, animal experimental services, and transgenics and cryopreservation laboratory. He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the Universidad Cardenal Herrera, Spain in 2005. He joined the Spanish national research council (CSIC) in 2006, where he focused his activity on laboratory animal medicine and mouse-assisted reproductive techniques. He performed a master´s of research degree, a biology of reproduction master´s degree, and several specialization courses and stays in this area of knowledge, in different national and international research institutions. Gonzalo Moreno is secretary of the IN ethical committee, reviewer of the CSIC ethical committee, and member of the Spanish national committee for laboratory animals. He´s also president of the Veterinary College of Alicante, and councilor of the Spanish Veterinary College. His studies are focused on applying the 3R´s policies through mouse reproductive biology.

Read more about the webinar

Mice are the most commonly used animal model for studying human disease. However, in the reproductive biology area, its use has always presented the problem of obtaining in vivo sperm samples. The technique described in this webinar allows the serial extraction of sperm samples, facilitating the use of the mouse as a research tool.

May 25

5-6 pm EDT

Retinoic Acid Synchronization of Spermatogenesis

Michael Griswold, PhD
Cathryn Hogarth, PhD
(Moderator: Victor Ruthig)


Read Michael Griswold's Biography

Michael Griswold, Regents Professor and director of the School of Molecular Biosciences, has had a long career at Washington State University. His research focuses on spermatogenesis with an emphasis on the function of Sertoli cells. His work provided fundamental and groundbreaking insights into Sertoli cell-germ cell interactions and the crucial role of vitamin A during spermatogenesis. He has received the Carl Hartman Award from SSR and was named one of the initial 15 distinguished fellows of the SSR.

Read Cathryn Hogarth's Biography

I earned a Bachelor of Biomedical Science with Honours from The University of Melbourne, Australia, in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2001 and received a Ph.D. in reproductive biology from Monash University (Melbourne, Australia) in 2007. My graduate research focused on the expression and function of the nuclear transport proteins during sperm maturation. Upon completion of my Ph.D. program, I moved to the USA to begin my postdoctoral research at Washington State University and was promoted to the position of Research Assistant Professor in 2009. My postdoctoral work focused on understanding how vitamin A regulates the differentiation of germ cells and determining whether the vitamin A metabolizing enzymes could be viable drug targets for the development of novel contraceptives for men or new treatments for male infertility. In 2019 I joined the Department of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences (now the Department of Rural Clinical Sciences) at La Trobe University and will be concentrating my research efforts on furthering our understanding of how vitamin A regulates sperm development/maturation and immune function.

Read more about the webinar

This webinar will discuss synchronization of spermatogenesis by manipulating retinoic acid availability is an advantage for molecular studies of the cycle of the seminiferous epithelium and for isolation of germ and Sertoli cells at different stages of development.

June 15

5-6 pm EDT

Recapitulating folliculogenesis and oogenesis outside the body: encapsulated in vitro follicle growth

Francesca Duncan, PhD
(Moderator, Jane Fenlon)


Read Francesca Duncan's Biography

Dr. Duncan graduated from Haverford College with a BS in Biology and Biochemistry and earned her doctorate in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Pennsylvania under the mentorship of Dr. Carmen Williams. She then did two postdoctoral fellowships – one at the University of Pennsylvania with Dr. Richard Schultz and one with Dr. Teresa Woodruff at Northwestern University. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Co-Director of the Center for Reproductive Science at Northwestern University. She also holds a faculty-in-residence position at the Center for Reproductive Longevity and Equality at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. Research in the Duncan laboratory tests the overarching hypothesis that deterioration of gamete-intrinsic cellular pathways together with changes in the ovarian microenvironment contribute to the reproductive age-associated decline in egg quantity and quality. Insights from this research will help design targeted interventions to ameliorate reproductive aging, laying the foundation to simultaneously improve women’s fertile-span and health-span across generations. Dr. Duncan is an active member of the Society for the Study of Reproduction and received the 2019 SSR Virendra B. Mahesh New Investigator award.

Read more about the webinar

The follicle is the functional unit of the ovary consisting of the oocyte and its surrounding companion granulosa cells. The processes of folliculogenesis and oogenesis are essential for the development of high quality gametes that can be fertilized and give rise to the next generation. Remarkably, these complex biological events can be fully recapitulated in vivo. In this webinar, we will describe a method of follicle culture that relies on encapsulation of isolated follicles in alginate hydrogels. This encapsulated in vitro follicle growth (eIVFG) system has been used successfully across multiple species, has provided unprecedented insights into follicle development and ovulation, and been applied to diverse contexts including modeling of ovarian physiology and pathology, fertility preservation, drug discovery and screening, toxicology assays, and beyond.

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