The theme for the joint annual conference was “Technologies and controversies in reproduction” featuring an exciting, cutting edge programme of high profile, scientific international and UK speakers, with a wide range of concurrent sessions focusing on specialist areas in fertility and reproductive biology guaranteed to excite, stimulate and motivate!

The learning hours for sessions attended is as below:

  • Thursday 3 January: 6 hours 35  mins
  • Thursday 3 January SRF late sessions: 2 hours
  • Friday 4 January: 9 hours 5 mins
  • Saturday 5 January: 5 Hours 30 mins

08.15   Registration, refreshments, exhibition and poster viewing


Opening plenary session

09.35 – 09.40  Welcome – Karen Schnauffer, Programme Chair, Association of Clinical Embroyologists, UK

09.40 – 10.10  Transplanted uterus – the difficulties and how to overcome them – Gerasimos Tzortzatos, Medical Director of Stockholm IVF, Eugin Clinic, Stockholm, Sweden

10.10 – 10.40  Emerging technologies, in mitochondrial research relevant to animal and clinical human practiceJustin St John, Professor, Centre for Cancer Research, Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Australia

10.40 – 11.10  Ethics of new technologies – Deborah Bowman, Professor of Bioethics, Clinical Ethics and Medical Law, St George’s, University of London, UK

11.10 – 11.20  Fertility Network UK update Aileen Feeney, Chief Executive, Fertility Network, UK

11.20 – 12.20  Exhibition, refreshments and attended poster presentations viewing

Anne McLaren memorial lecture 

12.20 – 13.10  In Vitro Gametogenesis (IVG): Next generation IVF?Evelyn Telfer, Personal Chair in Reproductive Biology, The University of Edinburgh, UK

13.10  Lunch, exhibition and poster viewing

14.10 – 15.40  Parallel short paper sessions 1

SP1A – ACE PRE-REG JEAN PURDY PRIZE – sponsored by CooperSurgical

  • The impact of sequential and single-step media systems on embryo and blastocyst development, utilisation rates and clinical outcomes in ART – Emily Hill, The Shropshire and Mid Wales Fertility Centre, UK
  • The effect of multinucleation on pregnancy rates Christina Lappa-Manakou, Embryologist, Wales Fertility Institute, UK
  • Redefining blastocyst morphology to enhance efficacy of embryo selection and reduce inter- and intra-operator consistencyThomas Mayne, Trainee Embryologist, Herts and Essex, UK
  • Differences in the timing of blastocyst development: Results from a prospective randomised comparative trial of human embryo culture media systemsEmma Gilmour, Trainee Embryologist, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, UK
  • Can time lapse imaging help identify inner cell mass splitting and reduce the frequency of Monozygotic Twinning after single embryo transfers?Karina Minto Sutherland, Trainee Embryologist, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, UK
  • Does the thaw to transfer interval (TTI) affect the outcome of a frozen embryo transfer (FET) cycle?George Woodhead, CARE Fertility Nottingham, UK


  • ICSI vs IVF in poor responders: Does the method of insemination alter the outcome in the absence of a medically indicated reason for choice of insemination? An analysis of 1 071 043 cycles of ART – Prasanna Raj Supramaniam, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, UK
  • Going, gonad, gone: A comparison of the management of gonadal torsion between men and women Alison Richardson, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, UK
  • The cytotoxic impact of repeated cisplatin exposure in vitro on markers of tissue health in ovine ovarian cortex – Hannah Newton, Clinical Research Fellow and Registrar in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, LICAMM, University of Leeds and Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust, UK
  • Direct effects of androgen on genes regulating cholesterol biosynthesis in human granulosa-lutein cells – Georgie Pool, MSc Student, Imperial College London, UK
  • Dysregulation of the Interleukin-17 pathway in women with unexplained infertility affects pregnancy outcome following assisted reproductive therapy – David Crosby, Clinical Research Fellow, Merrion Fertility Clinic and National Maternity Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  • Monitoring follicle number and serum oestradiol during ovarian stimulation may provide false reassurance in GnRH -antagonist cycles in women at high risk of OHSS – Akanksha Sood, Department of Reproductive Medicine, St Mary’s Hospital, UK


