The beginning of a year is always a time for reflection on the achievements of the past year and an opportunity to look forward to what the coming year may bring. And for the newly formed Genomics Division here at Vitrolife, 2019 was certainly a busy time that has flown by. The team was well represented at all of the main reproductive genetics and IVF annual meetings including Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis International Society (PGDIS) meeting in Geneva and Controversies in Preconception, Preimplantation and Prenatal Genetics (CoGen) in Paris. At ESHRE in Vienna, Genomics was represented on the Vitrolife stand, which was a great opportunity to meet customers face-to-face, but equally important for us, to get to know all of our colleagues in other areas! There was a well-attended lunch time symposium at which I represented genomics and, in the evening, I had a lot of fun giving the after-dinner talk reminiscing on 30 plus years of my involvement in the field, since we published the first clinical pregnancies following preimplantation genetic diagnosis or PGD, as it was known then, for a range of X-linked inherited diseases, including Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
Introducing Vitrolife genomics at PGDIS 2019
The International Society for Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGDIS) was formed in the early 1990s by a group of clinicians and scientists attending the inaugural meeting in Chicago, based in the historic Drake Hotel, and organised by the late Yury Verlinksy and colleagues, who was one of the pioneers of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, recently renamed preimplantation genetic testing (PGT). Last year, I became President of the Society and have been very involved in organising the 18th, now annual, meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. The meeting attracted about 350 attendees from 45 countries including nearly 40 from Russia.
This was an important first opportunity for the newly formed Vitrolife genomics team (who turned up in force!) to meet many of our customers for SNP genotyping and karyomapping for diagnosis of monogenic disease (PGT-M) and next generation sequencing (NGS) based chromosome copy number analysis for detection of aneuploidy (PGT-A).