(Guest editors: Drs Trevor G Cooper, Joël R. Drevet and Barry T. Hinton)
The Fourth Epididymis (Epid IV) Workshop was held between December 4th and 7th 2006 in Chatel-Guyon,
France. This was the first European venue for these workshops following Epid III held in Charlottesville, Virginia,
USA in 2002, Epid II held in Newcastle, Australia in 1998 and a one-day meeting (later named Epid I) in Hong Kong,
China in 1992. The 2006 meeting was organised by Drs Jo雔 R. Drevet (Aubi鑢e, France) and Trevor G. Cooper
(M黱ster, Germany) and was a satellite meeting of the Fourth European Congress of Andrology (ECA2006) which
followed in Toulouse (France) from December 8th to 10th. Epid IV was attended by 90 basic science researchers
from 14 countries. The hotel accommodation was adjacent to the meeting hall and the meeting proved an equal
distraction to the lure of the Casino in the same building! Posters were viewed from the beginning to the end of the
workshop and frequent coffee breaks were organised among them to facilitate scientific exchange. In these hospitable
conditions old acquaintances were revived and new friendships made.
The meeting started with an introductory lecture given by Russell Jones (Newcastle, Australia) on comparative
epididymology and was followed by 8 sessions of 4 to 5 presentations each (see the programme below for a detailed
list of speakers) in which various aspects of epididymal physiology were covered: sperm maturation and storage,
cellular and gene expression activities of the epididymal epithelium, recent advances in global approaches of the
epididymal transcriptome and proteome as well as the presentation of some putative epididymal contraceptive targets.
The last session of the programme was devoted to research carried out on the human epididymis and most of the
speakers in this session were also invited speakers at the ECA2006 meeting. A session was also devoted to presentations
given by young investigators who were selected from the 36 poster abstracts received. The final lecture was
given by David Hamilton (Mineapolis, MA, USA) on December 7th. As he could not attend the meeting, he provided
it as a video presentation. His talk entitled 揟he ~Omes are coming!?illustrated what, from his point of view, would
be epididymal research in the 21st century. During the meeting the site of the next epididymis workshop was
discussed. Drs P. S. Cuasnic?(Argentina) and M. C. W. Avellar (Brazil) stepped forward to propose the idea that
South America could host the next Epididymis workshop in 2010.
Most of the speakers agreed to produce a manuscript of their presentations that are collected in this Special Issue
of the Asian Journal of Andrology.