HOPE - Project: Human Ovary Preservation Expertise

Project Details


There is increasing patient demand for fertility preservation in clinical practice, despite many unanswered questions. The promoter recognize the importance of combining the know-how of research groups from both the VUB and UCL to ensure progress in this highly complex field.
The set-up of in vitro systems for ovarian tissue culture at the VUB and research focused on follicle isolation and grafting at the UCL will benefit from such an exchange of expertise and associated infrastructure. The aim of this collaboration is also to design a standard operating procedure to be applied by all Belgian specialists treating with young female patients receiving gonadotoxic therapies. A central database should be installed regrouping all clinical cases involving tissue storage in the interest of safety, quality of service and better follow-up. Both teams will create a centralized ovarian tissue bank as a source of substantial research material for culture set-up. This exchange of knowledge and skills will essentially seek to:
1) improve the efficacy of the oocyte cryopreservation program and,
2) investigate the safety of cryoprotectants used,
3) enhence protocols for ovarian tissue removal, transport and cryostorage,
4) promote long-term in-vitro follicle culture research in animal models and humans,
5) optimize ovarian tissue grafting techniques in experimental models and patients,
6) set up a database with the post-ovariectomy, post-cancer treatment outcome of each individual case.
Effective start/end date1/01/1031/12/12


  • reproductive genetics
  • andrology
  • clinical genetics
  • embryology
  • assisted reproductive technology

Flemish discipline codes

  • Basic sciences
  • Biological sciences