  • *Fertility nursing education and career progression framework – Francesca Steyn, The Centre for Reproductive and Genetic Health, UK 
  • *Meeting the learning needs of Health Care Assistants within a fertility setting – Katie Best, Gateshead Fertility Unit, UK
  • *Complexities of managing a donor sperm programme in 2018Denise Kerslake, Jessop Fertility, UK
  • Managing a patient’s expectations of miscarriage following assisted conceptionSusie Jacob, Leeds Fertility, UK
  • 2018 Study of 485 adult donor-conceived people – Wendy Kramer, Director, Donor Sibling Registry, USA
  • Understanding attitudes towards female genital mutilation and cutting among women (FGMC) attending antenatal clinicBola Grace, University College London, UK


  • Exosomes for mammalian sperm cells: Assessing the impact of this novel delivery tool for future clinical applications Teresa Vilanova, PhD Student, Nuffield Department of Women’s and Reproductive Health, UK
  • Mechanism of egg activation during fertilisation: Identifying sperm & egg factors, their role in egg activation and development – Roshan Sahu, DPhil Candidate, University of Oxford, UK
  • Gonadal tissue concentrations of phthalates perturb early follicle development in mouse ovarian explant culturesMorné E Van Der Mescht, PhD Student, University of Nottingham, UK
  • Rapamycin reduces the adverse impact of PTEN inhibition on DNA damage response without preventing increased follicle growth activationMila Maidarti, MRC Centre for Reproductive Health, Queens Medical Research Institute, University of Edinburgh, UK
  • Mouse embryos are susceptible to cohesion fatigueAdélaïde Allais, PhD Student, CRCHUM, Université de Montréal, Canada
  • The presence of trophoblast spheroids alters Toll-like receptor 5 activation in endometrial cells in an in vitro model Qijing Wang, PhD, Academic Unit of Reproductive and Developmental Medicine, University of Sheffield, UK

15.40  Exhibition, refreshments and poster viewing

16.10 – 16.15  Demo zone – CooperSurgical
PGTai Technology Platform – Tony Gordon, PhD. VP of Business Development, CooperGenomics

16.25 – 17.55  Update session 1


  • Freeze all strategy for all? Are we running before we can walk?Ying Cheong, Professor of Reproductive Medicine within Medicine, University of Southampton, UK
  • Whole ovary cryopreservation: Tales from sheepJuan Hernandez-Medrano, Assistant Professor in Reproductive Physiology, University of Nottingham, UK
  • Sex selection in ART babies – deliberate choice or natural bias?Siladitya Bhattcharya, Head of the School of Medicine, Cardiff University, UK


  • Impact of cancer treatment on future fertilityRichard Anderson, Elsie Inglis Professor of Clinical Reproductive Science, The University of Edinburgh, UK,
  • The impact of late follicular elevated progesterone in ARTAnnalisa Racca, University Hospital Brussels, Belgium
  • Poor ovarian reserve: What to do about nothing?F Broekmans, Professor of Reproductive Medicine, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Netherlands


  • Nutritional and metabolic influences on pubertyGraeme Martin, Professor, University of Western Australia, Australia
  • Kisspeptin signalling in reproduction: An updateBill Colledge, Professor of Reproductive Physiology, University of Cambridge, UK
  • Novel neuroendocrine pathways and mechanisms for the control of pubertyManuel Tena Sempere, Professor of Physiology, Cordoba University, Spain


  • Pattern recognition of pelvic pathologyTom Bourne, Adjunct Professor, Department of Surgery & Cancer, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, UK
  • Early pregnancy – practical advice on diagnosis of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy and the management of PULsEmma Kirk, Consultant Gynaecologist and Obstetrician, Imperial College London, UK
  • Antral follicle counts Nick Raine-Fenning, Clinical Director, Nurture Fertility, UK


