Joyce Harper

Joyce Harper

Professor Joyce Harper (joyce.harper [at] ucl.ac.uk) is one of the world experts in PGD. She is Deputy Director (and co-founder) of UCL Centre for PGD, principal investigator for research into preimplantation development, head of research and development at the Centre for Reproductive and Genetic Health, directs two MSc courses, is the Institute Graduate Tutor (taught courses), is a member of the Royal College of Pathologists and has many roles in ESHRE.


Joyce completed her BSc in Biochemistry at Queen Elizabeth College, University of London in 1984.  She completed her PhD at Kings College, University of London in 1987.  On completion of her PhD she started a career in clinical embryology at the London Fertility Centre where she was laboratory director until 1992.

She joined the Hammersmith PGD team in 1992 and initially carried out embryo biopsy.  She went on to work with the diagnostic team at UCL using FISH to examine the chromosomes in embryos and she became a lecturer at UCL in 1996.  In 1998 she became senior lecturer and in 2005 became Reader.

Training and education

Besides her clinical and research work in PGD and IVF, Joyce is passionate about training and education.  With Joy Delhanty and Charles Rodeck she set up the MSc in Prenatal Genetics and Fetal Medicine which is a highly successful course.  In 2009 she set up an additional MSc course in Reproductive Science and Women’s Health.  She is Programme Director for both MSc courses.   She has supervised a number of PhD students.  She ran the first international hands on training in PGD in 1996 and has run this annually, also extending to training courses in IVF (link to PGD workshop page) 

International Committees

Joyce has been on all the main International boards relating to PGD.  She was a founding board member of the PGD International Society (PGDIS). She joined the board of the International Society of Prenatal Diagnosis in 2006 where she has set up special interest groups. She has numerous roles in ESHRE  where she has been on the executive committee of ESHRE (2003-2008), was a member of the ESHRE PGS task force, was a member of the working group that established the Certificate in Clinical Embryology and Senior Clinical Embryology, she helped set up and was Chair of the ESHRE PGD Consortium (link to the web page), and is currently the Chair of the Special Interest Group in Reproductive Genetics, a member of the working group on culture media and is on the local organizing committee for ESHRE 2013 (London).

One of her most important roles in PGD has been to report on the PGD world data through her work with the ESHRE PGD Consortium. She co-wrote a review in 2011 published in Human Reproduction Update (Harper et al,).  The Consortium wrote four guidelines on PGD in 2011.

Joyce was elected to the British Fertility Society executive committee in 2011 and she is a member of the BFS training committee.

Research Interests

Joyces is investigating factors that affect preimplantation development and ways of determining the healthiest gametes and embryos. She has been working on comparisons of in vitro and in vivo development, chromosome analysis, DNA fragmentation, epigenetics, metabolomics and time lapse video.

Publications and books

Joyce was responsible for the first text book on PGD (co-edited with Joy Delhanty and Alan Handyside) and edited the second edition which was published by Cambridge University Press in 2009 on her own (link for new book).  She has published numerous papers on PGD and edits PGD papers for the journal Prenatal Diagnosis.  She is a regular reviewer for various journals.

For more information on Joyce:

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