Southern Ontario Reproductive Biology Conference – Akshu Valecha

Through the core program, I had the opportunity on June 7th to attend the 47th annual Southern Ontario Reproductive Biology Conference. Since the conference was held at University of Toronto, other students attending the conference carpooled together. The car ride to the conference gave me the opportunity to meet more new people and chat about their research since some of the students were presenting at the conference as well. I learned a lot about how to get involved in the various research opportunities available on campus.

I learned a lot about ongoing research in various fields within reproductive biology. One talk that I found very interesting included the talk about endometriosis and its connection with retrograde menstruation. The fact that 90% of women have retrograde menstruation but only 60% will actually develop endometriosis stuck out at me. This talk made me very interested in learning more about reproductive biology and the various disease processes that affect the system. Another talk that stood out to me was regarding pregnancy and cannabis use. With the legalization of marijuana, this talk was interesting and has potential important application. A specific statistic that stood out to me was that 1 in 5 pregnant mothers aged 18-24 years in North America use cannabis. I was surprised with the high percentage of women using cannabis. Overall, all the talks were very interesting with various in vivo and in vitro studies looking at various disease processes affecting human and animal reproductive systems 

Overall, the conference provided many opportunities for networking with other researchers from various other schools.  The conference was a fantastic learning opportunity that helped spark my interest in reproductive biology. Thank you to the CORE for this wonderful opportunity to learn!