On October 14, 2016, Infertility Treatment and Reproductive Genetics clinic iVF Riga with the support of the companies Merck, Origio, BioAvots, ViaMedPharma, Medlink, Interlux, Biosan, InBio, Hydrox organized and hosted the Second Annual International Reproductive, Genetic & Biotechnology Conference. The conference was held at the Albert Hotel in Riga, Latvia. The conference brought together nearly 150 experts from the field of reproductive medicine and genetics, embryology, gynecology, urology and stem cell technologies.
It should be noted, that the conference featured some highly skilled professionals from the field of medicine from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Russia, Belarus, Sweden and Norway.
During the first session, which was dedicated to stem cells and cell technologies, the participants discussed scientific research and development of the specific field, particularly focusing on stem cell storage, as well as their use in treatment of serious diseases and development of certain guidelines for efficient stem cell use in medicine. Particularly notable were the works of Gunnar Kvalheim, the Head of the Department of Cellular Therapy at Oslo University Hospital and Denis Khnykin, senior researcher of the Department of Pathology at Oslo University Hospital and Centre for Immune Regulation, as well as those of specialists from the Pokrovsky Stem Cell Bank – Dmitry Ivolgin, specialist of transfusion medicine and the Head of Stem Cells Processing Facility, and Aleksandra Aizenshtadt, the Head of Cell Culture Laboratory of Pokrovskiy Stem Cell Bank and researcher at the Laboratory of Cell Technologies of North-Western State Medical University named after I. I. Mechnikov. In addition, the participants of the conference were introduced to the work of Latvian specialists – Eriks Jakobsons (Ēriks Jākobsons), head of the Cell Transplantation Center at Pauls Stradins University Hospital and Dr. Ieva Briede from the Department of Interventional and Emergency Cardiology.
The second session of the conference, which was dedicated to genetics and reproductive medicine, particularly focused on preimplantation genetic testing (PGS and PGD). Preimplantation genetic testing is aimed at increasing the chances of carrying and giving birth to a healthy child for parents, who were previously unable to achieve that due to various genetic pathologies, as well as families diagnosed with hereditary genetic diseases. During this session, specialists from iVF Riga - geneticist Liene Kornejeva, molecular geneticist Ludmila Volozonoka and molecular biologist Dmitry Perminov - shared their experience and clinical results with the participants of the conference. The audience attentively listened to the reports of our guest lecturers – Fedor Konovalov, specialist from the Laboratory of Molecular Pathology Genomed, and Ekaterina Pomerantseva, laboratory director of Genetico and laboratory director of the Human Stem Cell Institute. In addition, Olga Yacuts, biologist-geneticist from the Centre of Assisted Reproduction “Embryo”, shared her experience with preimplantation genetic testing in Belarus.
As the conference came to an end, the participants and organizers came to a shared conclusion, that during the development and implementation of new technologies in the field of medicine, doctors and researchers have to combine their scientific efforts, share the gained experience and knowledge, as well as work together to benefit the well-being of their patients.