/ / Lyubov Tavokina took part in the work of the European Meeting in Italy

Lyubov Tavokina took part in the work of the European Meeting in Italy

Lyubov Tavokina took part in the work of the European Meeting in Italy

Lyubov Tavokina, the head of molecular cytogenetics laboratory of ISIDA clinic, took part in the work of the 11th European Cytogenetics Conference which was held on July 1-4, 2017 in Florence, Italy.

The European Cytogenetics Conference is the annual international meeting of the European Society of Cytogenetics which takes place in different countries of Europe and gathers the best experts in this field of genetics.

Cytogenetics is a branch of genetics which is concerned with a normal  or abnormal structure of chromosomes  as well as those factors and mechanisms that can lead to chromosomal breakage. The consequences of these breakages are also in the areas of professional interest for cytogenetic specialists.

"The purpose of my trip to the European Cytogenetics Conference in Italy was to get information about new methods of increasing the diagnostic level of the laboratory with the subsequent introduction of these methods into the work of the clinic," - said Lyubov Tavokina who is a laboratory assistant at ISIDA clinic and the head of the molecular cytogenetics laboratory. - Genetics in general and cytogenetics in particular have experienced a very rapid development. Participation in these events provides an opportunity to be aware of the latest scientific discoveries and, finally, to provide patients with high-quality diagnostic services."

The European Cytogenetics Conference 2017 gathered about a thousand participants from all countries of the European Community. Leading specialists in the field of human cytogenetics, cytogenetic practitioners, came to Italy to listen and discuss reports on the main branches of cytogenetics:

  • clinical cytogenetics;
  • cancer cytogenetics;
  • prenatal diagnosis;
  • cytogenetics of animals and plants;
  • issues of laboratory accreditation and external quality control;
  • molecular mechanisms of chromosomal rearrangements;
  • highly sensitive method – next generation sequencing in cytogenetics.

All the reports had a high scientific level, they expanded the vision of ​​how cell genome works in general, about the possibilities of high-sensitivity tests (comparative genomic hybridization, next generation sequencing, etc.) in the diagnosis of hidden (small size) chromosomal breakages that are not diagnosed by traditional methods of classical cytogenetics. The whole section was devoted to the study of epigenetic factors that take part in the regulation of genes without affecting the structure of DNA.

Molecular cytogenetics laboratory at ISIDA clinic has been working successfully for 13 years. Specialists of the laboratory perform prenatal diagnosis of fetus for pregnancies with high-risk chromosomal pathology; also they diagnose various groups of patients like those who have children with mental illnesses in their family, infertility problems. Therefore, the reports on non-invasive prenatal diagnosis were of great practical importance for ISIDA patients. The experience of the persuasively proves that this method can only be screening and when obtaining positive results (the detection of a chromosomal abnormalities of fetus through  mother's blood) should be supplemented by the method of traditional prenatal karyotyping using amniotic fluid or other fetal tissues.

The issue of the introduction of pre-implantation genetic screening (PGS) for patients with various forms of infertility in the routine practice of IVF clinics was submitted for a wide discussion of participants of the 11th European Cytogenetics Conference. The relevance of this topic is emphasized by the fact that the open phenomenon of chromosomal mosaicism at the earliest stages of embryogenesis can undermine the effectiveness of this test. Thus, there was a great interest of all participants of the meeting when this issue was raised.

"Personally for me, the most interesting was” Mechanistic aspects of chromothripsis” report by Peter Lichter", - continues Lyubov Tavokina, sharing her impressions of the meeting.

The phenomenon of chromothripsis has been discovered quite recently (2011, Philip Stephens). It is interpreted as cellular crisis, leading to the formation of sophisticated chromosomal rearrangements. Initially, this phenomenon was discovered for cancer cells. Later, the effects of such catastrophic events (chromothripsis) were found in some cases of congenital balanced translocations and during the analysis of sophisticated chromosomal rearrangements for persons with developmental delay or mental disorder. This report was somehow similar to the message of scientists from Russia I.Y. Yurova and others in their report "Chromothripsis as a mechanism driving genomic instability of mediating brain diseases".

Based on all obtained data, authors made a suggestion that chromosomal instability of tissue can cause a wide range of sophisticated diseases, such as brain diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, autism, mental disorder, etc.

"As a cytogenetic specialist, I understand that the diagnosis of such rearrangements will require the introduction of more sensitive methods into the practice of the laboratory. And patients of IVF clinics, like no other, need the most thorough genetic diagnosis. The ISIDA clinic has been specializing in the treatment of infertility for 25 years. This means that our doctors are at the root of a new life that is born after treatment, often with the use of methods of assisted reproductive medicine. And this life should be healthy, for this purpose we take part in events like the Meeting of cytogenetic specialists, held in Italy. And that is exactly what every day of our work is dedicated to" - with these words Lyubov Tavokina concludes her story about participation in the 11th European Cytogenetics Conference.

Lyubov Vasilievna Tavokina, the head of the molecular cytogenetics laboratory and a laboratory assistant, has almost 40 years experience, she is a candidate of biological sciences and an assistant of the Department of Medical and Laboratory Genetics of the NMAPE named after. P. L. Shupik. Lyubov Vasilievna is the author of more than 40 printed scientific works and the owner of one patent for an invention in the field of optimization of laboratory diagnostics. She is a member of the group of scientific consultants of "Cytogenetics", the inter-laboratory quality control program which started in 2011.

Lyubov Vasilievna regularly takes part in scientific and practical seminars and meetings devoted to the clinical human cytogenetics, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, methods of prenatal screening, and so on.

At ISIDA clinic, Lyubov Tavokina deals with the diagnosis of chromosomal pathology for patients with infertility, and also she performs prenatal diagnosis of chromosomal pathology, the complex diagnosis of patients with habitual miscarriage, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis.


If you have difficulties with conceiving a child, become one step closer to your dream of motherhood. Call ISIDA clinic, make an initial appointment with a fertility specialist. Phone numbers: 0 800 60 80 80; +38 (044) 455 88 11