prof. Björn Heindryckx (PhD)

CRIG member
Björn Heindryckx

PI, Ghent-Fertility and Stem cell Team (G-FaST), Department for Reproductive Medicine, Ghent University Hospital

Research focus

The G-FaST aims its research towards infertile couples who cannot be treated by the current available assisted reproductive technologies. These include (i) sterile couples without gametes for which we want to create gametes de novo from human embryonic stem cells; and (ii) couples who experienced failed fertilization and maturation after intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) or with genetic disorders.


  • Embryonic stem cell research
    • Manipulating cell fate during human pre-implantation development.
    • In vitro differentiation of hESC towards germ cells.
    • Genome wide comparison of (epi-)genomic and transcriptomic status of human embryonic stem cells derived in different culture conditions.
    • Finding new strategies to derive naive or ground state mouse ESC.
  • Embryological research
    • Failed or abnormal low fertilization after ICSI.
    • Overcome oocyte meiotic arrest.
    • Diagnosis and nuclear transfer techniques to overcome transmission of mitochondrial disorders.
    • Gene editing in embryonic stem cells and the mouse and human germline: study the role of genes during embryonic development and gene correction to overcome the transmission of genetic diseases


  • Principle Investigator, Ghent-Fertility And Stem cell Team, Department for Reproductive Medicine, Ghent University Hospital
  • Professor at Ghent University.
  • PhD in 2006: Experimental contribution to infertility research: Artificial gametes and assisted oocyte activation.
  • Currently promoter/co-promoter of 9 PhD students.
  • Coordinator of Special Interest Group of Stem Cells of ESHRE
  • Co-founder of the Belgian Society for Stem Cell Research (BeSSCR).
  • Author and co-author of 62 A1 publications.
  • Main topics of research:
    • Early lineage segregation in mouse and human
    • Mouse and human embryonic stem cell derivation
    • Differentiation of pluripotent stem cells into germ cells
    • Failed fertilisation after ICSI & the oocyte activation mechanism
    • Oocyte maturation arrest
    • Techniques to overcome mitochondrial disease transmission
    • Non-invasive techniques of gamete&embryo selection
    • Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis using next generation sequencing.

Research team

  • Björn Heindryckx
  • Annekatrien Boel
  • Dominic Stoop
  • Swati Mishra
  • Panagiotis Stamatiadis
  • Bieke Bekaert
  • Arantxa Barberan
  • Gwenny Cosemans
  • Muhammad Fakhar-I-Adil
  • Noemi Castelluccio
  • Winter Vandenberghe
  • Andrei Rybouchkin


  • Corneel Heymanslaan 10, 9000 Ghent