Session 27: Preimplantation Genetic Testing, Recent Advances in Reproductive Medicine
Moderators: Professor Darren Griffin & Dr. Gary Harton
PGT for structural rearrangements: The oft forgotten "3rd wheel”
Professor Darren Griffin
Chromosomal profiling of preimplantation embryos: where we are and where we are going
PGT-A In the Future
Professor Joe Leigh Simpson
Professor Darren Griffin
Professor Darren Griffin received his Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Science degrees from the University of Manchester and his PhD from University College London. After postdoctoral stints at Case Western Reserve University and the University of Cambridge he landed his first academic post at Brunel University, before settling at the University of Kent, where he’s been for the last 15+ years. He has worked under the mentorship of Professors Joy Delhanty, Christine Harrison, Terry Hassold, Alan Handyside and Malcolm Ferguson-Smith.
He is President of the International Chromosome and Genome Society, a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists, the Royal Society of Biology and the Royal Society of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce. He sits on the faculty of CoGen (controversies in genetics) and has previously sat on the board of the Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis International Society (PGDIS), organising its annual meeting in 2014.
Professor Griffin is a world leader in cytogenetics. He performed the first successful cytogenetic PGD (using X and Y FISH probes for sexing) and, more recently, played a significant role in the development of Karyomapping, an approach he now applies to cattle. In a 30+ year scientific research career he has co-authored over 200 scientific publications, mainly on the cytogenetics of reproduction and evolution, most recently providing insight into the karyotypes of dinosaurs.
He is a prolific science communicator, making every effort to make scientific research publicly accessible (both his own and others) and is an enthusiastic proponent for the benefits of interdisciplinary research endeavour. He has supervised over 35 PhD students to completion and his work appears consistently in the national and international news. He currently runs a vibrant research lab of about 20 people (including a programme of externally supervised students) and maintains commercial interests in the outcomes of research findings, liaising with companies in the field.
Andrea Victor received BS in chemistry at NYU and a MS in biostatistics and mathematical biology from Hunter College. She entered the field of IVF at Weill Cornell, conducting PGT in the group of Dr. Kangpu Xu. She joined Zouves Fertility Center (ZFC) in 2012 to set up their in-house molecular genetics laboratory, which she currently heads. She also engages in the embryology aspect of IVF, and is currently pursuing a PhD under Dr. Darren Griffin at the University of Kent.
Professor Joe Leigh Simpson
Joe Leigh Simpson, MD, FACOG, FACMG, FRCOG, received his undergraduate and medical education at Duke University (MD, 1968) and post graduate training at Cornell University Medical College (New York City). His academic positions have included Professor at Northwestern University (1975-1986), Professor and Chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology at University of Memphis (1986-1994), Professor and Chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine (1994-2006), and Professor and Founding Executive Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine (HWCOM) at Florida International University (2007-2011). He served as Senior Vice President for Research and Global programs at March of Dimes (2012-2018). Throughout his time at March of Dimes, he remained Professor of Human and Molecular Genetics and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at HWCOM, positions he currently holds.
He accepted the position at March of Dimes in January 2012, taking a leave of absence from HWCOM. During this time, Dr. Simpson oversaw the March of Dimes programs for conference support and individual investigator proposals. He developed a $60 million program involving six prematurity research centers dedicated to discovering the causes of labor and, hence, preterm birth (10 percent of all births). Each center was chosen for its prowess in a given domain of discovery research and its ability to pursue collaborative investigations with other centers. Major discoveries have been made in genes associated with preterm birth, microbiome, fetal gene expression patterns during gestation, gene regulation, and control of uterine contractions.
Dr. Simpson has contributed to many aspects of reproductive genetics, prenatal genetic diagnosis, and birth defects research. He is certified in Medical Genetics as well as in Obstetrics and Gynecology. He has written over 800 articles and chapters. His major books include seven editions as coeditor of Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies and three editions as author for Genetics in Obstetrics and Gynecology. He has received research funding from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, March of Dimes, United States Agency for International Development, and the Department of Defense.
Dr. Simpson has served in leadership roles for numerous grant review panels, prestigious national and international committees, and many professional organizations. He has been President of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, International Society of Prenatal Diagnosis, Society for Gynecologic Investigation, American College of Medical Genetics, and Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis International Society. He has been a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the US National Academy of Sciences since 1994.
He is active in many global initiations, especially in organizations in official relations with World Health Organization. As immediate Past President of the International Federation of Fertility Societies (IFFS), Dr. Simpson was Chair of the Scientific Committee for the 23rd IFFS World Congress (Shanghai, April 11-14, 2019)