Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action ITN Rep-Biotech

Rep-Biotech Joint Doctoral project is a European network created to train the new generation of excellent researchers in the Biology and Technology of Reproductive Health (human and animal). Rep-Biotech Joint Doctoral project is a Marie-Skłodowska Curie Innovative Training Network funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 Programme and is composed of 12 leading academic research groups and 3 companies from 9 different countries: Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Belgium, Germany, USA, Japan and The Netherlands. The network started on November 1st 2015 and will end on October 31st 2019.

MSCA ITN Rep-Biotech logo

The main objective of the European Doctorate in Biology and Technology of the Reproductive Health (REP-BIOTECH) is to build a research, training and academic programme in the interdisciplinary domain of reproductive health and fertility. Basic knowledge of mechanisms involved in mammalian fertilization and embryo development provides useful strategies to improve food quality (by implementation of efficient and secure animal reproductive technologies), human health (by contributing to the control of reproductive diseases and epidemiologic factors) and human and animal fertility (by identifying target molecules for successful conception or contraception). 

REP-BIOTECH is a PhD programme with the aim of training a new generation of creative, entrepreneurial and innovative Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs). ESRs must carry out independent research on a specific topic to be awarded a European Joint Degree from 5 European Universities (Beneficiaries).
The PhD project will be jointly supervised within a joint governance structure in which the beneficiaries as well as the partner organisations will be actively involved. The Doctorate programme will expose ESRs to different sectors and they will acquire a comprehensive set of transferable skills working in the specific research area relating to their doctoral thesis.
The consortium has a proven track record in their area and they have a history of fruitful scientific collaboration. Moreover, giving the diversity amongst the participating institutions, the ESRs will be able to face current and future challenges in order to convert knowledge and ideas into products and services for economic and social benefit. The strength of the partnership lies in being a multidisciplinary group (animal and human fertility, reproductive health and reproductive technologies) within the cooperation of 7 different European countries, the collaboration of Universities from Japan and United States and partners from the non academic sector.


These are the objectives of Rep Biotech

  1. To identify target molecules, culture conditions or modifications of the culture media used in ARTs with potential beneficial roles in the establishment of the correct epigenetic marks during early embryo development both in humans and animals thus contributing to the diagnosis and treatment of diseases derived from altered epigenomes.
  2. To improve the quality and quantity of animal derived products in Europe through the . development of new strategies (as described in objective 1) in ARTs, mainly the in vitro production of healthier embryos leading to healthier livestock offspring for human consumption.
  3. To provide tools for improved reproductive efficiency in human populations, according to diverse demographic goals and strategies.
  4. To contribute to the conservation of biodiversity in Europe by the improvement of ARTs and by increasing knowledge of, and environmental stressors affecting, the fertility of domestic and wild species.
  5. To enhance the transfer to society of the beneficial factors identified in the previous objectives by training qualified professionals (PhD awarded) with the knowledge and entrepreneurial capacity to create innovative companies (e.g. spin-off or start-up).
  6. To develop an efficient strategy for the dissemination of achievements and for creating awareness among the general public of their implications for citizens and society.

Role of Ghent University

Ugent supervises 2 PhD students and is cosupervising two other PhD students. Ugent is also organizing several training sessions for doctoral schools which some of the 15 PhD students of the project will attend.


Prof. Ann Van Soom
Department Reproduction, Obstetrics and Herd Health
Phone number: +32 9 264 75 50