Int. J. Dev. Biol. 56: 765 - 770 (2012)
doi: 10.1387/ijdb.120176cc
© UPV/EHU Press

Over 40 years of mentoring, educating, and researching in the world of oocytes

Catherine M.H. Combelles* and David Albertini

Middlebury College, Biology Department, Middlebury, Vermont, USA

ABSTRACT David Albertini has dedicated his life to illuminating our understanding of the most wondrous of cells - the oocyte. Beyond his powerful scientific contributions, he has mindfully and tirelessly mentored and educated scientists and clinicians in our field. In this essay which reports a dialogue, David Albertini shares some of the key experiences that have governed his career path. He has been a spokesperson to the public to ensure the accurate conveying of current findings in our field, and he has always strived to help others in communicating effectively. He also reflects (notably in light of where funding priorities may lie) on the imperative to use animal model systems that will be most suitable for addressing the pressing questions of reproductive biology today. Dr. Albertini pioneered the use of live cell imaging approaches over 30 years ago, and he has eagerly passed on his expertise to many others while these techniques were in their infancies. His career has been fueled by his passion for visualizing cellular events in live cells and tissues, as never undertaken or seen before. He took chances while always embracing opportunities as they arose. Dr. Albertini has also delineated the intersection between basic research on the oocyte and emerging trends in reproductive medicine - such as oocyte cryopreservation. Not only does he continue to advance the field of human oocyte biology, but he is also, and yet again, extending his role as educator and mentor by taking a lead in reproductive medicine as a journal editor and as a mentor to young and rising clinicians in the field.

Keywords:

dialogue, Albertini, oocyte, education

*Corresponding author e-mail: ccombell@middlebury.edu