ISPD Global Updates e-Newsletter

The ISPD monthly e-newsletter, Global Updates, is distributed to ISPD members and affiliates. Through the ISPD Federation network, the newsletter also is disseminated to members of national societies in Europe, Asia, South America and Australia.

June - August 2018 Issue

Issue 4, 2018

Letter from President, Igna Van den Veyver, MD

Dear colleagues and friends,

Two years really fly by fast when you’re having a good time. It is hard to believe that the time has come to write my final President’s Message for this issue of Global Updates. It has been a privilege to serve the Society as President for the last two years. Many positive things have happened over these two years, thanks to the collective hard work and enthusiasm of all the members of the Board of Directors and the leaders and members of Special Interest Groups and Committees, who all volunteer their time and expertise to the ISPD, and also thanks to the excellent professional support of the staff and Executive Director at ISPD Headquarters.




International Context-sensitive Practice in Prenatal Counseling and Clinical Practice

Judith Jackson, on behalf of the Genetic Counseling and Ethics of Reproductive Testing and Fetal Therapy SIGs

The 2018 ISPD Conference in Antwerp, Belgium, hosted 609 people from all over the world representing 50 countries. The co-chairs of the Ethics and Genetic Counseling Special Interest Groups designed a highly successful pre-conference course that highlighted international variation in the utilization of prenatal screening and diagnostic technologies. Our speakers came from many disciplines, and each spoke about the clinical and regulatory landscape of prenatal services in their regions, including South America, China, the United Kingdom, Israel, and the United States. Highlights of each invited speaker are provided here, with further suggested reading.



22nd International Conference News

With record-breaking attendance for a European meeting, the 22nd ISPD International Conference in Antwep, Belgium, 8-11 July 2018, kept the attendees busy with a day of preconference courses followed by three days of plenaries, debates, invited talks and posters. New this year, a “dine-around” allowed ISPD Board members, SIG leaders, members, and trainees to get to know each other in a relaxed setting while sampling some of the restaurants Antwerp had to offer.


Tony Borrell and Liona Poon led
one dine-around group.

ISPD Pioneer in Prenatal Diagnosis and Therapy Award
Professor Charles Rodeck was honored as the first recipient of the ISPD Pioneer in Prenatal Diagnosis and Therapy Award. Initiated to mark the achievement of an individual who has continuously contributed to the knowledge of prenatal genetics, Professor Rodeck was recognized for his contributions to fetal medicine spanning isoimmunization, imaging and fetal diagnostics. He presented highlights from his decades of work, and his prior student, Tony Borrell, presented his award.

 Prof. Rodeck with Igna Van den Veyver
and Tony Borrell.

Joe Leigh Simpson Award for Best Early Career Investigator
ISPD recognizes the work of the best early career investigator with the Joe Leigh Simpson Award. This award was previously named the ISPD Young Scientist Award, and renamed to honor Joe Leigh Simpson, the Founding President of ISPD. The 2018 recipient, Liesbeth Lenaerts,accepted the award for her research, "Sensitivity of non-invasive prenatal testing for cancer detection and treatment monitoring in pregnant women."

Liesbeth Lenaerts 
with Joe Leigh Simpson

Save the Dates!

atal professionals from all over the globe are invited to the 23rd International Conference on Prenatal Diagnosis and Therapy, 8-11 September 2019 in beautiful Singapore!

Topics will include clinical genetics, fetal imaging, fetal therapy and more. This educational opportunity will offer a half-day of preconference courses on Sunday, 8 September 2019, followed by conference sessions, Sunday–Wednesday, 8–11 September 2019.

New in 2019: The conference will begin with just a half-day of courses on Sunday, and the opening plenary will follow on Sunday afternoon!

Plenary sessions, debates, concurrent sessions and posters will explore the latest controversies and hot topics in the field, and will feature invited speakers as well as peer-reviewed abstract presentations.



Prenatal Diagnosis Journal

Volume 38 | Issue 7 | June 2018

Editor's Choice Article:
Cao KX, Booth A, Ourselin S, David AL, Ashcroft R. The legal frameworks that govern fetal surgery in the United Kingdom, European Union, and the United States
DOI: 10.1002/pd.5267.

Read the June Editor's Choice article →

Table of Contents




Volume 38 | Issue 8 | July 2018

Editor's Choice Article:
Terhaar C, Teed N, Allen R, Dohany L, Settler C, Holland C, Longman RE. Clinical experience with multigene carrier panels in the reproductive setting.
DOI: 10.1002/pd.5272.

Read the July Editor's Choice article →

Table of Contents




Volume 38 | Issue 9 | August 2018

Editor's Choice Article:
Russo FM, Cordier A-G, De Catte L, Saada J, Benachi A, Deprest J. Proposal for standardized prenatal ultrasound assessment of the fetus with congenital diaphragmatic hernia by the European reference network on rare inherited and congenital anomalies (ERNICA).
DOI: 10.1002/pd.5297.

