Introducing: Ivy van Dijke, laureate AR&D PhD Scholarship

A quick introduction by Ivy:

"In the end of 2016 I completed the master at the Vrije Universiteit (VU) ‘Management, Policy Analysis and Entrepreneurship in Health and Life Sciences’. Focussing on public health and policy making. During my masters I did an internship and wrote my thesis in the field of reproductive health. Since, I’ve been fascinated by all the themes and everything that is related to reproductive health.

Starting June 2017 I will be working for the Research Institute Reproduction and Development were I will conduct my promotion research. I will be working in both AMC-Center for Reproductive Medicine and VUMC -Community Genetics. I am very enthusiastic about starting the research project.

The title of the project is “The widening scope of reproductive genetic technologies: responsible innovation and assisting individuals’ decision-making”.

I will be researching the following technologies

  1. The preconception carrier screening (PCS),
  2. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD),
  3. Non-invasive or cell-free DNA (cfDNA) prenatal testing/ diagnosis (NIPT) and
  4. Germline genome editing using CRISPR-Cas technology in the future.

For my research I am particularly interested in the dynamics between these technologies; how do the developments in one technique influence the choices for the other techniques so they are interrelated. I will also investigate their influence on couples decision-making and how they should be governed. Dr. Lidewij Henneman (Health scientist and Associate Professor at VUMC), Dr. Phillis Lakeman (Clinical Geneticist in AMC), Prof. Sjoerd Repping (Professor of reproductive medicine in AMC) and Prof. Martina Cornel (Professor of community genetics and public health genomics at VUMC) together form the project team.

Several other experts in the field from different departments at VUMC and AMC will be involved in the project as well. I wish that through my research I can contribute to –and give an answer to the societal –and ethical questions that arise from these rapid developments in the field of reproductive technologies and eventually propose a governance framework for further responsible development and implementation of these technologies. In order to achieve this; health professionals, scientists, ethicists, policy makers, couples and the public will be actively engaged. "

To contact Ivy van Dijke: i.vandijke@vumc.nl