CRU postgraduate course: Comparative reproductive biotechnologies, 2.0 ETCS

The aim of the course is to expand the participants’ knowledge and understanding of reproductive biotechnologies in vertebrate animals and humans. Comparative aspects of reproductive biotechnologies in humans and animals will be covered.


Persons admitted to, or have completed, a postgraduate program in animal science, reproduction, biology, medicine, veterinary medicine, food science, nutrition, or related subjects, or to a specialist training program (e.g. resident) or equivalent within the same subjects. A basic understanding of reproductive biology is needed.

Learning outcomes

After completing the course the student shall be able to:

1) Explain how to manipulate basic reproductive endocrinology

2) Describe the different reproductive biotechnologies (e.g.)

  • Artificial insemination
  • Embryo production in vitro and in vivo and embryo transfer
  • Preservation, cryopreservation and vitrification
  • Cloning and gene targeting
  • Intracytoplasmic sperm injection and other gamete manipulations

3) Explain the principles of cryobiology

4) Discuss potential epigenetic effects of reproductive biotechnologies

5) Discuss species differences and similarities in reproductive biotechnologies

6) Discuss aspects of security and biosecurity in relation to reproductive biotechnologies

7) Discuss aspects of reproductive biotechnologies in relation to the student´s own work

8) Discuss ethical aspects of the use of reproductive biotechnologies


The contents will include the following topics (including comparative aspects):

  • Overview on gamete production and collection, male and female
  • Update on how to prepare females for assisted reproductive technologies (ART)
  • Gamete quality and factors affecting gamete quality
  • Sperm selection methods to improve sperm quality
  • Embryo production in vivo and in vitro
  • Transgenesis, cisgenesis, gene targeting and potential epigenetic effects
  • Reproductive strategies in wild populations and conservation breeding
  • Ethics and animal welfare
Pedagogical form

The course will include lectures, group discussions and practical sessions. A preliminary schedule is attached.


Handouts and scientific articles


Successful completion requires 80 % attendance, completion of pre-course assignments, presentation of own reproductive biotechnology project for the participants during the course, active participation in group discussions, during lectures and practical sessions.

Additional information

The course will be given in collaboration with the Centre for Reproductive Biology in Uppsala, the Cell for Life Platform and the Developmental Biology Platform SLU.

There will be a pre-course assignment consisting of reading the scientific articles and preparing an oral presentation for the other students at the start of the course summarizing how reproductive biotechnologies relates to their own project. A written summary of how their own work relates to reproductive biotechnologies must be sent in before the course starts.

There is no course fee. The participants will cover their own travel and living costs.

Target audience

PhD students and residents. Others that are interested are also welcome.

Link to application page will appear here closer to the course date.

Preliminary schedule Comparative reproductive biotechnologies

9th to 13th of November 2020. The course aims to be on site in VHC, Ultuna, Uppsala but may be given over Zoom if necessary due to the corona outbreak.


Monday 9th of November (Introduction/overview mammals and ovarian tissue)

9:00 – 9:30 Coffee and registration

9:30 Introduction and practical information (Ylva Sjunnesson)

9:35 – 10:15 Sperm production, sperm collection and quality evaluation in animals (Jane Morrell)

10:25 – 10:55 Artificial insemination in animals and basic cryobiology (Jane Morrell/Eva Axnér)

11:05 – 11:45 Female cyclicity, fertilization and early embryo development in animals (Renée Båge)

11:45 Lunch

12:45 – 13:30 Participants own presentations session 1(Ylva Sjunnesson)

13:35 – 14:05 Endocrine manipulation in animals (Eva Axnér/Renée Båge)

14:15 – 14:45 Human cyclicity, fertilization and early embryo development (To be announced)

14:45 – 15:05 Coffee break

15:05 – 15:35 Culture of human ovarian tissue (Pauliina Damdimopoulou)

15:45 – 16:15 Cryopreservation of human ovarian tissue (Claus Yding Andersen)

16:25 – 16:55 Endocrine manipulation in humans (Sarah Nordqvist)

17:00 Get together, light snack


Tuesday 10th of November (Female focus)

9:00 – 9:30 Human embryo production in vivo/in vitro including OPU, ICSI, IVF, Cryopreservation, ET and AI (To be announced)

9:30 – 9:50 Coffee break

9:50- 10:20 Cont.

10:20 – 10:25 Break

10:25 – 10:55 Cont.

10:55 – 11:05 Break

11:05 – 11:35 Group discussions

11:35 Lunch

12:35 Participants own presentations session 2 (Ylva Sjunnesson)

13:10 Break

13:20 – 17:00 (including breaks) Animal embryo production in vivo/in vitro including OPU, ICSI, IVF, Cryopreservation, ET and AI (Anne van Soom)

Social event

Course dinner


Wednesday 11th of November: (Male focus)

9:00 – 9:25 PGD and other tests (Erik Iwarsson)

9: 30 – 10:00 Selection of sperm in animals (Jane Morrell)

10:00 – 10:20 Coffee break

10:20 – 10:50 Testicular biopsies and transplants (Muren Herrid)

10:55 – 11:25 Cont.

11:30 Group discussions

12:00 Lunch

13:00 – 13:30 Selection and evaluation of human sperm (Thorir Hardarson)

13:30 – 13:40 Break

13:40 – 14:10 Testicular biopsies in human (Aleksander Giwercman)

14:10 Coffee break

14:30 – 17:00 Practical session 1


Thursday 12th of November (Non mammalian species focus)

9:00 – 9:45 Aquatic animals – basic info comparative aspects to mammals (Stefan Örn/Gunnar Carlsson)

9:45 – 9:50 Coffee break

9:50 – 10:35 Reproductive biotechnologies in fish (To be announced)

10:35 -10:55 Break

11:00 – 11:50 Basic bird reproduction and reproductive biotechnologies in birds (To be announced)

11:50 Lunch

12:50 – 13:20 Group discussions

13:20 – 13:55 Prel. Basic bee reproduction and reproductive biotechnologies (To be announced)

14:00 – 17:00 Practical session 2 (including coffee break)


Friday 13th of November (Specialized aspects and ethics)

9:00 – 9:40 Transgenesis and cloning (William Ritchie)

9:40 – 10.00 Coffee break

10:00 – 10:40 Cont.

10:50 – 11:30 Conservation breeding + reproductive strategies in wild populations (Katerina Jewgenov)

11:30 Group discussions

12:00 – 13:00 Lunch

13:00 – 13:45 Epigenetic effects of reproductive biotechnologies and LOS (Patrice Humblot)

13:45 – 14:05 Coffee break

14:05 – 16:00 Ethics and animal welfare workshop (Olle Torpman and Kristina Hug)

16:00 – 16:30 Course certificates and evaluation (Ylva Sjunnesson)

Practical sessions will include demonstrations of CASA (various species including human), aspiration and oocyte handling before IVF (bovine and porcine), aquatic laboratory study visit, AI in pig and bovine (practice using organs).