The last campus organized by the SIG-E entitled “The fourth dimension – the time factor in human embryology" that took place in the city of Milan (11 to 13 May 2017) was a big hit! It gathered 233 participants coming from 40 different countries. As stated in the title of the campus, the time factor was the common thread of all the talks given throughout these very busy 3-days workshop.

It started with an early bird (teleconference) keynote lecture by David Albertini dealing with the biorhythms from gametogenesis to embryogenesis. Subsequently, the question of the impact of time on all aspects of reproductive biology, genetics and clinical embryology was thoughtfully addressed.
Dr Marc-André Sirard flew all the way from Canada to give an outstanding lecture on important findings in bovine ovarian stimulation that may have an application for human ART. He emphasized on the concept of the ”ideal window” for oocyte collection and on the need to improve ovarian stimulation protocoles. According to him, this would allow better synchronisation of follicular differenciation, therefore improving homegeneity in oocyte maturity status. 
Dr Rita Vassena tackled an issue still up to date and very practical that is in vitro oocyte ageing (presentation will be available soon on the e-campus platform). The SIG-E board members also contributed in enhancing the scientist interest of the campus.
Dr Giovanni Coticchio (SIG-E Co-ordinator), presented novel and poorly characterized phenomena of fertilization discovered thanks to time lapse system, such as a cytoplasmic wave preceding pronuclear formation or pronuclear chromatin polarization. He concluded that “these parameters may be used to develop powerful embryo implantation algorithms”.
Moreover, a junior research session of high scientific interest was also organized after the selection of 4 abstracts over 10 submitted.

Overall, the survey completed by the delegates after the campus showed that 98% of the participants were happy with the event organization and more than 88% of then were satisfied by the course and the syllabus. 

The SIG-E coordinating board is proud of its achievement and is looking forward to the next event at the forthcoming ESHRE Annual Meeting: Precongress Course 3 - “Cellular and molecular biology for clinical embryologists” (Geneva, Palexpo, Room A, from 9:00 to 17:00).

Debbie Montjean
Junior Deputy of the SIG Embryology

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