Frontiers in Reproduction (FIR) is a 6-week long course held every summer at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole MA. FIR is a dynamic and evolving entity offering a series of daily lectures on cutting edge topics, followed by extensive discussions, laboratory research, workshops and informal seminars. Since it inception in 1998 FIR has aimed to train beginning independent scientists, advanced postdoctoral fellows in the basic or clinical sciences, as well as graduate students who are committed to clinical and basic research careers in the Reproductive Sciences. FIR is directed by a Board of Scientific Counselors composed of scientists who direct basic or translational research programs in the Reproductive Sciences and represent the human reproduction subspecialties of Reproductive Endocrinology and Maternal-Fetal Medicine. The FIR course itself is divided into three sections and organized by one lead director and three section directors. Section 1 covers signal transduction and gene expression in reproductive endocrinology. Section 2 covers mouse transgenesis, fertilization, implantation, and embryo-maternal interactions. Section 3 covers gametogenesis and fertilization, and preimplantation and peri-implantation development. The course directors and the participating faculty and lecturers are selected because of their leadership positions in the Reproductive Sciences. FIR ends with a 2-day symposium featuring lectures by 2 or 3 outstanding reproductive scientists followed by research presentations from all current students and selected alumni. The overall purpose of FIR is to train the next generation of reproductive scientists and to promote collaborations and mentorship among junior and senior reproductive scientists. FIR has now been continuously held for 12 years and all indications are that we have been successful in attaining these goals.

Public Health Relevance

Although we need to curb the growth of the world population we also need to ensure that individuals have the freedom to decide if they want to reproduce as well as when and how often they want to reproduce. Continued support for research and training in the Reproductive Sciences is needed to address these important issues and the Frontiers in Reproduction (FIR) course plays an important role in this endeavor

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Continuing Education Training Grants (T15)
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Pediatrics Subcommittee (CHHD)
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Taymans, Susan
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Marine Biological Laboratory
Woods Hole
United States
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Ascoli, Mario; Mebane, Dorianne; Fazleabas, Asgerally T (2016) Frontiers in Reproduction (FIR): An Assessment of Success. Biol Reprod 95:27
Pion, Georgine M; McClure, Michael E; Fazleabas, Asgerally T (2006) Outcomes of an intensive summer course in reproductive biology. Biol Reprod 74:230-5