FWO-SB project Anouk Smits

Development of strategic preconception care to improve maternal fertility and protect offspring’s health in obese individuals: steps towards evidence based clinical advice.

Obesity is becoming a global threat, reducing mother’s health and reproductive capacities and affecting the offspring’s health. Clear preconception care guidelines for obese future mothers are completely lacking. Clinical studies are flawed and more fundamental studies in basic animal models are very scarce. The importance of preconception weight loss on reproduction and baby’s health is heavily debated and never been investigated in detail. This research project aims to propose strategically designed animal research models to provide relevant scientific evidence for effective and sustainable preconception care advices to obese women planning for pregnancy. To do so, we will assess the impact of preconception weight loss, diet normalization, increased physical activity, omega-3 rich diet or the combination thereof in obese outbred mother mice on four distinct major outcome parameters: 1) improvement of mother’s metabolic profile before conception in relation to the observed weight loss; 2) mother’s own fertility success; 3) postnatal health of the offspring and 4) offspring’s reproductive physiology. Effective guidelines for preconception care lifestyle interventions in obese patients will drastically lower the (public) health care cost associated with assisted reproduction and should maximally safeguard the health of the baby. The data generated will be the basis for awareness and education programs aiming at improved maternal health at the time of conception.

Research seminar

“Fatty acid metabolism in cumulus oocyte complexes: basic concepts and the consequences of an altered fatty acid micro-environment”

May 16th 2017

Dr. Svetlana Uzbekova

INRA – French National Institute for Agriculture

Physiologie de la Reproduction et des Comportements

The Gamete Research Centre research team would like to invite you to their seminar for young researchers on Tuesday 16th of May (9 a.m. – 1 p.m.) in the U-building, Campus Drie Eiken.

The research seminar will focus on the assessment of fatty acid metabolism in female gametes, and is sponsored by the Flemish Government. Participation, including lunch, is therefore free, but registration (e-mail to lies.jordaens@uantwerpen.be) is necessary before May 1st, 2017.


Annual Meeting of the Reproductive Research Society

The Reproductive Research Society has the pleasure to invite you to the Annual Conference on 11th December 2015 in Antwerp. The meeting will be hosted by Profssor Peter Bols and Professor Jo Leroy of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at University of Antwerp as well as by Professor Diane de Neubourg of the Centre for Reproductive Medicine at Antwerp University Hospital. As always we have the pleasure of welcoming excellent speakers, at a beautiful location in the exciting city of Antwerp. The RRS is a Dutch-Flemish society that, since 1969, aims to provide a platform for researchers and clinicians in the field of human and veterinary medicine. It organises an annual meeting, alternating between Flanders and the Netherlands. The core of the meeting will be the oral presentations of the abstracts submitted, to an interacting audience and a jury. The best abstract presented wins an iPad as well as an exchange lecture at the Belgia Society for Reproductive Medicine (BSRM) meeting. At the caput selectum a topic is given by an authority in the field from basic to advanced. At the 'meet the researchers' session the local organising group presents their research. The keynote lectures are given by top-researchers and present current and future developments within the research domain presented. 

Date: 11th December 2015

Venue: Conference Centre Klooster van de Grauwzusters (UAntwerp Stadscampus); 10 minutes walking from Antwerp Central Station



Post graduate course "Epigenetics in Reproduction"

Post graduate course “Epigenetics in Reproduction”, participated by Karolien Desmet, DVM, PhDs

2014-03-03 – 2014-03-07

The course runs at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SLU, in Uppsala, Sweden. It is arranged by SLU's Research School in Translational and Comparative Medicine and the Centre for Reproductive Biology in Uppsala (CRU, a joint body between Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Uppsala University)


The aim of the course is to enhance the knowledge and understanding of epigenetic modifications and how they influence gene regulation in relation to reproduction. After completing the course the student shall be able to…

1) Explain how epigenetic factors influence reproductive mechanisms

2) Describe ethical aspects and use the knowledge in relation to epigenetics

3) Describe epigenetic changes after assisted reproduction

4) Explain mechanisms behind stem cells and their differentiation

5) Implement methodology in epigenetic studies

Invited speaker at WCRB

Nutrition and fertility; a vet’s perspective 

Dr. Jo Leroy, inveted speaker at World Congress of Reproductive Biology.

WCRB 2014 will be held September 2nd through September 4th 2014 at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

Working at the Hooibeekhoeve in Geel

Doing repeated Ovum Pick-up in dairy cows investigating anti-oxidants in the follicular fluid! A lot of work ...

Results coming up soon!

Research by Jessie De Bie, MSc, PhDs


Paper accepted

Fatty acid composition of the follicular fluid of normal weight, overweight and obese women undergoing assisted reproductive treatment: a descriptive cross-sectional study

Sara DM Valckx, Maria Arias-Alvarez, Ingrid De Pauw, Veerle Fievez, Bruno Vlaeminck, Erik Fransen, Peter EJ Bols, Jo LMR Leroy

in Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology

Longlist Vlaamse Scriptieprijs bekend

Het potentieel van morfologische en fysiologische informatie voor het classificeren van chemische stoffen in het zebravisembryo.

by Evelyn Stinckens, MSc, PhDs

Longlist Vlaamse Scriptieprijs bekend

Zebravis uitstekend nieuw proefkonijn



Prof. Dr. Peter Bols
(head research unit)
Campus Drie Eiken
U 0.09
Universiteitsplein 1
B-2610 Wilrijk
Tel. 0032 3 265 23 97
Tel. 0032 3 265 23 93