Department of Drosophila Genomics and Genetic Resources Center for Advanced Insect Research Promotion
Kyoto Institute of Technology
Saga Ippongi-cho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto 616-8354, Japan
Phone: 075-873-2660
Facsimile: 075-861-0881


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Shuccho- NIH Collaborative Research and Biology of Spermatozoa meetings (Aug 31 - Sept 12, 2015)

Posted in News English,センター活動 on December 25,2015


NIH trip (Aug 31-Sept 06, 2015)


At the end of August of this year I traveled to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland USA to work for 2 weeks in the laboratory of Dr. Brian Oliver, Section Chief of the Developmental Genomics Section, Laboratory of Cellular and Developmental Biology. As a member of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases, Dr. Oliver is a world-renowned leader in the field of genomics and developmental biology. Our mutual research interests in male reproduction and gene evolution led us to look more carefully at gene expression in the male Drosophila testis, particularly at the distribution of expression in both the testis proper, and the seminal vesicle, the organ most proximally located to the testis. The project was to use carefully dissected Drosophila testes and seminal vesicles for RNA-seq expression profiling.

The Oliver Laboratory

20150912_02.jpg Building 50, location of Brian Oliver's laboratory
Located in Building 50, the laboratory is, as you would expect, modern and clean containing all the state-of-the-art equipment needed to conduct front-line research. The weather on the East coast of the United States can be quite nice at time of year, and this was no exception- beautiful weather! Although security issues made access through the main gate, once inside the campus is not only large, but the building architecture is spectacular with many, many other buildings like this one.

The Oliver Laboratory

20150912_03.jpg Brian Oliver, drosophologist, genomicist and developmental biologist extraordinaire!

Great people make for a great laboratory... here are some of the folks that make Brian's lab great! Many thanks to Haiwang and Maria for helping to get the project moving forward in my first days there!






The work, and Leif Benner!

Leif and I dissected about 100 Drosophila testes (we each dissected two duplicates each) and then processed them for RNAseq using the Illumina platform and protocols. This was really all Leif's efforts as I had to head off for the UK and the meeting near Sheffield as described below. Leif did a terrific job and we now have a spectacular dataset of testis and seminal vesicle profiles for future studies.

Here is Leif in action, both at the bioinformatics and laboratory benches! Great job Leif! 20150912_09.jpg 20150912_08.jpg



Biology of Spermatozoa meeting (Sept 07-12, 2015)


The Biology of Spermatozoa (BoS) meeting is held every other year, traditionally at a venue nearby the city of Sheffield in the UK. This nearby region is known as the "Peak District" and is stunningly beautiful. Even the usually sad British weather cannot undo it's inherent charm of a countryside surrounded by beautiful, but not too tall to climb, peaks. The past few meetings have been held here at the historic Hassop Hall.

The meeting is small and eclectic but historically has focused on the main topic of "Sperm Competition". The originator of this meeting over the past 20+ years has been Prof. Tim Birkhead, FRS, one of the great evolutionary biologist of both the past and present centuries. As a tireless devotee to both the science of evolution, birds of all kinds and natural history the world owes a huge debt to him and we participants especially are blessed to be a part of his world. The co-organizer is Harry Moore (inset), who, in addition to being one of the nicest, smartest people in our field, has worked tirelessly to make this meeting the great event that it is. However, the "real" granddad (below) of the field that we all study is the venerable Prof. Geoff Parker, FRS from Liverpool who almost single-handedly developed, and more importantly, refined and promoted sperm competition theory. We all know that sperm are interesting and important, but Geoff made them relevant to almost every aspect of biology.

Meeting highlights

20150912_13.jpg The best way to get an idea of the breadth and interests of the participants at this meeting would be to view the BoS website and read a terrific review of the meeting by Bob Montgomerie and Mariana Wolfner.

Mariana and Bob perfectly encapsulated both the substance and spirit of the meeting, and hit all the highlights spot on!