This year, the 10th international NYRA meeting, our independent meeting, was held from September 11th – 13th 2017 in Brussels, Belgium. It was our pleasure to welcome 39 participants from 13 different countries, including Poland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, France, Russia, Denmark, Czech Republic, Nigeria, Sweden, South-Africa and UK.
The scientific programme enclosed 2 plenary sessions conducted by outstanding experienced researchers, a young researcher award lecture, 14 selected oral presentations and 12 poster presentations from young researchers, a sponsor talk, and two workshops, all of them including active and interesting discussions. In particular, the first plenary session started with talks by Prof. Dr Ewa Rajpert-De Meyts from the Copenhagen University Hospital (Denmark), and Prof. Dr Herman Tournaye from the University Hospital of Brussels (Belgium). With two different points of view, they shared interesting research data and facts that allow to predict the reproductive future of men. The second plenary session was dedicated to our Young Researcher Award, which this year was awarded to Prof. Dr Frank Tüttelmann, from the University of Muenster (Germany). Prof. Tüttelman is senior physician and group leader, and has had an outstanding career as young researcher in Human Genetics in Andrology, publishing dozens of papers in the field. Furthermore, Prof. Tüttelman was part of the group that founded NYRA in 2006 and the first president of the network. He provided an excellent overview on the implications of the genomic era for fertility research, nicely showing, in parallel, the progression and development of our network. This lecture was followed by selected oral presentations from the participating young researchers and a sponsor talk by Dr. Cicerone Tudor from Carl Zeiss Microscopy, who informed us of the features and advantages of the new confocal laser scanning microscope LSM 880 with Fast Airyscan. The last plenary session was dealing with testis models. Prof. Dr Stefan Schlatt from the University of Muenster (Germany) gave an interesting talk entitled “In-vitro and in-vivo models to explore testis functions”. Finally, the 10th NYRA meeting ended with two workshops, in which Rita Cortvrindt from GermFact (Belgium) gave insights about a field never addressed before in our meetings: the validation of the results and the key requirements for the establishment of a spin off.
This year, the abstracts selected for oral presentation from the participating young scientists covered topics about the development, regulation and deregulation of human spermatogenesis, the impact of diseases and drugs on testicular function, and the procedures for fertility preservation. All the talks from the young researchers, as well as their poster presentations, promoted fruitful discussions and the establishment of new networks. Three young scientists, Alberto de la Iglesia (Barcelona, Spain), Constanze Maresch (Giessen, Germany), and Britta Klein (Giessen, Germany), were awarded with travel grants sponsored by the International Society of Andrology for the best quality abstracts. In addition, Constanze Maresch (Giessen, Germany) was also selected as the best oral presentation, with her lecture entitled: Hyperglycemia is associated with reduced testicular function and activin dysregulation in Type 1 diabetes.
As board of NYRA we would like to thank our invited speakers and all participants for their attendance and contribution to our meeting. Also, we wish to thank our partners Society for Reproduction and Fertility, Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek Vlaanderen, and International Society of Andrology, as well as our sponsors Zeiss (Platinum Sponsor), and VWR and Eppendorf (Gold Sponsors), for supporting our 10th NYRA Meeting in Brussels.
The NYRA Board
Dorte Louise Egeberg Palme