30th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Andrology, 2005
The 2005 Program Committee responsible for the 2005 ASA Annual meeting was formed in the Summer of 2003 with Christina Wang, MD as chair and William Bremner, PI and President of the ASA 2004-2005 as the official representation from the Council. The members included: Janice Bailey; PhD, Gail Cornwall, PhD; Mitch E. Eddy, PhD; Janice P. Evans, PhD; Michael D. Griswold, PhD; Matt Hardy, PhD; John C. Herr, PhD; Jonathan P. Jarow, MD; Kate Loveland, PhD; Alvin Matsumoto, MD; Deborah A. O’Brien, PhD; Steven M. Schrader, PhD; Jacquetta Trasler, MD, PhD; Paul J. Turek, MD; Monica Vazquez-Levin, PhD; and Pablo E. Visconti, PhD.
The 30th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Andrology (ASA) was held from April 2-5, 2005 at the Grand Hyatt Seattle, Seattle, Washington. There was significant international participation in the meeting, including abstract presentations from investigators representing 17 countries in addition to the United States and Canada. This year we had 250 registered attendees at the Annual Meeting including 72 trainees. The Annual was preceded by the Testis Workshop held from March 31 to April 2. Dr. Michael Palladino chaired the Andrology Laboratory Workshop. This “Sperm Morphology Workshop,” held on April 2 was a laboratory-based class with “hands-on” training in the microscopic assessment of sperm morphology according to classification methods currently used in clinical laboratories.
Lectures and Symposia:
The program and lecture and symposium topics for the 2005 ASA Annual Meeting were diverse and timely, including 6 plenary lecture speakers, 2 plenary debate speakers and 15 symposium speakers. The meeting opened with the ASA lecture by Dr. David Page of the Whitehead Institute, MIT on "Genes, Gender and Germ cells", describing the recent work to address the genes driving the development of the ovary in his laboratory. Other invited lectures on genes and male infertility included "Toward a comprehensive genetic analysis of male fertility using Drosophila" by Dr. Wakimoto and "Genetic mutations in male infertility: of mice and men" by Dr. Nishimune, our International and Parent Plus lecturer. We re-introduced the debate for 2005 with Drs. Lamb and Schlegel discussing the important topic of "Risks in the offspring after ART." Other plenary lectures included "Genes therapy of Erectile Dysfunction", by Dr. Hellstrom and "Novel Glycolyte enzymes and sperm motility" by our Women in Andrology lecturer, Dr. O'Brien.
This year's Annual Meeting adopted a theme "Androgens And Their Target Organs." The theme sessions included a symposium dedicated to Dr. C. Alvin Paulsen, one of the ASA’s founding members, a past president of the ASA and mentor of numerous andrologists throughout the world, on "Androgen Regulation of Reproductive Tissues" where Drs. Luconi, Ms. Seenumdun and Dr. Martinez discussed the action of androgens and other steroids on sperm, epididymis and vas deferens. This symposium fully embraced the mission of the ASA to promote biomedical research in Andrology and the speakers included a post-doctoral trainee, a graduate student and a more established scientist speaking on areas of Andrology that required more research such as the vas deferens. The other sessions within the theme included the plenary lecture by Dr. Thompson on his reflections on "Androgens and the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial" two years after the completion of this important study. Other androgen related topics were "Androgen receptors as therapeutic target in androgen independent prostate cancer," by Dr. Balk; "Cell specific knockout of androgen receptor in testis — what are the physiological implications" by Dr. Chang, and "Combination of Hormones & physical agents in male contraception — are they more efficacious and why" by Dr. S. Hikim scattered in different symposia throughout the meeting. Other symposia topics included Prostate Cancer growth (Antiapoptotic genes and clusterins by Dr. Gleave; Prostatic Cancer Genomics by Dr. Nelson), Cell Biology of Fertilization (Sperm acrosome membranes by Dr. Herr; Sperm-egg interaction by Dr. Evans; and Sperm binding by Dr. Hoodboy); Male contraception (Agents acting on testis by Dr. Chang and on the epididymis by Dr. Hinton); and a "Hot" topic in Andrology symposium (“Prostatites” by Dr. Berger, and “Germ Cell Transplantation” by Dr. Dobrinski).