17.55 – 18.55  Welcome reception in the exhibition

18.30 – 19.15  Sponsor symposium – The Ferring Debate: Quality or quantity?
Is there a ‘right’ number of oocytes for optimising ART outcomes?
Chairing the debate: Richard Anderson, Professor of Clinical Reproductive Sciente, University of Edinburgh
Speaking in favour of quantity: Nick Raine-Fenning MBChB, MRCOG, PhD, Medical and Scientific Director, Nurture Fertility,  The Fertility Partnership, Reader in Reproductive Medicine and Surgery, School of Medicine, University of Nottingham
Speaking in favour of quality: Sesh K Sunkara MBBS, MD (Repro Med Research), MRCOG, Senior Clinical Lecturer in Reproductive Medicine, King’s College London, Sub-specialist in Reproductive Medicine, Guy’s and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust, London


The different career pathways within academia. 

Transferable skills and your CV
Presenting with confidence and the importance of networking
Early Career Developmental Workshop introduction

Michelle Johnson & Rebecca Sumner, Hartpury University, Gloucester, UK


  • Last-minute K-fibre establishment underpins age-related chromosome segregation errors in mouse oocytes – Aleksandar Mihajlovic, Postdoctoral Fellow, CRCHUM, Université De Montréal, Canada
  • Spontaneous failure of mouse oocytes to reach metaphase II during maturation is overcome by inhibiting the spindle assembly checkpoint protein Mps1 Jessica Sanders, Research Fellow, University of Southampton, UK
  • Expression of the secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI) in bovine ovarian tissue and its potential role in cell migration associated with follicle and corpus luteum (CL) ‘turnover’ – Moafaq Samir, University of Wasit, Iraq
  • The metabolic and developmental impact of murine embryo culture in a novel microfluidic devicePaul McKeegan, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Reproduction and Early Development, LICAMM, University of Leeds, UK

07.45  Registration, refreshments, exhibition and poster viewing

08.00 – 08.50  
Merck symposia – A million dreams: A vision to reduce their time to live birth – Scott Nelson, Muirhead Chair in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, The university of Glasgow
08.00 – 08.50  SRF Exchange Lectures 
                          SSR/SRF Exchange lecture 2017
– Christopher Geyer, Associate Professor, Dept of Anatomy and Cell Biology, East Carolina University, USA
                         SRB 2018 David Healy New Investigator lecture:  Characterisation of lipoxygenase – lipid peroxidation pathway in human spermatozoa
 Jessica Walters, University of Newcastle, Australia


09.00 – 09.30  Technology platforms for female gametogenesis from traditional and non-traditional cell sourcesJonathan Tilly, University Distinguished Professor and Chair Department of Biology, Northeastern University, USA

09.30 – 10.00  Fertility preservation in prepubertal boysRod Mitchell, Research Group Leader and Honorary Consultant Paediatric Endocrinologist, MRC Centre for Reproductive Health, The University of Edinburgh, UK

10.00 – 10.30  What synthetic embryos can tell us about the control of gene expression in embryogenesis – Berna Sozen, Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Cambridge, UK 

10.40 – 11.20  Guerbet Symposia
10.40 – 11.00  Hysterosalpingography (HSG) technique and outcomes: Debunking some myths – Prof Anne Hemmingway, Imperial College London, UK
11.00 – 11.20  Oil-based or water-based contrast media for HSG in infertile women – results of a recent randomised control trialProf Velja Mijatovic, Amsterdam University Medical Center, The Netherlands


The Howard Jacobs lecture

11.30 – 12.20  Current and future decisions and related technologies in clinical IVF – Catherine Racowsky, Professor of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Reproductive Biology, Harvard University, USA

