Alexander W. Bruce (University of South Bohemia, České Budějovice, Czech Republic) graduated from University of Leeds (UK) and obtained his post-doctoral training in Sanger Institute (Hinxton, UK) and in University of Cambridge (UK). From 2010 he has been a head of the Laboratory of Early Mammalian Development in University of South Bohemia (České Budějovice, Czech Republic). He investigates molecular mechanisms underlying the formation of the three mammalian blastocyst lineages (extraembryonic trophectoderm and placenta and the pluripotent epiblast). His lab has particular focus on dynamic regulation of the cytoskeleton and metabolic influences that impinge on protein translation of specific mRNA transcripts under the regulation of the p38-MAPKi stress kinase and mTOR signalling pathways.  



  Paula J Brunton (University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK) is a Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences, University of Edinburgh, UK and an Associate Professor at the Zhejiang University-University of Edinburgh Joint Institute in Haining, China. She received her PhD in Neuroendocrinology from the University of Edinburgh in 2002. Her expertise lies in the area of stress neurobiology, neuroendocrinology and behaviour, with key research themes focused on understanding the impact of maternal stress exposure during pregnancy on the mother, the pregnancy, her offspring and on subsequent generations. Paula is a member of the Board of Trustees of the British Society for Neuroendocrinology and a Senior Editor for the Journal of Neuroendocrinology.  


  Francesco Colucci (University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK) trained as a doctor at the University of Bari (M.D. 1991) and learnt immunology at the University of Umeå (Ph.D. 1997). He studied natural killer (NK) cells during his post-doc at the Necker Hospital in Paris and became member of the Pasteur Institute in Paris (2000), group leader at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge (2004) and professor of immunology at the University of Cambridge (2010). His team continues to study how NK cells work in immunity and reproduction. He is fellow, director of studies in medicine and graduate admissions tutor at King's College, Cambridge, manager of the Cambridge Centre for Trophoblast Research, advisor of the Ceppellini School of Immunology in Naples, and visiting professor at the University of Turin.   

  Joëlle Dupont (French Research for Agriculture, Food and Environment Institute (INRAE), Nouzilly and Tours University, Tours, France) is a director of research at the INRAE in France at Nouzilly and a deputy director of the Reproductive Physiology and Behavior Unit. Her current research interests include: the role of adipokines in the reproductive tract in domestic animals and human, and the impact of endocrine disruptors and plant extracts on fertility. Joëlle authored more than 230 papers and her work has been cited more than 13000 times.  

  Darren Griffin (University of Kent, Canterbury, UK) received his BSc and DSc degrees from the University of Manchester and his PhD from University College London. After postdoctoral stints at Case Western Reserve University and the University of Cambridge, he landed his first academic post at Brunel University, before settling at the University of Kent, nearly 20 years ago. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists, the Royal Society of Biology and the Royal Society of Arts and is President of the International Chromosome and Genome Society. A world leader in cytogenetics, he performed the first successful cytogenetic PGT and played a significant role in the development of Karyomapping, an approach he now applies to cattle and pigs. He has co-authored ~400 scientific publications, mainly on the cytogenetics of reproduction and evolution, recently providing insight into the karyotypes of dinosaurs. He is a prolific science communicator, a part time TV presenter, and an enthusiastic proponent of interdisciplinary research endeavour. He has supervised 40 PhD students to completion and his work appears consistently in the media. He runs a vibrant research lab of ~25 people (including a programme of externally supervised students) and maintains commercial interests relating to the outcomes of research findings.  

  Katerina Komrskova (Institute of Biotechnology CAS, Vestec, Czech Republic) studied biology and chemistry at the Faculty of Science, Charles University, Czech Republic, where she also obtained a doctoral degree in Developmental Biology. She is currently a head of the Group of Reproductive Biology, Institute of Biotechnology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, and an associated professor in the Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Charles University. Her research is focused on studying the molecular mechanisms of fertilization and the nature of specific sperm proteins that play a key role in sperm maturation, sperm-egg interaction and fusion, and early embryo development. Her expertise covers monitoring sperm quality in men with infertility issues and patients with testicular cancer and other pathological challenges. She designs novel diagnostic tools for quality assessment and gamete selection to be utilised in human Assisted Reproduction and livestock breeding strategies.  

  Serge Nef (University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland) is a professor at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva. He investigates the molecular mechanisms regulating gonadal differentiation and testicular function in mammals. His laboratory uses molecular and cellular techniques, mouse functional genomics, and human genetics to investigate the complex gene networks that regulate primary sex determination, testis development, and function. In recent years, his laboratory has developed expertise in analyzing single-cell RNA sequencing data. This allows better characterization of cell lineages in vivo and the study of the complex mechanisms of gonadal differentiation in combination with transgenic mouse models. In particular, his laboratory is investigating how cell fate decisions are made during testicular and ovarian differentiation.