Keynote Address Speakers

Thursday, October 12, 2017

  • Programming and Protection of the Fetal Brain
    Stephen G. Matthews, PhD

    Professor – Department of Physiology, Ob/Gyn and Medicine, University of Toronto,
    Director of Research at the Alliance of Human Development.

    Professor Matthews received his PhD from the University of Cambridge, UK. He was appointed to the University of Toronto in 1996, and served as Chair of the Department of Physiology 2007-2014.

    Dr. Matthews' research is focused towards understanding how alterations in the fetal environment can affect developmental trajectories leading to modification of neurologic and endocrine function. His recent research has established that the effects of altered fetal environments can extend across multiple generations. With a focus on epigenetics, his research team is determining the molecular mechanisms by which such 'programming' can occur. In a parallel program of study, his group is investigating drug and hormone transport mechanisms in the placenta and fetal brain, with a focus on developing novel treatments that modulate drug transport at these two sites, and that ultimately protect the fetus.

     Professor Matthews is committed to translating fundamental research. He was founding co-director of the MAVAN program, which follows neurocognitive development in children following adverse early experience, and has been involved in a number of large international clinical trials. He has published over 200 scientific papers/book chapters, is regularly invited to present his work around the world and is involved in a number of international research initiatives.

    Dr. Matthews' website

    Dr. Matthews' presentation on Thursday evening will serve as the closing address for the Mott Center and Universtiy of Toronto Annual Reproductive Sciences Retreat and as the opening address for the 2017 MARTS conference

 Friday, October 13, 2017

  • The Genomics of Preterm Birth
    Louis J. Muglia, MD, PhD

    Professor – Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati, Children's Hospital Medical Center,
    Co-Director of Perinatal Institute,
    Director of Center for Prevention of Preterm Birth,
    Director of Division of Human Genetics.

    Dr. Mugila received both his MD and PhD from the University of Chicago, Chicago, IL.

    Dr. Muglia has pioneered the in vivo analysis of regulation of the endocrine stress response and the molecular pathways leading to birth using novel genetically altered mutant mice. These studies have elucidated the importance of corticotropin-releasing hormone, glucocorticoids, and prostaglandins in neuroendocrine modulation, behavior and perinatal adaptation. These studies have evolved over the last decade to specifically focus on the mechanism controlling the timing for birth in humans using genetics and comparative genomics. The composition of the biological clock metering the duration of human gestation remains a central question in reproductive biology. The goal of Dr. Muglia's Laboratory is to understand the molecular timing machinery comprising this biological clock to prevent or better treat human preterm labor and delivery.

    He was elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies in 2013 and the recipient of many awards, which include a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Development Award, and Society of Pediatric Research Young Investigator Award.  He currently serves as chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors for the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health. He was elected to fellow in the American Association of the Advancement of Science in 2010. Dr. Muglia is a member of the Society for Pediatric Research, Society for Neuroscience, and the Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society.  Among Dr. Muglia's achievements are more than 180 publications.

    Dr. Muglia's website

  • Use of Reproductive Tissue Stem Cells for Both Reproductive and Non-Reproductive Disease Applications
    Clifford Librach, MD

    Founder and Director, CReATe Fertility Centre and Cord Blood Bank, Toronto, Canada.
    Associate Professor of Ob/Gyn at University of Toronto with cross-appointments in the Deptartment of Physiology and Institute of Medical Sciences.

    Dr. Clifford Librach completed his Medical School and Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency training at the University of Toronto, followed by fellowship subspecialty training in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) at the University of California, San Francisco, where he earned his board certification as an REI Subspecialist. Dr. Librach is the founder and Director of the CReATe Fertility Centre and CReATe Cord Blood Bank in Toronto, Canada. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Toronto, and holds cross-appointments with the Department of Physiology and Institute of Medical Sciences. Dr. Librach has made significant contributions to current fertility practice in Canada and Internationally. He has served on provincial and national committees for the development of standards for the practice of REI in Canada. He has also been interviewed extensively on ART-related topics in the national and international media.

    Dr. Librach is also a leader in the field of obstetrics and gynecology and reproductive medicine research. Some of his major contributions include identifying the role of HLA-G in pregnancy and preeclampsia, uncovering important factors indicative of embryo quality, improving andrology diagnostic testing, and he has carried out pioneering research on the use of a novel multipotent progenitor cell from umbilical cord perivascular tissue for regenerative therapy in both reproductive and non-reproductive applications.  He has published over 80 peer-reviewed publications, over 250 abstracts, and 3 book chapters.

    Dr. Librach's website



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