Frontiers in Reproduction: Molecular and Cellular Concepts and Applications


Course Date: Not offered in 2021

Please visit our FIRbees FB group for virtual convening!

Click here for Mike McClure Fund Info

FIR is an intensive 6-week-long laboratory and lecture course for scientists-in-training who seek to improve their knowledge and experimental skills in order to pursue a career in the Reproductive Sciences. FIR is held each summer at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, a world-famous training ground for Experimental Biologists. We welcome applications from graduate students, postdoctoral and clinical fellows as well as junior faculty. Twenty participants are selected each year from a competitive admissions pool.

FIR is directed by Rafael Fissore (University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA) and is divided into three 2-week sections. Each section consists of lectures, discussions, informal seminars, laboratory exercises, demonstrations and one on one tutorials. Section 1 is directed by Stephen Hammes (University of Rochester, Rochester, NY and covers signal transduction as well as transcriptional regulation of gene expression in the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. Section 2 is directed by Carmen Williams (National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NC, USA) and covers stem cells, gametogenesis, fertilization, and preimplantation embryo development. Section 3 is directed by Barry Hinton (University of Virginia, VA, USA) and focuses on the examination of the developing and adult male and female reproductive tracts under normal and pathological conditions. FIR closes with a 2-day Symposium that features research presentations from the current class and selected FIRbees from previous years, along with additional distinguished guest speakers.

FIR Faculty and FIRBees are free from other responsibilities found at home institutions, enabling full immersion in the FIR experience. Participants’ only responsibilities are to teach and learn. These unique characteristics of FIR, coupled with the rich scientific atmosphere of the MBL, provide an informal and relaxed setting to complement our intense lecture and laboratory program.

FIR is supported by major grants from the NICHD and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. Additional scholarship funding is provided by The American Society of Reproductive Medicine, Male Contraceptive Initiative (MCI), and the Anita Payne Scholarship and Gates Foundation Scholarship from the Society for the Study of Reproduction and MBL Endowed Scholarships.

Download the 2020 Flyer:fir2020

Download the “I’m a FIRbee” image:firbee-button-2018