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.

May/June 2017 Issue

Letter from President, Igna Van den Veyver, MD

Dear colleagues and friends of ISPD,

We are only a few weeks away from the 21st International Conference on Prenatal Diagnosis and Therapy in San Diego, California. This year’s conference promises to be once more very exciting. The program committee, under the excellent direction of co-chairs, Dr. Sylvie Langlois and Dr. Yair Blumenfeld, have developed an exciting program filled with a wide range of topics covering the entire multidisciplinary field of prenatal diagnosis and therapy, delivered by 40 invited world-class speakers in pre-congress courses, debates, and invited lectures, along with more than 200 podium and poster presentations selected from an extremely high number of high-quality contributed abstracts.   

Read more →

Announcement from the Executive Director, Elliott Graham

A message from the President:

Dear members and friends of ISPD,

Please take a few minutes to read the message below, by the ISPD’s Executive Director, Elliott Graham, about her decision to retire in the fall of this year for health reasons. Elliott has served ISPD in this role since 2006, and her work and leadership have been instrumental in helping us grow ISPD, develop new programs and initiatives, and supporting the day-to-day management of all ISPD’s activities. As you will read below, Elliott is working with us on a strong transition plan for a new Executive Director who we are confident will serve the Society with the same dedication and enthusiasm.  

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I wish Elliott all the best as she is about to embark on this new phase.  We will all greatly miss her, but we know that her retirement is more than deserved and wish her all the best and happy times with family and grandchildren.  

With warm regards,



Dear ISPD members:

I can’t believe it, but the time has come for me to step down from my role as Executive Director of ISPD, a position I have held for the last dozen years. Words can’t express the honor and pleasure I have had to serve you, your Board of Directors, other leaders and your entire society in this role, and I will never be able to thank you adequately for the support you have provided to me and to all of us at Custom Management Group (CMG), home of ISPD Headquarters. We appreciate so much that you have allowed us to serve and work alongside you as we learned and grew together. As those of you who know me, I am nothing if not transparent, so I want to take a moment of your time to share the reason for this decision. 

Read more →

Meet the Inbound Executive Director, Alison Cockrell

As Elliott is transitioning out as Executive Director during the late third, early fourth quarter of this year, Alison Cockrell is transitioning into that role and will become just the second Executive Director of ISPD. Alison joined CMG in 2001, shortly after CMG was formed to manage nonprofit organizations like ISPD, and gained a variety of experience in non-profit management, including member services, conference planning, and program development.  Although she left CMG in 2005 to obtain her Masters Degree in Public History, followed by two years working in museums, she decided to return to her calling and passion of nonprofit management and rejoined CMG in 2010. Since then, she has served as ISPD Program Director (essentially Deputy Executive Director of ISPD), focusing on conference planning, program development, organization operations, and governance. If you are at the conference in San Diego – and we hope you are – please say hello to Alison and welcome her to this new role.

If you have any questions for Alison, please do not hesitate to contact her at

Laboratory Technniques: The Dutch TRIDENT studies: Implementing NIPT as part of the national prenatal screening program

Sistermans EA, Galjaard RJ, Scheffer H, Henneman L, on behalf of the NIPT consortium

Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) has been rapidly introduced worldwide. In many countries this has been done by companies and/or (academic) medical centers, without any governmental guidance.


The Laboratory Techniques SIG is dedicated to the advancement of the art and science of all aspects of the various laboratory techniques in use in fetal diagnosis, including validation and implementation of new techniques. Please visit our website!

Ethics SIG News

We are happy to inform you that we have found two excellent successors to coordinate the Ethics SIG: Dr. Megan Allyse and Dr. Marsha Michie. Both are US-based academic ethicists with a longstanding interest and publication record in the field of prenatal screening and diagnosis.


The Ethics of Reproductive Testing and Fetal Therapy SIG provides a forum for engagement, education, and support around ethical issues arising in reproductive testing and fetal therapy. Activities include preconference courses, input into guidelines, provision of resources and engaging with SIG members. 

Prenatal Diagnosis Journal

Prenatal Diagnosis 37-1
May 2017 Editor's Choice Article:

Samango-Sprouse, C., Keen, C., Sadeghin, T., and Gropman, A. The benefits and limitations of cell-free DNA screening for 47, XXY (Klinefelter syndrome). Prenatal Diagnosis. 2017; 37: 497–501. doi: 10.1002/pd.5044.

Read the May Editor's Choice article →

May 2017 Issue:  Table of Contents


Prenatal Diagnosis 37-6
June 2017 Editor's Choice Article:

Hartwig, T. S., Ambye, L., Sørensen, S., and Jørgensen, F. S. Discordant non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) – a systematic review. Prenatal Diagnosis. 2017; 37: 527–539. doi: 10.1002/pd.5049.

Read the June Editor's Choice article →

June 2017 Issue:  Table of Contents

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

International Conference Speaker Spotlight

Join us at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina in the heart of sunny San Diego, California for the 21st International Conference on Prenatal Diagnosis and Therapy, 9-12 July 2017. 

Featured invited speakers:
In our last issue we featured our Opening Plenary Speaker, Dennis Lo, Director of the Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. He will present Pushing towards the limit of noninvasive prenatal testing during the Opening Plenary, Monday, 10 July 2017.

Roberto Romero, MD, D.Med.Sci., is Chief of the Perinatology Research Branch of the NICHD/NIH. He will present Fetal intelligent navigation sonography: Complexity made simple during the Opening Plenary, Monday, 10 July 2017. Read more about Roberto Romero... 

Alan Flake, MD, FACS, FAAP is an attending pediatric and fetal surgeon in the Division of Pediatric General, Thoracic and Fetal Surgery at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He will present The artificial placenta during the Closing Plenary, Wednesday, 12 July 2017.  Read more about Alan Flake...

Jennifer Radin is an epidemiologist with the Digital Medicine Division at Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI) where she conducts research to improve disease prediction and prevention by incorporating digital devices, sensors, and platforms. She will present Redefining a healthy pregnancy using mobile technology during the Closing Plenary, Wednesday, 12 July 2017. Read more about Jennifer Radin



View the Conference Program →

Conference Recordings

Conference RecordingsMiss a conference? Purchase access to the recordings!

Recording Features:

  • Presentation slides from preconference courses, debates and concurrent sessions
  • Synchronized audio of the presenter with animation of the mouse and embedded video
  • Access for at least 2 years anywhere you have an internet connection

Recordings are available for the 2015 conference in Washington, DC and the 2016 conference in Berlin.

See a list of available recordings →

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.


Not a member of ISPD?

Join Now! Participate in Special Interest Groups, enjoy online journal access and reduced International Conference rates!

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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

Igna Van den Veyver, President (USA)
Louise E. Wilkins-Haug, President-Elect (USA)
Sylvie Langlois, Secretary (Canada)
Antoni Borrell, Treasurer (Spain)
Lucas Otaño, Past President (Argentina)

Rossa Chiu (Hong Kong)
Roland Devlieger (Belgium)
Francesca Romana Grati (Italy)
Monique C. Haak (Netherlands)
Sebastian Illanes (Chile)
R. Douglas Wilson (Canada)

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.



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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