Elpida Fragouli, MSc, Ph.D.

Research Laboratory Director

Oxford Basic Research Centre

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Elpida Fragouli, MSc, Ph.D.


Dr. Elpida Fragouli, MSc, PhD, FRSB, FIBMS is the Research Laboratory Director of Oxford Basic Research Centre.

Dr. Fragouli obtained her Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology from the University of Surrey, and a Masters of Science in Biochemistry (Genetic Manipulation and Molecular Biology) from the University of Sussex. She went on to obtain a second Masters of Science in Prenatal Genetics and Fetal Medicine from University College London, followed by a PhD in Human Genetics, also from University College London (UCL).

During and after her PhD studies, Dr. Fragouli developed and performed multiple clinical cases for the preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) of various different types of structural chromosome abnormalities, such as reciprocal and Robertsonian translocations, inversions, at the UCL Centre for PGD. She also designed, optimised and validated one of the first strategies for preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidy (PGT-A). This strategy was clinically employed for the purposes of PGT-A at the UCL Centre for PGD. Dr. Fragouli remained in UCL’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology for 2 years after completion of her PhD studies, to carry out a research fellowship which involved a detailed investigation into the cytogenetics of human oocytes, focusing on identifying different aneuploidy mechanisms, developing novel ways of comprehensive chromosome assessment via the use of Comparative Genomic Hybridisation (CGH), as well as carrying out a transcriptomic analysis of chromosomally normal and abnormal oocytes. She was also involved in teaching in UCL’s MSc course in Prenatal Genetics and Fetal Medicine.

After completion of the UCL research fellowship, Dr. Fragouli took a research position at Yale University’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Her research at Yale involved the investigation of the cumulus cell transcriptome, in an attempt to determine the influence of the follicular environment to the generation of female aneuploidy. While at Yale, she was the first to optimise and clinically apply CGH for the comprehensive chromosome analysis of embryos at the blastocyst stage of preimplantation development for the purposes of PGT-A and PGD.

In 2007, Dr. Fragouli returned to the UK, and became the Laboratory Director of Repogenetics UK as well as holding a research position at the University of Oxford. During her time at Reprogenetics UK she oversaw and directed a large team of PGD specialist scientists, and was involved in the organisation of a very successful clinical service for the PGD of chromosome and single gene disorders, as well as for numerical chromosome abnormalities (PGT-A). While at Reprogenetics UK, Dr. Fragouli was responsible and led several research projects focused on the better understanding of the genesis of aneuploidy in gametes and embryos, and the identification of novel biomarkers of embryo competence.

Dr. Fragouli played a key role in the development, validation, and clinical application of CGH, the first comprehensive chromosome analysis method to be widely applied for the study of human embryos in both clinical and research settings. The proliferation of chromosome screening techniques seen during the last few years owes much to her early work in this area. Of particular note are her studies that highlighted the blastocyst as the optimal embryo stage for PGT-A to be undertaken. Moreover, Dr. Fragouli’s work led to the most detailed characterization of chromosome abnormalities in human oocytes published to date. Her research into finding biomarkers of embryo competence, identified several target genes with differential expression in cumulus cells surrounding aneuploid oocytes, and the possible role of mitochondrial DNA copy number as a predictor of embryo implantation potential.
Dr. Fragouli has published more than 150 peer-reviewed papers, abstracts, and book chapters. She has been the recipient of multiple awards for her work, including the New England Fertility Society-PCRS Exchange Prize for best submitted abstract (2007) awarded for the work on CGH analysis of trophectoderm samples biopsied from blastocyst stage embryos, the ESHRE Basic Science Prize (2011) for her work on the transcriptome of cumulus cells, and the ASRM SART (2015) Prize for her work on the assessment of the mitochondrial genome of human embryos. She is also a frequently invited speaker to national and international conferences.

Dr. Fragouli feels strongly about the need to improve the accuracy and efficacy of PGD. In that respect she has wide experience on the preparation and implementation of a Quality Management System complying with International accreditation Standards (ISO). She has also participated in committees responsible for the preparation of external quality assessment schemes (EQAs) relative to PGD and PGT-A. Dr. Fragouli is an active member of the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), a Fellow of the Royal Biology Society, and a Fellow of the Institute of Biomedical Sciences.

