PGDIS Newsletter
Current Progress in PGD and Future PGDIS Activities
March 18, 2011

Dear Colleague,

As mentioned in the previous PGDIS Newsletter, PGD for inherited disorders has become extremely accurate (99.5%), and may currently be performed for any genetic condition, even without known sequence information or available haplotypes. The application of PGD is now extended well beyond testing for genetic disorders, with further implications to improving the access to HLA compatible stem cell transplantation for genetic and acquired disorders.

The major current breakthrough is currently in PGD for chromosomal disorders, involving microarray analysis for 24 chromosomes in oocytes and embryos. Preliminary validation results of microarray technology application on polar bodies and blastocyst seem highly promising for testing pre- and post-zygotic errors. The technique may also improve the accuracy of cleavage stage testing that is compromised with the problem of mosaicism, through avoiding artifacts caused in the process of slides preparation for FISH analysis. So the application of microarray technology will provide much higher accuracy in detecting and avoiding aneuploid embryos from transfer.

To support the application of these developments, PGDIS organizes two Hands-On Workshops, one on PGD by Blastocyst Biopsy (Istanbul, May 16-18, 2011), and the other, on PGD by Polar Body Biopsy, Chicago, 7-9 June, 2011. Because of intensive hands-on training, the Workshops accept only 15 participants, through online application on PGDIS website ( While the application process has been completed for Istanbul Workshop, it has just been opened for Chicago Workshop, to be organized prior to the Annual Midwest Reproductive Symposium in Chicago, June, 2011 (the updated programs of the Workshops are available in Educational Resources section on PGDIS website (

As previously noted, PGDIS is affiliated with Reproductive BioMedicine Online, now published by ELSEVIER, which provides a free online Journal access to PGDIS members, as part of their membership. To join PGDIS or renew your PGDIS membership, please contact Shirley Goldsborough, who is the PGDIS contact person in Elsevier. To ensure prompt delivery of her communications, please add her email address ( to your contacts.

Finally, the 11th PGDIS Conference will be organized in Bregenz, Austria, May 16-19, 2012, which will concentrate on the application of the above new developments into clinical practice, and the progress in the PGD related research in the establishment and study of the genetic disease-specific human embryonic stem cell lines, as a unique in-vitro model for understanding the primary molecular mechanisms of congenital disorders.

Happy Holiday Season!

Anver Kuliev, MD, PhD
Renee Martin, PhD, FCCMG
Executive Director of PGDIS Acting President of PGDIS