History of the Society

The International Society for Prenatal Diagnosis was founded in 1996 and is derived from the meetings of the International Congresses on Early Prenatal Diagnosis.  

The original International Congresses on Early Prenatal Diagnosis were convened in the United Kingdom with the purpose of serving as an exchange for the then evolving procedure of chorionic villus sampling. This initial goal expanded in response to the need of the international scientific community for focused communication in the discipline of Prenatal Diagnosis. In 1988 Dr. Aris Antsaklis hosted the Fourth Congress, which was an expanded and well-attended meeting in Athens, Greece. Other highly successful biennial congresses meetings followed this:

  • Prague, 1990, hosted by Milan Macek
  • Milan, 1992, hosted by Bruno Brambati
  • Jerusalem, 1994, hosted by Haim Zakut
  • Goa, 1996, hosted by R.P. Soonawala
  • Los Angeles, 1998, hosted by Lawrence D. Platt, Mark I. Evans and Joe Leigh Simpson
  • Barcelona, 2000, hosted by Albert Fortuny
  • Buenos Aires, 2002, hosted by Enrique Gadow and Lucas Otano
  • Budapest, 2004, hosted by Zoltan Papp
  • Kyoto, 2006, hosted by Kaoru Suzumori
  • Vancouver, 2008, co-Chaired by Sylvie Langlois and R. Douglas Wilson
  • Amsterdam, 2010, co-Chaired by Karen Sermon and Jan van Lith
  • Miami 2012, co-Chaired by Alessandro Ghidini and Yuval Yaron
  • Lisbon, 2013, co-Chaired by Vincenzo Cirigliano and Alexandra Matias
  • Brisbane, 2014, co-Chaired by Jon Hyett and Greg Rice
  • Washington DC, 2015, co-chaired by Louise Wilkins-Haug and Alessandro Ghidini

Throughout the early Congresses, participants prided themselves on not being a formally codified gathering only for the purpose of scientific exchange.  Although this formula was relatively successful in the past, it increasingly became evident that lack of a formal organisation hampered local organisers. In 1994 at the Jerusalem Congress, it was decided to establish formally an International Society. The goal continued to be fostering international exchange in prenatal genetic diagnosis through governance of a society that was international and multidisciplinary democratic in nature.

The initial officers were selected by the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Goa Congress and directed to proceed with its organisation. These officers were Joe Leigh Simpson (USA), President; Haim Zakut (Israel), Secretary; Henri Goldstein (Denmark), Treasurer. Initial Board members were Bruno Brambati (Italy), Malcolm Ferguson-Smith (UK), Enrique Gadow.

With support from the March of Dimes in the United States, by-laws and documentation were prepared and the Society formally registered in the United States (Illinois) in 1996.  The Board of Directors now holds quarterly teleconferences, in addition to meeting in person at the now annual International Conference.

In 2005, ISPD contracted with its association management company, Custom Management Group, located in Charlottesville, Virginia, USA. This provided the Society with an Executive Director, a Program Director, a Director of Website Services, a Manager of Membership Services and customer support services via telephone and e-mail. Please see the Contact page for address, phone and e-mail information.

In 2012, ISPD opened membership to all those who were prior members of the International Prenatal Screening Group, which gave them automatic membership in our Prenatal Maternal Screening Specialty Interest Group (SIG). ISPD incorporated their popular newsletter into the SIG section of the ISPD owned newsletter: Prenatal Perspectives, which was first distributed in 2013 and is published online quarterly to the ISPD membership.