Ishola Agbaje, Consultant in Reproductive Medicine, Regional Fertility Centre and Belfast Fertility
Debate: This house believes women over 42 should not be offered ART with their own eggs
Dr Agbaje is a Consultant in Reproductive Medicine and HFEA Person Responsible in the Regional Fertility Centre, Belfast. He is also Medical Director of The Fertility Partnership, Belfast Fertility. A graduate of Queen’s University Belfast, he completed his postgraduate training in both London and Northern Ireland and is sub-speciality trained in Reproductive Medicine and Surgery. He was awarded a PhD in 2008 in which he examined the effects of diabetes on male fertility. He has published several papers related to sperm DNA damage & male infertility and has presented his work both nationally and internationally.
Richard Anderson, Professor of Clinical Reproductive Science, MRC Centre for Reproductive Health, University of Edinburgh, UK
Richard Anderson is Elsie Inglis Professor of Clinical Reproductive Science at the University of Edinburgh and co-Director of the MRC Centre for Reproductive Health. He trained in Edinburgh, with a WHO Research Fellow post in a hormonal male contraceptive trial, then Subspecialty training in Reproductive Medicine before a year in San Diego. He works clinically in Infertility and Reproductive Endocrinology, and provides a specialist endocrinology service to the Edinburgh Gender Identity Clinic. He has interests in both female and male fertility, with a major aspect of this being fertility preservation and the effects of cancer treatments on fertility. He was Chair of the ESHRE Guideline group on Fertility Preservation in women. He has also conducted clinical studies developing our understanding of novel neuropeptides in human reproductive function in men and women, and continues to be involved in trials in male contraception. He is a member of the ESHRE Executive Committee and the HFEA Scientific and Clinical Advances Advisory Committee.
Gwenda Burns, Chief Executive, Fertility Network UK
Fertility Network UK update
Cesar Diaz-Garcia, Medical Director IVI London, Honorary Associate Professor EGA Institute for Women’s Health – UCL, IVI London, UK
Stimulation in older women duo-stim
Dr Cesar Diaz-Garcia completed his Bachelor’s degree in Medicine at the Autonomous University of Madrid and Pitié-Salpêtrière University in Paris. He specialized in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at La Fe University Hospital of Valencia (University of Valencia), where he was awarded with the Best Resident Award in 2009. He obtained the European PhD at the University of Gothenburg and the University of Valencia under the supervision of Prof Mats Brannstrom.
His scientific career has been devoted to the field of fertility preservation, with special interest on ovarian cortex transplantation, uterus transplantation, follicular activation and poor response in IVF. Dr Diaz-Garcia was part of the first team achieving a live birth after uterus transplantation in humans and was the lead of the Valencian Program for Fertility Preservation, one of the largest fertility preservation programs worldwide.
His academic career goes back to 2011 as an Associate Professor at the Department of Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Valencia and from 2020 at the EGA Institute of Women’s Health at University College London.
At present he is the Medical Director of IVI London, where he combines his medical duties in the field of infertility with his surgical activities and academic tasks.
Kirsty Horsey, Senior Research Associate, London Women’s Clinic, UK
Surrogacy – who, what, how, where, when and why?
Dr Kirsty Horsey has a background in legal academia: she taught and researched law at the University of Kent, Canterbury, from 1998-2021. Her main field of research has always been on families created by assisted reproduction, particularly surrogacy, and the socio-legal implications of these family forms. Since around 2015, she has been heavily involved in campaigning for reform of the law on surrogacy and welcomes the input of the Law Commissions of England & Wales and the Scottish Law Commission in this area. Kirsty joined London Women’s Clinic in September 2021 as a Senior Research Associate, a new role created to carry out original socio-legal research on aspects of the work undertaken at LWC. Her first project looked at the surrogacy treatments undertaken at LWC and LEB clinics since 2014, including conducting surveys and interviews with surrogates and intended parents. The first paper from this study, looking at clinical outcomes and trends in LWC’s IVF surrogacy treatments over 8 years, was published in June 2022 in Reproductive Medicine Online.
Louise P King, Assistant Professor, Mass General Brigham and Director of Reproductive Bioethics, Harvard Medical School Center for Bioethics, Boston, USA
Reproductive rights: Roe vs Wade – Implications of restrictions to women’s healthcare
Louise P. King, MD, JD, is an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology at Harvard Medical School and a Surgeon within the Division of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery at Brigham and Women’s. Dr. King completed her juris doctorate at Tulane Law School before attending medical school at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. She completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Parkland Hospital in Dallas Texas and her fellowship in Minimally Invasive Surgery with Dr. Camran Nezhat at Stanford University. Her areas of interest in medical ethics focus on questions of informed decision making and assisted reproduction as well as equitable access to advanced gynecologic surgery.
Dolores J. Lamb, Professor of Molecular Biology in Urology and Vice Chair for Research, Department of Urology Director, Center for Reproductive Genomics, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, USA
Beyond semen analysis
Dolores J. (Dorrie) Lamb, PhD, HCLD (ABB) joined Weill Cornell Medicine on March 1, 2018 as Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Urology, Director of the Center for Reproductive Genomics and Professor of Molecular Biology in Urology (tenured). She holds the Robert S. Dow Professorship of Urology. She recently was appointed as Associate Dean, Faculty Affairs. She maintains an active presence in both the academic and research communities at Weill Cornell Medicine. She is a former president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), the American Society of Andrology, the Society for Male Reproduction and Urology (ASRM), Society for the Study of Male Reproduction (AUA), Society for Women in Urology (SWIU), Society for Basic Urologic Research, Women in Andrology, American Association of Bioanalysts and currently serves on the American Board of Bioanalysts as Secretary-Treasurer. She is a highly recognized NIH-funded researcher whose areas of investigation have focused on the genetics of male infertility, the genomics of genitourinary birth defects, steroid-regulated growth of male reproductive tumors, and other areas of benign urologic research.