Read the August Editor's Choice article →

Table of Contents



ISPD members have online access to all Prenatal Diagnosis articles via the ISPD website.

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Early Career Opportunities

Complimentary trainee membership for 2019 - available soon!

Current trainees and early career individuals are the future face of ISPD, and their involvement in the Society is a key priority. Watch for upcoming initiatives for complimentary trainee membership, a mentor-mentee system and travel awards for the International Conference.


Global Education Committee

With a continued commitment to international education in prenatal genetics, the new Global Education and Outreach Committee was consolidated from the ISPD Federation and Education Committee. The revised structure will increase ISPD’s prenatal genetic education efforts internationally as well as meet the internal needs of the ISPD members. Co-chairs representing different global regions are Rossa Chiu, Lucas Otaño, and Tony Borrell.

ISPD Education Fund

As the field of prenatal diagnosis advances, ISPD has recognized an important need to educate providers and trainees, as well as patients and the general public. Our aim is to provide education where it is not otherwise available and to recognize those who serve the healthcare needs of mothers, children, and their families. With your contribution, ISPD will work to build global partnerships in genetics and fetal care! ISPD has an initial goal of $10,000 from individual contributions. Please consider giving.

All donations made in the United States are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. ISPD is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, EIN 76-0487388.

Give to the Education Fund →



ISPD Board of Directors

Welcome to new board members: 

Lyn S. Chitty, PhD, MRCOG (incoming President-Elect)
Maria Laura Igarzabal, MD (incoming Director)

Mahesh Arjandas Choolani, PhD, MD (incoming Director)
Glenn E. Palomaki, PhD (incoming Director)
Neeta Lakshmi Vora, MD (incoming Early Career Director)

And Board members who are transitioning:

Louise E. Wilkins-Haug, MD, PhD (transitioning from President-Elect to President)
Lyn S. Chitty, PhD, MRCOG (incoming President-Elect)
Ignatia B. Van den Veyver, MD (transitioning from President to Past President)
Rossa W. Chiu (transitioning from Director to Secretary)
Sylvie Langlois, MD, CCMG (transitioning from Secretary to Treasurer)
Monique C. Haak, MD, PhD (remains Director)
Sebastian Illanes, MD, MSc (remains Director)
Francesca Romana Grati, PhD (remains Director)
Diana W. Bianchi, MD (returning as ex-officio Journal Editor)

And a thank you to those retiring from their positions with numerous years of contributions to ISPD

Antoni Borrell, MD, PhD (departing as Treasurer)
Roland Devlieger, MD, PhD (departing as Director)
Lucas Otaño, MD, PhD (departing as Past President)
R. Douglas Wilson, MD, MSc (departing as Director)



Global Updates

The ISPD Board of Directors would like to thank the Global Updates editors and Special Interest Group (SIG) chairs for their on-going contributions to the bimonthly email. We look forward to another year of exciting news of importance to the ISPD members. Please feel free to contact them if you would like to see a particular area highlighted in an upcoming Global Updates. Current SIG Co-Chairs:

Co-Chairs: Megan Allyse, PhD, and Marsha Michie, PhD

Fetal Therapy
Co-Chairs: Anna David, PhD, FRCOG, and Lynn Simpson, MD

Genetic Counseling
Co-Chairs: Judith Jackson, MS and OPEN

Imaging in Pregnancy 
Co-Chairs: Cheryl Albuquerque, MD, MBA, and Luc De Catte, MD, PhD

Laboratory Techniques
Co-Chairs: Elaine Holgado and Diane Van Opstal, PhD

Reproductive Screening
Co-Chairs: Lorraine Dugoff, MD, and Liona Poon, MD


Past eNewsletters

Past issues of Global Updates are available on our eNewsletter Archives Page. Also available on that page are issues of our previous eNewsletter, Prenatal Perspectives.


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ISPD Global Updates Editors

Lisa Hui (Australia)
Florencia Petracchi (Argentina)
Neeta Vora (USA)

Read Editor Biographies

Global Updates Board Liaisons:
Louise Wilkins-Haug (USA)
Igna Van den Veyver (USA)


ISPD Board of Directors - effective 1 September 2018

Louise E. Wilkins-Haug, President (USA)
Lyn S. Chitty, President-Elect (UK)
Rossa Chiu, Secretary (Hong Kong)
Sylvie Langlois, Treasurer (Canada)
Igna Van den Veyver, Past President (USA)


Mahesh A. Choolani (Singapore)
Francesca Romana Grati (Italy)
Monique C. Haak (Netherlands)
Maria L. Igarzabal (Argentina)
Sebastian Illanes (Chile)
Glenn E. Palomaki (USA)
Neeta L. Vora (USA)

Director, Ex-Officio
Diana Bianchi (USA)


Board of Directors Webpage

Have a question or comment for the Board? Please contact us via Your message will be routed to us, and we will respond as soon as possible.

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The newsletter is available free of charge and distrbuted via e-mail  to anyone with an interest in the field of prenatal diagnosis and therapy. Please note that some articles may be available to ISPD members only. 

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