PGD Team

PGD Team

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UCL Centre for PGD

Treatment, Training and Research

The UCL PGD group has been carrying out PGD since 1990 and was one of the first in the world to perform PGD.  We performed the first ever cases of PGD using the FISH technique for chromosome abnormalities and embryo sexing.

The UCL Centre for PGD was established in 1997 by Professor Joy Delhanty and Dr Joyce Harper, both pioneers in PGD. Since that time we have become one of the foremost internationally recognised PGD centres, the longest continually running PGD centre in the UK and the first independent PGD centre to become  accredited.

We are unique as we perform research into all aspects of preimplantation development, training (MSc courses, annual PGD workshops and others), and perform clinical PGD cycles.  We have been running annual International PGD workshops since 1996 and trained over 200 people in clinical PGD.

We are one of the few academic PGD centres with a dedicated team of staff performing clinical PGD and/or related research.  We perform almost all our diagnoses in house. The majority of tests are developed specifically for each couple.  The team is headed by the Director, Professor Joy Delhanty, and Dr Sioban SenGupta, who has responsibility for molecular diagnostics.

All patients are seen by a Clinical Nurse Specialist in genetics for an initial consultation where the PGD procedure and the advantages and disadvantages are explained.  If the couple decides to go onto the PGD programme, we will apply for NHS funding and the diagnosis will be worked up specifically for each couple by our dedicated team.  The patients are then seen for a full consultation with one of our PGD team (Professor Delhanty or Dr Sioban SenGupta) and the exact method of diagnosis is explained with reference to the patient’s DNA or chromosomes. 

World firsts

UCL Centre for PGD has had many of the world firsts in PGD as we are both a clinical and academic centre.  We were the first to offer PGD by FISH for embryo sexing and chromosome analysis, we were one of the first to describe the high level of chromosome abnormalities in human embryos, we were the first to describe highly abnormal (chaotic) embryos, we developed, and were one of the first to use, the technique of CGH to check all of the chromosomes in human embryos and eggs and one of the first to specialise in PGD for inherited cancers.  We were the first clinic in the UK to offer PGD for many disorders, including myotonic dystrophy, Crouzon syndrome, non-syndromic sensorineural deafness and cancer predisposing genes such as neurofibromatosis types I & II, retinoblastoma, and familial polyposis coli.  We were the first UK clinic to apply for a licence for the breast cancer gene, BRCA 1. 

We have HFEA licenses to perform sexing for X-linked diseases, monogenic diseases, chromosome abnormalities and aneuploidy screening. 

We are continually developing new diagnoses depending on patient requests. Our general strategy involves direct mutation detection combined with analysis of linked markers. Our protocols are specific for couples which allows us to do PGD for de novo mutations.


UCL Centre for PGD has produced over 100 papers on PGD. We are working on a number of projects involved in early human development including epigenetics, DNA repair, gene expression and array technology.

Training and Education

UCL Centre for PGD is one of the main international training and education centres for people working in PGD.  Since 1996 we have run over 20 international PGD hands on workshops and trained over 200 people.  Also in 1996 we established  a very successful MSc and post graduate diploma in Prenatal Genetics and Fetal Medicine and since 2009 we set up an additional MSc and diploma in Reproductive Science and Women’s Health.  Through our post graduate courses we have taught many experts in Reproductive Health who are now leading in the field.

We also have a number of PhD students working on various aspects of early human development. 


UCL Centre for PGD was one of the first centres in the world and the first UK PGD centre to obtain accreditation (CPA – reference 2920).

For a full list of the number of cases and results per year please go to results page.

Page last modified on 20 mar 15 10:15