12.20 – 13.20  SOCIETY AGMs

ACE AGM – Including presentations of ACE Certificates and STP
SRF AGM – Including presentation of the SRF Marshall Medal 2018 – Rex Scaramuzzi

13.20  Lunch, Exhibition and poster presentations viewing

14.20  Parallel short paper sessions 2 5 sessions with short oral presentations

ACE POST REG PRIZE (inc Australian SIRT exchange prize) – part sponsored by CooperSurgical

  • A systematic literature review to determine whether “eggs that have failed to fertilise by normal IVF or ICSI are not re-inseminated by any means” is in the best interest of patientsCristina Hickman, Imperial College London, UK
  • Managing expectations of patients with a single oocyte collected – a retrospective analysis of outcome Caroline Rossiter, Senior Embryologist, CARE Fertility, UK
  • Pre-vitrification expansion stage does not appear to influence the FET outcomeKyriaki Andreou, Clinical Embryologist, The Hull IVF Unit, UK
  • An early chronotype in women is associated with IVF pregnancy Geraldine Hartshorne, Professor, Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, & Scientific Director, Centre for Reproductive Medicine, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, UK
  • Day of embryo biopsy and genetic diagnosis: Is there a link? Hayley Fisher-Stamp, IVI London, UK
  • The development and use of a laboratory prognostic tool for IVF patient successCatherine Wass, Senior Clinical Embryologist, Gateshead Fertility Unit, UK


  • Isolation of human testicular cells and co-culture with embryonic stem cells – Constance John, University of California, San Francisco, USA
  • SSR/SRF Exchange 2018: Understanding how the Aurora kinases regulate meiosis to make a good egg – Karen Schindler, Associate Professor, Department of Genetics, Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA
  • SSR/SRF Exchange New Investigator:  Understanding the role of endometrial hypoxia to improve management of heavy menstrual bleeding – Jackie Maybin, Senior Research Fellow/Honorary Consultant Gynaecologist, MRC Centre for Reproductive Health, University of Edinburgh, UK


  • BFS Australian exchange lecture 2017: Health of adults conceived following in vitro fertilisation (IVF) – Jane Halliday, Group Leader, Principal Research Fellow, Public Health Genetics, The Royal Children’s Hospital, Australia
  • The impact of paternal low protein diet and methyl-donor supplementation on fetal growth and placental developmentHannah L Morgan, Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Nottingham, UK
  • Zinc supplementation during in vitro culture of bovine growing oocytes – Rodrigo Barros, University of Milan, Italy
  • On-chip mouse embryo culture: evaluation of effects of uterine cells-conditioned media on embryo development and gene expression – Vanessa Mancini, PhD Student, University of Leeds, UK
  • Placental endocrin-e malfunction induces reproductive defects in murine offspring postnatallySijia Yao, Medicine Student, Imperial College London, UK

ANDROLOGY (Inc Iwan Lewis-Jones Prize)

  • Protective effects of omega-3 fatty acids on cyclophosphamide induced fertility alterationsEmmanuel Nnamonu, Federal College of Education, Enugu State, Nigeria    
  • Trace element profiles in canine and human semen: Evidence that dietary intake of micronutrients may influence semen composition and sperm function?Richard Lea, Nottingham University Hospital, UK
  • Structural modification of pentoxifylline improves sperm motility and fertilisation rate and developmental competence of embryosSandhya Kumari MV, Lecturer, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Mangalore, India   
  • Defining the impact of paternal diet on testicular morphology and apoptosis – Adam Watkins, Assistant Professor of Reproductive Biology, University of Nottingham, UK
  • The case for semen sampling as a simple, non-invasive surrogate for prostate health screeningDavid Miller, University of Leeds, UK


