History of the Society

[From GCE 176 (2012) 276–278] The inaugural meeting of the North American Society for Comparative Endocrinology (NASCE2011) was held at the Michigan League, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, July 13–16, 2011. The NASCE2011 conference had ~300 attendees, with 239 abstracts submitted. Also, the 7th International Symposium on Amphibian and Reptilian Endocrinology and Neurobiology (ISAREN2011) was held in Ann Arbor 2 days before NASCE2011 (July 11–13, 2011). The ISAREN2011 conference had ~100 attendees, with 68 abstracts submitted. The two conferences overlapped on July 13, with a joint ISAREN/NASCE plenary lecture (the opening lecture of NASCE2011) presented by Professor Louis Guillette, Jr. of the Medical College of South Carolina. The majority of attendees to ISAREN2011 stayed for NASCE2011. Accepted abstracts for the two conferences were published in the online, open access journal Frontiers in Endocrinology.

The NASCE is an interdisciplinary scientific organization dedicated to the study of comparative, evolutionary, ecological and model systems endocrinology, and with a goal to increase the visibility and cohesiveness of the field of comparative endocrinology within North America. It was founded in 2010 by Professors Carlos Arámburo (Mexico), Robert Denver (USA) and Vance Trudeau (Canada).

The biennial meetings of the NASCE and its official journal, General and Comparative Endocrinology, provide essential forums for the communication and exchange of discoveries and ideas in the field of comparative endocrinology. The NASCE will affiliate with the International Federation of Comparative Endocrine Societies (IFCES) at the next International Congress on Comparative Endocrinology to be held in Barcelona, Spain July 2013. The NASCE also maintains close ties with similar societies in Europe (European Society of Comparative Endocrinologists) and Asia (Asia and Oceania Society for Comparative Endocrinology; Japan Society for Comparative Endocrinology). Meetings of the NASCE are held every other year. The second meeting was hosted by Prof. Carlos Arámburo from May 22–25, 2013 at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Campus UNAM-Juriquilla, Querétaro, México. Over 155 abstracts were presented, from colleagues representing 13 countries. Also, a rich cultural program was organized for the enjoyment of the attendants. The third meeting will be hosted by Prof. Vance Trudeau in Ottawa, Canada in June 2015.

The inaugural conference of the NASCE had seven plenary lectures, 20 symposia, and two poster sessions held in the Michigan League Ballroom. Plenary lecturers included: Louis Guillette, Jr. Professor, Medical University of South Carolina and Hollings Marine Laboratory, SC, USA ‘‘Scrambled genes and ovaries: environmental contaminants and the developing gonad’’; Carmen Clapp Professor, National University of Mexico, Queretaro, Mexico ‘‘Prolactin: new functions for an old hormone’’; Michael O’Connor Professor, University of Minnesota, MN, USA ‘‘Vesicle mediated secretion of ecdysone from the Drosophila prothoracic gland’’; Tony Williams Professor, Simon Fraser University, BC, Canada ‘‘Hormones, lifehistory, and phenotypic variation’’; Vincent Laudet Professor, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, France ‘‘ Origin and evolution of metamorphosis and thyroid hormones’’; Elizabeth Adkins-Regan
Professor, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA ‘‘Hormonal organization and activation: evolutionary implications and questions’’; and Robert Millar Professor, University of Edinburgh, Scotland ‘‘The evolution and function of GnRH and GnRH-like ligands and receptors: a model of biomedical translation of comparative endocrinology’’.

The NASCE2011 symposia covered a broad spectrum of topics of interest to comparative endocrinologists:

  1. Endocrine disruption: impacts on wildlife.
  2. Insulin/IGF signaling in longevity regulation: new insights from animal models.
  3. Tick, tock, setting the clock: hormones and biological rhythms.
  4. Endocrine-immune system interactions.
  5. Evolution of polypeptide hormones and their receptors.
  6. Endocrine control of growth, body size and allometric scaling.
  7. Sex determination and differentiation (cosponsored by ISAREN and NASCE).
  8. Hormone action in neural development and plasticity.
  9. Extreme endocrinology: physiological and behavioral adaptation to extreme environments.
  10. Iodothyronine actions throughout the life cycle.