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Beauty at the beginning of life by Professor Mary Herbert

Professor Mary Herbert, Newcastle University

Date/Time: Tuesday 7 December 2021, 5.30pm

Venue: This is an online event

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Hosted by Dr Martin Farr, with introduction from Professor Joris Veltman

Starting with the fertilised egg, Professor Herbert will go back in time to when the egg is first formed. The journey through its development ends with an embryo that is ready to implant in the wall of the uterus, giving rise to a new life. These earliest stages of life are mesmerisingly beautiful. Understanding their biology can transform human health and wellbeing, helping us to treat infertility and prevent transmission of inherited diseases.


Mary Herbert is Professor of Reproductive Biology at Newcastle University and Honorary Consultant Embryologist/Scientific Director at Newcastle Fertility Centre.  She was awarded a PhD from Newcastle University in 1998 and was appointed Consultant Embryologist at Newcastle NHS Hospitals Trust. In 2006 she moved to an academic position at Newcastle University and now leads a closely integrated team of research and clinical scientists.  Her work in the field of mammalian reproductive cell biology is focused on understanding the mechanisms governing transmission of the maternal genomes (nuclear and mitochondrial) and on developing clinically relevant methods to prevent disease transmission through the female germline. She was elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2019.

Live Q&A:

The lecture will be followed by a live Q&A with the speaker. You can submit a question in advance by sending an email to or during the event using YouTube Live Chat or via Twitter @InsightsNCL.

This event will be hosted on YouTube, registration is not required.