I sat in on an informal session with Kelly Mayo, PhD, a reproductive biologist at Northwestern University in Chicago, yesterday. He and the audience came up with a list of the hottest topics in reproductive biology at the moment, as well as the topics that represent the next frontier for research. Here are some of the ones they came up with:
Hot topics currently: PCOS, the ethics of reproductive science (stem cells, cloning, etc), endometriosis, circadian rhythms, diabetes in pregnancy, ovarian cancer, germ line stem cells, early puberty, hypertension in pregnancy, STDs, endocrine disruptors, orphan receptors.
The next frontier: the immune system role in reproduction, fetal/maternal interaction issues, gamete biology (i.e. what is a high-quality sperm or egg?), ovarian follicle formation, epigenetics in development, novel contraceptive options, reproductive cancers, regulation of meiosis, oocyte preservation, reproduction and metabolism.