  • Acute maternal high fat diet during pre-implantation alone affects adult offspring hepatic expression of metabolic and epigenetic markers – Tom Fleming, Emeritus Professor of Developmental Biology, University of Southampton, UK
  • The risk of ‘de novo’ poor ovarian response during repeat IVF: Results of an externally validated prediction model based on more than 4,000 womenAthanasios Papathanasiou, Regional Lead Clinician, Bourn Hall Clinic, UK
  • Duration of ovarian stimulation does not affect the chances of live birth in couples undergoing IVF: An analysis of 8624 treatment cycles Islam Gamaleldin, Academic Clinical Lecturer in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Bristol Centre for Reproductive Medicine (BCRM) and University of Bristol, UK
  • Discriminative capacity of 1H-MRS spectrum binning for preterm delivery-associated Lactobacilli-dominated vaginal microbiota Steven Reynolds, Research Fellow, University of Sheffield, UK
  • The effects of maternal hyperandrogenaemia on infant growth in infants born to mothers with PCOS – Audrey Davar, Clinical research Associate, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, UK
  • Characterisation of vaginal cytokine expression during IVF: A cohort study – Shahriar Mowla, PhD Student, Imperial College London, UK

15.50  Exhibition, refreshments and poster presentations viewing

16.10 Demo zone – CooperSurgical 
ERPeak Endometrial Receptivity Test – Tony Gordon, PhD. VP of Business Development, CooperGenomics

16.30 – 18.00  Update session 2


  • Testicular organoids formation by the Three-Layer Gradient System (3-LGS)Joao Pedro Alves-Lopes, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
  • Personal genetic testing and the end of donor anonymityDebbie Kennett, Honorary Research Associate, University College London, UK
  • Individual sperm freezingChris Barratt, Professor, Reproductive Medicine Group, University of Dundee, UK (Invited)


  • Culture media transparencyArne Sunde, Professor, Fertility Clinic, St. Olav’s University Hospital in Trondheim, Norway
  • The first language: secreted MicroRNAsAlireza Fazeli, Professor, University of Sheffield, UK & Tartu University, Estonia
  • The mosaic embryoGreg Fitzharris, Editor, Reproduction Journal, Montreal, Canada


  • Menopause: New perspectives and paradigmsJoop Laven, Head of the Division Reproductive Medicine, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Going out with a bang – absence of reproductive senescence in eusocial naked mole-rats?Chris Faulkes, Reader in Evolutionary Ecology, Queen Mary University of London, UK
  • Adaptive post-reproductive life in the killer whaleDarren Croft, Professor of Animal Behaviour, University of Exeter, UK


  • Nurse leadershipHelen Kendrew, Matron, Bath Fertility, UK
  • The Senior Infertility Nurse Group: Together we can make a difference Debbie Evans, Director of Clinical Services, Herts &  Essex, UK
  • HFEA update: Training and PR leadership roles/ code of practice Nick Jones, Director of Compliance and Information, Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, UK

19.30  Social: Conference Dinner – ICC 

08.45 Registration, refreshments, exhibition and poster viewing



09.00 – 09.30   The artificial womb John Aplin, Professor of Reproductive Biomedicine, University of Manchester, UK

09.30 – 10.20   Transgenerational epigenetic effects of folic acidErica Watson, Lecturer in Reproductive Biology, University of Cambridge, UK


11.30 – 12.20 From animal IVF to the beginning of human clinical embryology: Problems, solutions and controversiesBarry Bavister, former Reproductive Biologist, New Orleans, USA

10.50 Exhibition and refreshments

11.30 – 12.30     PARALLEL SHORT PAPER SESSION 3  


  • The effect of the chemotherapy agent Paclitaxel on the germline stem cell niche of the human immature testisMelissa Durgahshree Tharmalingam, MRC Centre for Reproductive Health, University of Edinburgh, UK
  • Fertility preservation provision for female cancer patients in England – Ung Lim Teo, Specialist Registrar, Kingston Hospital, UK
  • The use of VEGF in tissue culture to enhance the vascularisation of cryopreserved ovarian tissue for use in ovarian tissue transplantationHayley Jackson, Medical Student, University College of London, UK