Dr. Fragouli has a strong commitment to teaching and the sharing of scientific knowledge. Towards this end she is currently a member of the Editorial Board of various scientific journals, including Human Reproduction, Reproductive Biomedicine Online, and the Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics. She is also serving as reviewer for the abovementioned journals, as well as others such as Molecular Human Reproduction, Fertility and Sterility, and Human Genetics. Dr. Fragouli continues to be an enthusiastic teacher and supervisor of postgraduate students at the University of Oxford. Her current research program focuses primarily on achieving a better understanding of the genesis of chromosome abnormalities in human gametes, the design and application of novel biomarkers to improve IVF outcomes, as well as the identification of patient characteristic traits that could affect fertility and infertility.

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BSc University of Surrey (1998)
MSc University of Sussex (1999)
MSc University College London (2000)
PhD University College London (2003)
Research Fellowship University College London (2004-2006)
Research Fellowship Yale University (2006-2007)

Honores y reconocimientos

Nominee - Clinical Science Award for oral presentation at ESHRE 2017
Nominee - ASRM General Program Prize 2015
SART prize for oral presentation at ASRM 2015
Nominee - Clinical Science Award for oral presentation at ESHRE 2014
People’s choice award for poster presentation at Fertility 2013
Nominee - Award for Oral presentation at ASRM 2013
SART prize at ASRM 2011
Basic Science Award for oral presentation at ESHRE 2011
Nominee - Basic Science Award for oral presentation at ESHRE 2007
New England Fertility Society- Pacific Coast Reproductive Society Exchange Prize for best submitted abstract 2007
Charlotte and Yule Bogue Research Fellowship, University College London, London, UK 2005


  • The incidence and origin of segmental aneuploidy in human oocytes and preimplantation embryos.
    Babariya D, Fragouli E, Alfarawati S, Spath K, Wells D.
    Hum Reprod, Epub, Nov 8, 2017.

  • Clinical implications of mitochondrial DNA quantification on pregnancy outcomes: a blinded prospective non-selection study.
    Fragouli E, McCaffrey C, Ravichandran K, Spath K, Grifo JA, Munné S, Wells D.
    Hum Reprod, 32: 2340-2347, 2017.

  • Mitochondrial DNA Quantification-the devil in the detail.
    Wells D, Ravichandran K, McCaffrey C, Grifo J, Morales A, Perloe M, Munne S, Fragouli E.
    Hum Reprod, 32: 2150-2151, 2017.

  • Detailed investigation into the cytogenetic constitution and pregnancy outcome of replacing mosaic blastocysts detected with the use of high-resolution next-generation sequencing.
    Munné S, Blazek J, Large M, Martinez-Ortiz PA, Nisson H, Liu E, Tarozzi N, Borini A, Becker A, Zhang J, Maxwell S, Grifo J, Babariya D, Wells D, Fragouli E.
    Fertil Steril, 108: 62-71, 2017.

  • Analysis of implantation and ongoing pregnancy rates following the transfer of mosaic diploid-aneuploid blastocysts.
    Fragouli E, Alfarawati S, Spath K, Babariya D, Tarozzi N, Borini A, Wells D.
    Hum Genet, 136: 805-819, 2017.

  • Mitochondrial DNA quantification as a tool for embryo viability assessment: retrospective analysis of data from single euploid blastocyst transfers.
    Ravichandran K, McCaffrey C, Grifo J, Morales A, Perloe M, Munne S, Wells D, Fragouli E.
    Hum Reprod, 32: 1282-1292, 2017.

  • Towards clinical application of pronuclear transfer to prevent mitochondrial DNA disease.
    Hyslop LA, Blakeley P, Craven L, Richardson J, Fogarty NM, Fragouli E, Lamb M, Wamaitha SE, Prathalingam N, Zhang Q, O'Keefe H, Takeda Y, Arizzi L, Alfarawati S, Tuppen HA, Irving L, Kalleas D, Choudhary M, Wells D, Murdoch AP, Turnbull DM, Niakan KK, Herbert M.
    Nature, 534: 383-386, 2016.

  • First validated clinical test selects best embryos for IVF and viable pregnancies.
    Fragouli E.
    MLO Med Lab Obs, 48: 38, 2016.

  • Polymorphisms in the MTHFR gene influence embryo viability and the incidence of aneuploidy.
    Enciso M, Sarasa J, Xanthopoulou L, Bristow S, Bowles M, Fragouli E, Delhanty J, Wells D.
    Hum Genet, 135: 555-568, 2016.

  • Mitochondrial DNA Assessment to Determine Oocyte and Embryo Viability.
    Fragouli E, Wells D.
    Semin Reprod Med, 33: 401-409,. 2015.

