Mitochondria in human reproduction and ART

Precongress Course 7

Genetics Special Interest Group Reproductive Genetics

Course type



Course Co-ordinators

Claudia Spits (Belgium), Ursula Eichenlaub-Ritter (Germany), Tania Milachich (Bulgaria), Georgia Kakourou (Greece), Signe Altmäe (Estonia)

Course description
In this course we will give an overview of current knowledge on the role of mitochondria in human fertility and reproduction. The course is structured with the morning sessions being of a more ‘basic science’ nature, and the afternoon rather of ‘applied’ science, with the idea of appealing both to basic scientists and clinicians.


Target audience
Researchers active in reproduction and genetics, embryologists and scientists involved in preimplantation genetic diagnosis/screening.


Educational needs and expected outcomes
The role of mitochondria in early human development is increasingly becoming the centre of attention of many researchers in the field of reproductive medicine. In this course, we will provide an overview of fundamental knowledge on mitochondria in gametogenesis and human development, as well as insight on the latest developments in PGD for mitochondrial disease, and the use of mitochondrial DNA copy number as a marker of embryo viability.


Sunday 02 July 2017

Ursula Eichenlaub-Ritter, Germany
Joanna Poulton, United Kingdom
09:00 - 10:30
Session 1: Mitochondria in male and female fertility
09:00 - 09:30
Mitochondria, ROS, and the ageing oocyte
Carla Tatone, Italy
09:30 - 09:45
09:45 - 10:15
Mitochondrial function and human sperm quality
Joao Ramalho - Santos, Portugal
10:15 - 10:30
10:30 - 11:00
Coffee break
Claudia Spits, Belgium
Carla Tatone, Italy
11:00 - 12:30
Session 2: Mitochondrial DNA mutations and their impact on development and future life
11:00 - 11:30
Mitochondrial and nuclear DNA matching shapes metabolism and healthy ageing
Anna Victoria Lechuga-Vieco, Spain
11:30 - 11:45
11:45 - 12:15
mtDNA diseases: occurrence, manifestation and segregation
Hubert Smeets, The Netherlands
12:15 - 12:30
12:30 - 13:30
Lunch break
Georgia Kakourou, Greece
Dagan Wells, United Kingdom
13:30 - 15:00
Session 3: Preimplantation genetic diagnosis and options for treatment of mitochondrial mutations
13:30 - 14:00
Reduction of heteroplasmy of mutant mitochondrial DNA using engineered nuclease technology
Michal Minczuk, United Kingdom
14:00 - 14:15
14:15 - 14:45
Preventing the transmission of mitochondrial DNA disorders using prenatal or preimplantation genetic diagnosis
Julie Steffann, France
14:45 - 15:00
15:00 - 15:30
Coffee break
Hubert Smeets, The Netherlands
Joao Ramalho - Santos, Portugal
15:30 - 17:00
Session 4: The role of mitochondria in assisted reproductive technologies
15:30 - 16:00
mtDNA copy number assessment in oocytes and embryos: what can they tell us?
Dagan Wells, United Kingdom
16:00 - 16:15
16:15 - 16:45
Mitochondrial quality in human development
Joanna Poulton, United Kingdom
16:45 - 17:00