  • The quality of the overall cohort of embryos at day 3 is more predictive of success than quantityLinda Farahani, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, UK
  • Day-6 vitrified blastocysts have similar birth outcomes to day-5 blastocysts but there is a tendency to higher birthweight and birth centile for gestational age in the day-6 cohortMarco Gaudoin, GCRM, UK
  • In vivo fertilisation: A more natural approach to IVFMarcos Ferrando, IVI Bilbao, Spain
  • Pioneering invasive cell types of in vitro implanting human embryos revealed by combined morphologic and gene expression analysis – Peter Ruane, University of Manchester, UK


  • Rapid ‘switching’ of human sperm motilityCosmas Achikanu, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Nigeria  
  •  [Ca2+]i oscillations regulate behaviour of free-swimming human spermStephen Publicover, University of Birmingham, UK
  • The intracellular actions of trequinsin improves sperm cell hyperactivation and viscous medium penetration – Rachel C McBrinn, PhD Candidate, Abertay University, UK
  • The presence of spermatozoa alters the physical characteristics and microRNA content of extracellular vesicles secreted by porcine oviductal epithelial cells in vitro – Lisa Thurston, Lecturer, Royal Veterinary College, UK


  • Programming prostaglandin and oxytocin receptor signalling in the human uterus: mechanisms and applications Abigail Walker, Imperial College London, UK
  • Isolation of putative human oogonial stem cells by a NANOG SmartFlare RNA detection probe and fluorescence-activated cell sortingYvonne Clarkson, The University of Edinburgh, UK
  • Fucosylation of immunoglobulin G in the peripartum period is associated with the subsequent development of endometritis in dairy cattle – Erin Williams, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, UK


  • Fertility treatment with donor eggs: The influence of legal and technological evolutions on patients’ behaviour – Mona Rahmati, Consultant in Reproductive Medicine, London Women’s Clinic, UK
  • UK surrogacy law – what does the future hold?Eleri Williams, Solicitor, Hempsons, UK
  • Vitamin D and assisted reproductive treatment outcome: A systematic review and meta-analysisJustin Chu, University of Birmingham, Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, UK
  • Is a woman’s chronological or ‘ovarian’ age more important in determining perinatal outcome after ART? – Alison Richardson, Leeds Fertility, UK

13.30 – 15.00     Update session 3


  • DNA fragmentation: Another red herring?Jackson Kirkman Brown, Reader in Human Reproductive Biology, University of Birmingham, UK
  • This house believes ICSI should be used in all treatment cycles irrespective of sperm quality
    Chair: Raj Mathur, Consultant and Clinical Lead for Reproductive Medicine, Manchester Foundation Trust
    Against: Siladitya Bhattacharya, Head of the School of Medicine, Cardiff University, UK
    For: Speaker TBC


  • Novel insights into the development and treatment of obesity in polycystic ovary syndromeColin Duncan, Chair, Society for Reproduction and Fertility, UK
  • Translational insights into polycystic ovary syndrome using a non-human primate modelDavid Abbott, Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, The University of Wisconsin, USA
  • Novel mechanisms for the influence of male obesity on fertility and post-natal healthJohn Schjenken, ARC Research Associate, Robinson Research Institute and Adelaide Medical School, The University of Adelaide, Australia


  • TTC and pre-conception care – what about the men?Francesca Steyn, Nurse Manager CRGH, UK
  • Families created through identity-release egg donation: What do we know so far?Susan Imrie, Centre for Family Research, University of Cambridge, UK
  • Transgender fertility and conceptionRuth Peace, Sally Hines and Francis Ray White, Leeds University School of Sociology and Social Policy, UK


15.10 – 15.40 The weird and wonderful: gestational anecdotes from the wild William ‘Twink” Allen, Sharjah Equine Hospital, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

15.40 – 16.00  Prize Giving

16.00  Closing remarks Colin Duncan, Chair, Society for Reproduction and Fertility, UK

Close of conference