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Professor Dr Karen Sermon

Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Karen Sermon is professor in Genetics and Embryology at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. She trained as an MD and received her PhD in medical sciences on preimplantation genetic diagnosis of Tay-Sachs disease at the same university. After her PhD, she became a postdoctoral fellow for the Fund for Scientific Research Flanders (Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (FWO) Vlaanderen). During this period, her main interest was on PGD for monogenic diseases, which she helped develop at the Centre for Medical Genetics of the UZ Brussel. She was instrumental in founding the ESHRE PGD Consortium and has contributed to its success for many years as a chair. Later, she became coordinator of ESHRE’s Special Interest Group Reproductive Genetics. Since 2002, her interests have veered towards human embryonic stem cells, and especially those stem cells derived from PGD embryos that carry a monogenic disease and can be used as disease models. Her group have contributed to the stem cell field with several papers in high impact factor journals. She was coordinator of ESHRE’s special interest group Stem Cells. Recently, she also developed a research line in the origin of chromosomal abnormalities in preimplantation embryos. She was appointed coordinator of the ESTEEM study (ESHRE study into the evaluation of oocyte euploidy by microarray analysis - https://www.eshre.eu/Data-collection-and-research/ESTEEM).