  • Altered levels of mitochondrial DNA are associated with female age, aneuploidy, and provide an independent measure of embryonic implantation potential.
    Fragouli E, Spath K, Alfarawati S, Kaper F, Craig A, Michel CE, Kokocinski F, Cohen J, Munne S, Wells D.
    Plos Genet, 11: e1005241, 2015.

  • Simultaneous assessment of aneuploidy, polymorphisms, and mitochondrial DNA content in human polar bodies and embryos with the use of a novel microarray platform.
    Konstantinidis M, Alfarawati S, Hurd D, Paolucci M, Shovelton J, Fragouli E, Wells D.
    Fertil Steril, 102: 1385-1392, 2014.

  • Clinical utilisation of a rapid low-pass whole genome sequencing technique for the diagnosis of aneuploidy in human embryos prior to implantation.
    Wells D, Kaur K, Grifo J, Glassner M, Taylor JC, Fragouli E, Munne S.
    J Med Genet, 51: 553-62, 2014.

  • Morphological and cytogenetic assessment of cleavage and blastocyst stage embryos.
    Fragouli E, Alfarawati S, Spath K, Wells D.
    Mol Hum Reprod, 20: 117-126, 2014.

  • The transcriptome of follicular cells: biological insights and clinical implications for the treatment of infertility.
    Fragouli E, Lalioti MD, Wells D.
    Hum Reprod Update, 20: 1-11, 2014.

  • The origin and impact of embryonic aneuploidy.
    Fragouli E, Alfarawati S, Spath K, Jaroudi S, Sarasa J, Enciso M, Wells D.
    Hum Genet, 132: 1001-1013, 2013.

  • Questions about the accuracy of polar body analysis for preimplantation genetic screening.
    Fragouli E, Wells D.
    Hum Reprod, 28: 1731-1732, 2013.

  • Embryos of robertsonian translocation carriers exhibit a mitotic interchromosomal effect that enhances genetic instability during early development.
    Alfarawati S, Fragouli E, Colls P, Wells D.
    Plos Genet, 8: e1003025., 2012.

  • Aneuploidy screening for embryo selection.
    Fragouli E, Wells D.
    Semin Reprod Med, 30: 289-301, 2012.

  • Alteration of gene expression in human cumulus cells as a potential indicator of oocyte aneuploidy.
    Fragouli E, Wells D, Iager AE, Kayisli UA, Patrizio P.
    Hum Reprod, 27: 2559-2568, 2012.

  • Intra-age, intercenter, and intercycle differences in chromosome abnormalities in oocytes.
    Munné S, Held KR, Magli CM, Ata B, Wells D, Fragouli E, Baukloh V, Fischer R, Gianaroli L.
    Fertil Steril, 97: 935-942, 2012.

  • Biomolecules of human female fertility--potential therapeutic targets for pharmaceutical design.
    Huang Z, Fragouli E, Wells D.
    Curr Pharm Des, 18: 310-324, 2012.

  • Transcriptomic analysis of follicular cells provides information on the chromosomal status and competence of unfertilized oocytes.
    Fragouli E, Wells D.
    Expert Rev Mol Diagn, 12: 1-4, 2012.

  • The cytogenetics of polar bodies: insights into female meiosis and the diagnosis of aneuploidy.
    Fragouli E, Alfarawati S, Goodall NN, Sánchez-García JF, Colls P, Wells D.
    Mol Hum Reprod, 17: 286-295, 2011.

  • First births after preimplantation genetic diagnosis of structural chromosome abnormalities using comparative genomic hybridization and microarray analysis.
    Alfarawati S, Fragouli E, Colls P, Wells D.
    Hum Reprod, 26: 1560-74, 2011.

  • Chromosome abnormalities in the human oocyte.
    Fragouli E, Wells D, Delhanty JD.
    Cytogenet Genome Res, 133: 107-118, 2011.

  • Aneuploidy in the human blastocyst.
    Fragouli E, Wells D.
    Cytogenet Genome Res, 133: 149-159, 2011.

  • A skewed sex ratio following blastocyst culture is a consequence of embryo grading systems that prioritise male embryos for transfer.
    Wells D, Alfarawati S, Fragouli E.
    BJOG, 118: 381, 2011.

  • Cytogenetic analysis of human blastocysts with the use of FISH, CGH and aCGH: scientific data and technical evaluation.
    Fragouli E, Alfarawati S, Daphnis DD, Goodall NN, Mania A, Griffiths T, Gordon A, Wells D.
    Hum Reprod, 26: 480-490, 2011.

