Research Group Reproduction and Genetics
The research group Reproduction and Genetics (REGE) is part of the research cluster Reproduction Genetics and Regenerative Medicine. Its research focuses on different aspects of human genetics, reproduction, early development and stem cells
Historically, the group has been interested in metabolic diseases such as lysosomal storage diseases and this has led to the close collaboration of S. Seneca with the neuro-paediatricians (L. De Meirleir) of the hospital, investigating mitochondrial diseases and malformations of the cortical development and their causes.
M. De Rycke, Veerle Berckmoes and P. Verdyck are responsible for the research focused on preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) both for monogenic diseases as for chromosomal aberrations. M. De Rycke is also interested in assessing the safety of ART techniques and in this context leads the research project on the epigenetics of human development.
H. Van de Velde investigates the mechanisms that underlie totipotency in human preimplantation embryos.
The human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent cells laboratory is under the supervision of Karen Sermon. The team of Karen Sermon carries out research on the use of human pluripotent stem cells as research models for trinucleotide repeat instability. Claudia Spits's research is focused on the genome integrity of human pluripotent cells, including human embryonic cells and hPSC. Mieke Geens works on the differentiation capacity and malignant potential of hPSC.
Sonia Van Dooren recently started up a research project on cardiogenetics in close collaboration with the Heart Rhythm Management Institute of UZ Brussel. She is the principal investigator of a project primarily focussing on the molecular genetic pathways of Brugada syndrome.
The clinical research projects of W. Verpoest focus on the clinical reproductive aspects of preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) as well as underlying genetic causes of infertility. Together with C. Blockeel and C. Spits a study is being done on the effect of ovarian stimulation on mitochondrial DNA. The Centre for Reproductive Medicine at UZ Brussel runs one of the largest PGT programs world-wide.