Established in 1636, UU (Utrecht University) has evolved into a leading modern research university with a growing international reputation. On the 2013 Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities, Utrecht University ranked first in the Netherlands, 11th in Europe and 52th in the world. With nearly 30,000 students and 8,500 employees divided over 7 faculties, Utrecht University spans the entire spectrum of academic research and education.

Veterinary Medicine
The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Utrecht University is the only place in the Netherlands where veterinarians are trained. This means that our Faculty is the centre of expertise and point of reference for veterinary issues for the entire country, and increasingly for the world abroad as well. Our activities include providing primary health and welfare care for a variety of types of animals, monitoring food safety and the prevention of zoonoses (diseases transferable from animals to humans). The Faculty is considered one of the leading veterinary medicine faculties in Europe and is ranked in the top five world-wide.

Celbiological & Reproduction laboratory 
The research at the ‘reproduction laboratory’ falls within the research programme ‘Biology of Reproductive Cells’ of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.  The research focuses on the processes that prepare mammalian oocytes for fertilization, fertilization and early mammalian development, particularly of the pig and cattle. Simultaneously, we study the processes that regulate cellular developmental potency in adult and embryonic stem cells.                                            
Principal Investigators: Tom Stout and Andras Dinnyes
Co-promotor/daily supervisor: Dr Bernard Roelen and Marta de Ruijter-Villani
Prof. Tom Stout, Equine Medicine and Reproduction
Tom Stout qualified from Cambridge University's School of Veterinary Medicine. He performed his PhD (also via University of Cambridge) on 'Maternal Recognition of Pregnancy in the Mare' under the supervision of Professor W.R. 'Twink' Allen at the Equine Fertility Unit in Newmarket funded by the Horserace Betting Levy Board and the Dorothy Russel Havemayer Foundation of New York. After a short period as Lecturer in Animal Reproduction at Cambridge University Veterinary School (1997-1999) he moved to Utrecht to become a lecturer in equine reproduction. In 2007, he was appointed to the Chair of Equine Medicine and Reproduction at the Department of Equine Sciences and also to an extraordinary Chair in Reproduction at the University of Pretoria, Department of Production Animal Sciences. Dr Stout is also a Diplomat of the European College of Animal Reproduction and a Royal Dutch Veterinary Association specialist in Equine Reproduction. He runs a busy clinic dealing with all aspects of equine reproduction, with increasing emphasis on assisted reproduction and diagnosis and treatment of infertility. His research interests are focussed on fertilization, early embryonic development and early pregnancy loss in mares and in the relationships between semen quality and fertility in stallions. He is also involved in studies into semen quality and early embryonic development in farm animal and wildlife species, and contraceptive techniques for the managment of wild animal populations. 
Dr Bernard Roelen
Bernard Roelen studied Biology at Utrecht University and subsequently performed a PhD study at the Hubrecht Institute (Utrecht) under the supervision of Christine Mummery. He worked for another 3 years as a junior researcher at the same institute. Afterwards he worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital/ Harvard Medical School in Boston (USA). After returning to the Netherlands he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Netherlands Cancer institute in Amsterdam. In 2003 he became Assistant professor and later Associate professor at the Department of Farm Animal Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University in Utrecht, the Netherlands. His research is focused mammalian germ cells, stem cells and pluripotency. 
Together with Christine Mummery and Anja van de Stolpe he wrote the book ‘ Stamcellen’ (in Dutch) published by Veen. In 2011 together with Christine Mummery, Anja van de Stolpe and Ian Wilmut he wrote an English updated version of this book  ‘Stem Cells’ that was published by Elsevier. In the same year the book was awarded the ‘ Medical Book Award’ by the British Medical Association.
Dr. Marta de Ruijter-Villani, Assistant Professor, Department of Equine Sciences - Reproduction
Marta de Ruijter-Villani graduated in veterinary medicine at the University of Milan (Italy) in 2003. She went through a period of specialization and research in the field of equine reproduction at the University of Milan, attending the breeding seasons 2004 and 2006, at Rossdales Equine Clinic (Newmarket, UK) and the breeding season 2005 at the Arcadia Equine Center (Vigone, Italy). In 2006 she obtained a PhD in Veterinary Science at the University of Milan. Since January 2007 she works at Utrecht University as Assistant Professor in Equine Reproduction. Since 2009 she is diplomate of the European College of Animal Reproduction (ECAR, Equine) and of the Royal Dutch Veterinary Association (in Equine Reproduction).
Her main interests are infertility problems in mares and stallions and surgery of the genital tract. She is also an active researcher in the field of implantation failure and epigenetics during early equine pregnancy.
Fellow, Karen Uhde, ESR 1
Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), Germany: MSc (October 2013) and BSc in Biochemistry (September 2011)
Fellow, Charlotte Gibson, ESR 2

Université François Rabelais, Tours, France: Master Sciences, Technologies, Health, mention Integrative Biology and Agrosciences, speciality Reproductive Biology (2013)
Université Paris Sud 11, France: BSc degree in Biology and Health (2008-2011)