The topics and speakers were selected by the Program Committee based upon the multidisciplinary interests of the ASA members. These topics also encompass the interests of the four NIH institutes who contributed support for the 2005 Annual Meeting (NICHD, NIDDK, NIA and NCI), and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. A summary of the plenary lectures and symposia is in Appendix 1.
Abstracts for Oral and Poster Sessions:
Of the 136 abstracts accepted, 20 abstracts were selected for oral presentation based on the reviews and scores provided by the Program Committee members. The oral sessions included abstracts on clinical andrology, spermatozoa, male infertility, testis, toxicology and immunology. Each of the oral sessions were chaired by an established investigator with a trainee to encourage trainee participation in learning how to moderate sessions. The remaining abstracts were presented as posters in two different sessions without competing program. The Program Committee selected topics and speakers based upon the multidisciplinary interests of the ASA members whose specialty fields include male reproduction, infertility, endocrinology, urology, anatomy and physiology, germ cell biology, biochemistry, animal science, molecular & cell biology, erectile dysfunction, and assisted reproductive technologies.
Inclusion of women and minorities: Speakers for the 2005 Annual Meeting, Postgraduate Course and Andrology Lab Workshop were selected to include established and new investigators, women, minorities, international speakers, and balanced geographic representation within North America. Three international speakers from outside the US and Canada were on the program. Women represented 35% of the speakers for the Annual Meeting. Of the abstracts selected for oral presentation, about 45% were presented by women mainly trainees. In addition, ASA members selected to chair sessions and introduce speakers included 11 women (46%), 2 Latinos, and 2 Asians.
The Women in Andrology group, which exists to promote the visibility and contributions of women within the Society and the field of Andrology, continued its tradition of hosting the Women in Andrology Luncheon at the 2005 Annual Meeting. This year roundtable discussions were held on several topics in career development in Industry, Academic Medicine, Administration, Laboratory Research. The Minority Affairs Breakfast and Meeting featured a presentation from Keith C. Norris, MD, Professor of Medicine, Charles Drew University, on ”Missing Persons: Minorities in the Health Professions, and Implications for the Nation’s Health”. Dr. Norris discussed the importance of providing opportunities for minority career development and how this might improve the health disparity of the nation.
Trainee travel awards: The Trainee Affairs Committee evaluated all the applications and each committee member independently ranked the abstracts according to the overall quality of the study, stated hypothesis, methods, and conclusions. Twenty-seven NIH Travel Awards were made, ranging in amount from $200 to $400. Both need and merit were considered in determining the amount of each award based upon presentation as first author, distance traveled, quality of ranking, and amount of support through NIH already available to the student. These awards were given to the trainee each of whom was recognized with his/her mentor during the Trainee Forum and Mixer open to all meeting participants. This provides an opportunity for trainees to be recognized by the ASA membership and to network and meet other mentors. This event was very well attended this year.
Other incentives for trainee participation: The rankings for the trainee presentations were also used to select those who received the Thomas S.K. Chang Travel Award (established in memory of Dr. Chang, who was a faculty member of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland), the Cook Urology Travel Awards (established by Cook Urological Inc., Spencer, Indiana, to encourage participation by medical trainees in the field of urology), the SCSA Diagnostics Travel Awards (established by SCSA ®Diagnostics, Inc., Brookings, SD, to encourage participation by clinical trainees), and the ASA International Travel Awards (administered by the International Liaison Committee). In addition, The Awards Committee of the ASA in 2005 selected Tara Barton for the Outstanding Trainee Investigator Award and Trainee Merit Awards were also awarded to Mark Baker, Zhibing Zhang, Peter Liu and Hannah Galantino-Homer.
Dr. Christina Wang, Chair POC 2005 ASA Meeting