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Staff and Research

Laboratory of Reproductive Biology is headed by professor Claus Yding Andersen. Included in the laboratory management is also professor Anne Grete Byskov, former head of the laboratory. 

The laboratory employs 20 people, including 2 gyneacologists, 1 senior scientist, 2 laboratory technicians, 8 PhD students and 5 Master students.


                          Claus Yding Andersen

Claus Yding Andersen has worked with reproductive biology and assisted reproduction since the early 1980’ties and was part of the team that started in vitro fertilization as a treatment in Denmark. He is now heading the laboratory and holds a MSc degree from the Danish Technical University and a DMSc degree from Copenhagen University. He has published more than 200 scientific papers, gives many internationals presentations and is an often requested teacher. He currently serves on several editorial and scientific boards. His main scientific interests include ovarian endocrinology and physiology, fertility preservation, gonadal development and human embryonic stem cells.  Clinically the laboratory undertakes cryopreservation of ovarian and testicular tissue for fertility preservation from patients at risk of becoming infertile due to the treatment of a severe disease.  In Denmark this service has been centralised to our laboratory, which is the only laboratory performing these procedures.



                            Anne Grete Byskov
                            Professor Emeritus

Anne Grete Byskov obtained her MSc degree in Biology (1968), PhD in reproductive biology (1973) and Doctor of Sciences (1980). In 1980 she became the head of the Laboratory. In 1983 she relocated the Laboratory to Rigshospitalet where she in 1986 was responsible for implementing the laboratory-based part of IVF treatment in Denmark, when the treatment was still experimental. Around year 2000 Claus Yding Andersen and Anne Grete developed the current program of cryopreservation of human ovarian tissue and established the formation of human embryonic stem cell lines. Throughout her scientific carrier she has focussed on reproduction, basic sciences as well as its clinical applications. She has achieved comprehensive and internationally recognition for her basic research in reproductive biology, in particular in development and function of the mammalian gonads, mostly with focus on the ovary.   She has served as a mentor for numerous candidates, Ph.D. students and doctoral thesis fellows.


                               Marjo Westerdahl 

Marjo Westerdahl is a bioanalyst who joined the Laboratory of Reproductive Biology in 2007. She graduated in Eindhoven, Holland, in 1982. From 1988 to 1995 she settled in Norway, where she worked at Section for Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, Center of Biotechnology, and Nycomed Pharma. In 1995 she continued her career at the Finsen Laboratory, Rigshospitalet, Denmark, where she obtained extensive knowledge of sterile work, cell culture and biochemical analysis, including hormone assays. At LRB Marjo has specialised in stem cell culture, ELISA and cryopreservation of ovarian tissue. She is also responsible for the training of new students in the laboratory.


                                     Inga Husum

Inga Husum has more than 40 years of experience in our laboratory. She is originally from Poland and has maintained strong links to Poland during all the years. Inga has during this long period been in charge of our histology section and is capable of producing exceptional good histological preparations from even very tiny amounts of material as for instance individual follicles.


                              Kirsten Tryde Schmidt

Kirsten Tryde Schmidt is a gynaecologist at the Fertility Clinic, University Hospital of Copenhagen (Rigshospitalet), where she works as a fertility specialist with IVF and also is clinically responsible for the fertility preservation programme, including counselling and choosing patients eligible for cryopreservation of ovarian tissue. She earned her university degree in 1992 and specialized in gynaecology and obstetrics in 2008. In 2005 she achieved a PhD degree from the University of Copenhagen with the thesis "Cryopreservation of ovarian tissue from girls and women prior of treatment of a malignant disease”. Kirsten is currently employed in a position between the Fertility Clinic and the Laboratory of Reproductive Biology.
Her research focuses on fertility preservation in cancer patients.


                                Mikkel Rosendahl

Mikkel Rosendahl graduated from the Medical School at the University of Copenhagen in 2002. After an 18-month internship, he focused on his specialist training in gynaecology and obstetrics. In 2009, he defended his PhD thesis on preservation of fertility from the Laboratory of Reproductive Biology and the Fertility Clinic at Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet.


                              Stine Gry Kristensen
                                     PhD Student

Stine Gry Kristensen is a PhD graduate student at the Laboratory of Reproductive Biology, which she joined in March 2009. She graduated in Biology from the University of Copenhagen in 2009 with a Master in cell and developmental biology. Her present work focuses on human follicle development and the regulatory mechanisms underlying early folliculogenesis. The Danish cryopreservation programme for ovarian tissue at LRB provides a unique opportunity to work with human ovarian tissue. In the first part of her PhD Stine has developed a method to isolate preantral human follicles from discarded medulla tissue, and this method enables her to study early follicular development and perform in vitro studies. Currently, Stine is developing a 3D culture system for preantral human follicles and investigating the effect of different gonadotropins and growth factors that possibly influence on follicle growth, survival and maturation in vitro.

Stine is also course-coordinator of The Copenhagen Workshop on Cryopreservation of Ovarian Tissue.


