Novel interesting information has emerged recently on the genetic basis and mechanisms of maintenance of the ovarian follicular pool and survival of the early embryo. The three talk of this symposium summarize some of the most exciting findings on this topic. The first speaker, Dr. Aaron Hsueh, will describe a novel approach to activate and promote the growth of dormant ovarian follicles by manipulating the Hippo/Akt signaling cascade. The approach has potential for infertility treatment. The second speaker, Dr. David Natale, will describe the newly identified role of lymphocyte antigen 6, complex E (Ly6E) in controlling trophoblast stem cell differentiation and placental development. The talk of the third speaker, Dr. Daniel Messerschmidt, concerns the epigenetic regulatory mechanisms during early embryogenesis and how the crucial methylation of imprinted loci is maintained.