This Program, directed by Dr. Neelakanta Ravindranath, supports research related to the genetic and epigenetic control mechanisms that underlie the normal and abnormal development of primordial germ cells, gametes (oocytes, sperm) and preimplantation embryos. The relationships between oocytes, preimplantation embryos and stem cells are a vital part of this program. The role of epigenetics in reprogramming in early embryos, embryonic stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells, other stem cells, and in cloning (somatic cell nuclear transfer), as well as the processes of self-renewal and differentiation is a also a major focus of this program. Much of this research also provides critical foundations for the development, implementation, and efficacy and safety testing of assisted reproductive technologies, including preimplantation genetic diagnosis. In addition, analysis of the potential long-term health and developmental outcomes of children born out of medically assisted reproduction as they grow into adolescence and adulthood form an important aspect of this program. It encourages investigators to study the causal links between reproductive technologies and overall health and quality of life of the offspring.