                                     Tine Greve
                                    PhD Student

Tine Greve graduated as a medical doctor from the University of Copenhagen in 2005. After working clinically in departments of obstetrics and gynaecology and oncology she enrolled in a PhD-program at Laboratory of Reproductive Biology in 2010. Her main interests are the safety of autotransplantation of cryopreserved ovarian tissue and developing new methods of cryopreservation of the female gametes.


                                 Christian Brøchner
                                       PhD Student

Christian graduated as a medical doctor from the University of Copenhagen in June 2009. Following this he worked as a resident orthopaedic and as a general practitioner prior to enrolment as a PhD-student in January 2011 in a joint project between LRB and Institute of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, The Panum Institute, University of Copenhagen. His previous studies have primarily been on pluripotent human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and he developed a technique for visualising differentiating hESCs in culture 3-dimensional. The current project is focused on early human cortical development and establishment of cortical neurons from human embryonic stem cell lines. Aims of the study are basic embryological developmental understanding and controlled differentiation of hESCs, paramount for using hESCs on a clinical basis.

                      Tonny Studsgaard Petersen
                                    PhD Student

Tonny Petersen is an industrial PhD student at LEO Pharma A/S and Laboratory of Reproductive Biology since February 2011. He graduated as a medical doctor from the University of Aarhus in 2006. He is currently on leave from his training in Clinical Pharmacology to work on his PhD project. The purpose of the project is to characterize the species differences in the regulation of the cAMP pathway in follicles and granulosa-cells primarily from human and rat ovaries.


                             Pernille Linnert Jensen
                                     PhD Student

Pernille Linnert Jensen is an industrial PhD student at ORIGIO a/s and Laboratory of Reproductive Biology since October 2009. She graduated in Biology from the University of Copenhagen in 2009. She works with human embryonic stem cells (hESC), which are derived from early human embryos. The perspective of hESC research is to create specific cell types in the laboratory to replace sick or missing cells in diseased individuals and thereby cure diseases like Diabetes, spinal cord injuries, blindness, Alzheimers, cardiovascular diseases and more. In order to use hESC for treatment of human individuals, the laboratory culture conditions of the cells need to be standardized and defined – and all animal components should be avoided. Her project is focusing on the development of such a defined and standardized culture environment for hESC.


                              Linn Salto Mamsen
                                   PhD Student

Linn Salto Mamsen completed her master in Human Biology from the University of Copenhagen at the Laboratory of Reproductive Biology in 2010. Her project evaluated whether maternal cigarette smoking during pregnancy affected the number of germ cells in the developing testes of the male embryo and foetus. The study found that the number of germ- and somatic cells was significantly reduced in testes exposed prenatally to cigarette smoke, and the same significant negative effect was found when exposed testes and ovaries were analyzed together.  In 2011 Linn continues the studies on human germ cell development as a PhD student at the laboratory. These studies aim to clarify the mechanisms, on a genetic level, by which germ cell number is reduced by cigarette smoke. Furthermore, cell survival and cell proliferation rates are examined in culture studies in which toxic components found in cigarettes are added.
Linn is currently on maternity leave.


                            Janni Vikkelsø Jeppesen
                                      PhD Student

Janni Vikkelsø Jeppesen has been working at LRB since August 2010 after graduating as M.Sc. in Biochemistry from the University of Copenhagen.  In June 2011 she started her PhD studies. Her work focus on characterization of human small antral follicles, obtained from human ovaries surgically removed for fertility preservation by cryopreservation. Small antral follicles visible on the surface of the ovary or exposed during preparation of the ovarian cortex are aspirated and used in this study. To characterize the small antral follicles, levels of testosterone, estradiol, progesterone, androstenedione, follistatin, activin A and AMH are measured in the follicular fluid and mRNA expressions of the FSH-receptor, LH-receptor, Androgen-receptor, Cyp19 (Aromatase), AMH and AMH-recpetor 2 from the corresponding granulosa cells are estimated using qRT-PCR. The perspective of this study is to get a better insight into the complex regulatory mechanisms controlling folliculo-genesis, especially at the small antral stage. 


                              Maj Linea Vestergaard
                                      PhD Student

Maj Linea Vestergaard has been working at LRB since September 2010 after graduating as M.Sc. in Biology from the University of Copenhagen. Her Masters studies focused on the molecular aspects of cardiac development and at LRB she has continued this work by studying the differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESC) to cardiac muscle cells (cardiomyocytes). In 2011 Maj started her PhD studies which involve producing a reproducible protocol for cardiomyocyte differentiation with the parallel characterization of the differentiation process and the cardiomyocytes. The perspectives of this study is to create a continuous production of heart cells for basic scientific studies and possibly for screening drug candidates and test potential toxic chemical substances.


                       Sofie Lindgren Christiansen
                                 Master Student

Sofie Lindgren Christiansen is a biology master student, who started working at LRB in 2010, when she wrote her bachelor thesis about characterizing and culturing human embryonic stem cells, derived from human blastocysts. In the Summer of 2010 she finished her Bachelor degree and has started her Master degree and is now working on her master thesis here at LRB, where she is to differentiate human embryonic stem cells into cardiomyocytes and characterize these, for the purpose of creating a stable cardiomyocyte cell line for drug testing and developmental studies, together with Maj Vestergaard.