  • The relationship between blastocyst morphology, chromosomal abnormality, and embryo gender.
    Alfarawati S, Fragouli E, Colls P, Stevens J, Gutiérrez-Mateo C, Schoolcraft WB, Katz-Jaffe MG, Wells D.
    Fertil Steril, 95: 520-524, 2011.

  • Transcriptomic profiling of human oocytes: association of meiotic aneuploidy and altered oocyte gene expression.
    Fragouli E, Bianchi V, Patrizio P, Obradors A, Huang Z, Borini A, Delhanty JD, Wells D.
    Mol Hum Reprod, 16: 570-582, 2010.

  • Improved detection of aneuploid blastocysts using a new 12-chromosome FISH test.
    Munné S, Fragouli E, Colls P, Katz-Jaffe M, Schoolcraft W, Wells D.
    RBM Online, 20: 92-97, 2010.

  • Clinical application of comprehensive chromosomal screening at the blastocyst stage.
    Schoolcraft WB, Fragouli E, Stevens J, Munne S, Katz-Jaffe MG, Wells D.
    Fertil Steril, 94: 1700-1706, 2010.

  • Comprehensive chromosome screening of polar bodies and blastocysts from couples experiencing repeated implantation failure.
    Fragouli E, Katz-Jaffe M, Alfarawati S, Stevens J, Colls P, Goodall NN, Tormasi S, Gutierrez-Mateo C, Prates R, Schoolcraft WB, Munne S, Wells D.
    Fertil Steril, 94: 875-987, 2010.

  • Comparative genomic hybridization of oocytes and first polar bodies from young donors.
    Fragouli E, Escalona A, Gutiérrez-Mateo C, Tormasi S, Alfarawati S, Sepulveda S, Noriega L, Garcia J, Wells D, Munné S.
    RBM Online, 19: 228-237, 2009.

  • Use of comprehensive chromosomal screening for embryo assessment: microarrays and CGH.
    Wells D, Alfarawati S, Fragouli E.
    Mol Hum Reprod, 14: 703-710, 2008

  • Comprehensive molecular cytogenetic analysis of the human blastocyst stage.
    Fragouli E, Lenzi M, Ross R, Katz-Jaffe M, Schoolcraft WB, Wells D.
    Hum Reprod, 23: 2596-2608, 2008.

  • Analysis of the evolution of chromosome abnormalities in human embryos from Day 3 to 5 using CGH and FISH.
    Daphnis DD, Fragouli E, Economou K, Jerkovic S, Craft IL, Delhanty JD, Harper JC.
    Mol Hum Reprod, 14: 117-125, 2008.

  • Molecular methods for selection of the ideal oocyte.
    Patrizio P, Fragouli E, Bianchi V, Borini A, Wells D.
    RBM Online, 15: 346-53, 2007.

  • Single cell diagnosis using comparative genomic hybridization after preliminary DNA amplification still needs more tweaking: too many miscalls.
    Fragouli E, Delhanty JD, Wells D.
    Fertil Steril, 88: 247-248, 2007.

  • Preimplantation genetic diagnosis: present and future.
    Fragouli E.
    JARG, 24: 201-207, 2007.

  • Increased susceptibility to maternal aneuploidy demonstrated by comparative genomic hybridization analysis of human MII oocytes and first polar bodies.
    Fragouli E, Wells D, Whalley KM, Mills JA, Faed MJ, Delhanty JD.
    Cytogen Genome Res, 114: 30-38, 2006.

  • Comparative genomic hybridization analysis of human oocytes and polar bodies.
    Fragouli E, Wells D, Thornhill A, Serhal P, Faed MJ, Harper JC, Delhanty JD.
    Hum Reprod, 21: 2319-2328, 2006.

  • Complete cytogenetic investigation of oocytes from a young cancer patient with the use of comparative genomic hybridisation reveals meiotic errors.
    Fragouli E, Wells D, Doshi A, Gotts S, Harper JC, Delhanty JD.
    Prenat Diagn, 26: 71-76, 2006.

  • Sequential FISH analysis of oocytes and polar bodies reveals aneuploidy mechanisms.
    Cupisti S, Conn CM, Fragouli E, Whalley K, Mills JA, Faed MJ, Delhanty JD.
    Prenat Diagn, 23: 663-668, 2003.

  • Preimplantation genetic diagnosis of chromosome abnormalities: implications from the outcome for couples with chromosomal rearrangements.
    Simopoulou M, Harper JC, Fragouli E, Mantzouratou A, Speyer BE, Serhal P, Ranieri DM, Doshi A, Henderson J, Rodeck CH, Delhanty JD.
    Prenat Diagn, 23: 652-662, 2003.

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