Life Sciences host animal IVF event at Discovery Park
27 April 2016
Academics from Life Sciences hosted a mini-symposium on the topic of agricultural animal reproduction on Friday, 15 April, at Discovery Park in Sandwich.
It was the first event hosted by the University since the launch of its Life Sciences Industry Liaison Lab at the business park in March. Scientists from universities from around the country joined together to explore the importance of collaborative research, both between universities and between academia and industry as part of a Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies for Reproduction (CISoR) mini-symposium.
Dr Katie Fowler is a Lecturer in Life Sciences at Canterbury Christ Church University. Her research focusses on non-human embryology, specifically embryo freezing and the application of time lapse embryo imaging. Her current PhD student, Anjali Mandawala, is working on an industry-led project in this research area, in collaboration with Genea Biomedx an in vitro fertilisation (IVF) company at Discovery Park.
Dr Fowler is also a member of the advisory committee of CISoR, a multidisciplinary centre, based at the University of Kent, which prioritises three main academic themes: assisting human reproduction, variation in human reproduction and non-human reproduction.
Dr Fowler commented: “Following the successful launch of our Lab at Discovery Park, we thought it would be an ideal time and location to bring together leading scientists in the field of agricultural animal reproduction, to discuss our current research and to explore how we can work better together”.
Dr Simon Harvey, the Life Sciences Section Director, who introduced the event commented that: “Events like this highlight the importance of working collaboratively with industry for research purposes; not only this, but they can also feed into and enrich both teaching and the student experience”.
Dr Fowler continued: “We were delighted to welcome fellow academics from Canterbury Christ Church University and representatives from the University of Kent and the University of Nottingham, along with delegates from JSR Genetics Ltd., Topigs Norsvin, Illumina and IVF Bioscience.”
Talks on the day included Professor Darren Griffin, CISoR Director from the University of Kent, and members of his lab team who gave an overview of their research including cattle IVF, avian cytogenetics and Karyomapping, a new technique that allows embryos to be screened for inherited conditions prior to implantation.
Dr Grant Walling, Director of Science and Technology at JSR Genetics Ltd, spoke of the current research focus of the global pig genetics business and Professor Kevin Sinclair, from the University of Nottingham, also gave an overview of the significance of his laboratory’s research in bovine and ovine IVF.