Erik Vrij

Principal Investigator

Embryonic bioengineering for reproductive success

Dr Erik Vrij is a principal investigator at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology (MUMC+) and works in partnership with the mouse synthetic embryo project at the MERLN Institute for Technology-Inspired Regenerative Medicine (UM). His expertise in stem cell-based embryo models and micro-engineered platforms, along with his collaborative efforts with clinicians, (epi)geneticists, embryologists, bioengineers, and biologists, drive him to pinpoint the critical processes that contribute to reproductive success. Specifically, he and his team develop novel mouse and human stem cell-based embryo model systems and combine them with engineered microenvironments, such as the endometrium-on-chip, to study peri- and post-implantation development. This will improve our understanding of early embryo development and the interplay with maternal tissues during conception, implantation, and early placentation. With the strong connections to the clinic, Erik Vrij aims to bridge the gap between stem cell models and clinical applications to ultimately improve the safety and efficiency of reproduction and reproductive techniques, including in vitro fertilization and diagnostics.

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