STC Webinar – FASD

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD): Research Advances and Mechanistic Insights

Co-Chairs: Peter G. Wells, Christopher Nicol and Anne Marie Gannon

November 29 at 1:00 – 4:00 PM (EST)


Up to 10% of children exposed in utero to alcohol (ethanol) exhibit anatomical malformations and functional deficits like neurodevelopmental disorders, termed fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). This symposium aims to bring the latest research and future directions in understanding the underlying mechanisms of FASD to determine human risk. Dr. Peter Wells, a professor at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Pharmacy and Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology, is a researcher addressing environmental and genetic determinants of human susceptibility in drug-induced neurodegenerative diseases, birth defects, and developmental deficits in CNS function. Dr. Wells together with co-chairs Dr. Anne Marie Gannon and Dr. Christopher Nicol will host a lecture series on FASD by subject experts. The first speaker will provide a summary overview of epidemiological surveillance of FASD. The second speaker will focus upon oxidative DNA damage/repair and epigenetic changes in FASD. The third speaker will discuss epigenetic mechanisms, and particularly microRNAs (miRNAs), in humans and human trophoblast cell lines, in ethanol teratogenesis. The fourth speaker will discuss the role of altered sex- and strain-dependent DNA methylation in neural stem cells in FASD. The fifth speaker will focus on early embryonic epigenetic mechanisms in FASD. The final speaker will discuss studies in humans and zebrafish linking molecular and cellular changes caused by in utero ethanol exposure to postnatal metabolic syndrome. These insights may facilitate the development of diagnostic biomarkers for high-risk individuals, and novel strategies for mitigation.


Opening Remarks, announcements, and speaker introductions

STC Co-Chairs: Dr. Anne Marie Gannon Health Canada & Dr. Christopher Nicol Queen’s University
1:00 pm – 1:10 pm (EST)

Overview of the surveillance of FASD

Mr. Adam Probert Public Health Agency of Canada
1:10 pm – 1:25 pm (EST)

peter g Wells

Oxidative DNA damage/repair and epigenetic changes in FASD

Dr. Peter G. Wells, University of Toronto
1:25 pm – 1:50 pm (EST)

rajesh Miranda

Endocrine RNAs mediate effects of prenatal alcohol exposure: Evidence from pre-clinical studies and studies in human populations

Dr. Rajesh C. Miranda, Texas A&M Health Science Center
1:50 pm – 2:15 pm (EST)

Mojgan Rastegar

Neural stem cell modeling of FASD: Mouse strain- and sex-dependent effects of alcohol on DNA methylation

Dr. Mojgan Rastegar, University of Manitoba
2:15 pm – 2:40 pm (EST)

Serge McGraw

Early embryonic epigenetic mechanisms in FASD

Dr. Serge McGraw, University of Montreal
2:40 pm – 3:05 pm (EST)

goessling wolfram

FASD predisposes to metabolic abnormalities in adulthood

Dr. Wolfram Goessling, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School
3:05 pm – 3:30 pm (EST)

Newton Tran

Open Q&A period with panel discussion

Moderated by Newton Tran, STC Graduate Student Rep.
3:30 pm – 4:00 pm (EST)


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