Rohan Lewis, Professor of Placental and Integrative Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, UK
New insights from 3D imaging and computer modelling
Professor Lewis gained his PhD in 1997 from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, before undertaking postdoctoral research at the University of Cambridge and then at the University of Southampton. He is now Professor of Placental and Integrative Physiology at the University of Southampton.
Professor Lewis’s research takes an integrative and interdisciplinary approach to understand placental function. This approach seeks to understand the mechanisms underlying specific placental functions and how these mechanisms interact to form a functioning placenta and support the development of a healthy baby. This work integrates laboratory transport and metabolism studies with 3D imaging and computational modelling. This work involves interdisciplinary collaborations with Engineering, Maths and Physics.
Edgar Mocanu, Consultant Obstetrician Gynaecologist and Subspecialist in Reproductive Medicine and Surgery, Rotunda Hospital and RCSI, Dublin, Ireland
Debate: This house believes women over 42 should not be offered ART with their own eggs
Dr Mocanu is a practitioner and educator. He is a Specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, an RCOG certified Subspecialist in Reproductive Medicine and Surgery and a Consultant at the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin. Edgar holds a Doctor in Medicine degree from Trinity College Dublin and is an Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.
He divides his time between providing clinical care, academic education and engaging and contributing to the activities of international organizations such as ESHRE, FIGO, IFFS and the WHO. He is serving as IFFS President for the years 2022-2025. His research interests are in medical education, preventive reproduction, access to fertility care, oncofertility, genetics in male infertility, reproductive surgery and lean services in ART.
Mary Ann Ottinger, Emeritus Professor and Research Professor, University of Houston, USA
Insights from the comparative biology of ageing and consequences of reproductive senescence
Dr. Ottinger is an Emeritus Professor of Endocrinology in the Department of Biology and Biochemistry. She earned a Ph.D. in Zoology, specializing in Behavioral Neuroendocrinology and was a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health, studying developmental endocrine processes in non-human primates. Dr. Ottinger is an outstanding scholar and scientist, whose lifelong contributions constitute a cornerstone of our understanding of fundamental neuroendocrine function in birds over the lifespan and the impacts of endocrine disrupting chemicals over the life cycle. Dr. Ottinger’s research spans molecular endocrinology and neuroendocrinology to ecotoxicology, focused on fundamental ecotoxicology and comparative field and lab studies to characterize adverse outcomes from exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls. Her research in endocrine function in non-human primates and comparative biology of aging provide insights into conserved biological processes across vertebrates. Dr. Ottinger has extensive experience in recruiting and retaining URM trainees in the research pipeline and she has been actively involved in ADVANCE Programs at UMD and UH. She received multiple recognitions including Fellow of Society for Study of Reproduction, Poultry Science Association, Fellow, American Association for Advancement of Science, UMD Sigma Xi Research Award, OECD Fellowship for study at Roslin Institute, Scotland, UK, and Gamma Sigma Delta (National Capitol Area Chapter) Research Award of Merit. Dr. Ottinger mentored over 50 graduate students and postdocs during her tenure as Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she is Emeritus Professor. Her far-reaching contributions have been highly impactful for research, biomedical applications, the scientific community, and the public.
Tammy Sun, CEO and Founder, Carrot Fertility, and former fertility patient
Providing fertility health care as an employment benefit
Tammy Sun is the Co-founder and CEO of Carrot Fertility, the leading global fertility healthcare company. Carrot’s mission is to make fertility care accessible and affordable to all regardless of age, race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or geography.
Under Tammy’s leadership, Carrot has been honored by Fast Company as one of the Most Innovative Companies, recognized for its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion as a gold winner in the inaugural Anthem Awards, and named to Fierce Healthcare’s Fierce 15 list highlighting the most promising healthcare companies.
Prior to founding Carrot, Tammy had a successful career across marketing, technology, and politics. Most recently, she was the Director of Partnerships at Evernote. Prior to Evernote, she spent a decade in politics, where she served as a presidential appointee at the Federal Communications Commission during the Obama administration. She also held roles at the Clinton Foundation and The White House.
Lucy van de Wiel, Lecturer, Global Health and Social Medicine, King’s College London, UK
Assisted reproduction and the gender politics of ageing
Dr Lucy van de Wiel is a Lecturer and Postgraduate Research Director in Global Health and Social Medicine at King’s College London. She has published an Open Access monograph on egg freezing with New York University Press titled Freezing Fertility: Oocyte Cryopreservation and the Gender Politics of Aging.
Marcelle I. Cedars, Professor and Director of UCSF Center for Reproductive Health, University of California San Francisco, USA
Diminished ovarian reserve: Fertility loss and beyond
Marcelle Cedars is Professor and Director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology at UCSF. Dr. Cedars is funded by the NICHD and NIA in her focused areas of research including ovarian aging and assisted reproduction. She is part of a multi-disciplinary team for the current ASPIRE study (Assessing the Safety of pregnancy In the CoRona virus pandEmic) to develop a 10,000 woman national cohort to study the impact of first trimester exposure to SARS-COv-2 on pregnancy and childhood health. She has served as an Associate Editor for Fertility and Sterility, and Editorial Board for Human Reproduction Update and the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Infertility. She was the Chair of the FDA Reproductive Devices Committee. She has been a standing member of NIH study sections and served on international study sections for Canada and Europe. She was a former President of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.
Paul Fowler, Chair in Translational Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen, UK
Laying the foundations for future life and reproduction
Following his BSc Hons and PhD in Zoology, Professor Fowler worked on MRI and then ovarian hormones in Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University of Aberdeen. In 2000, he moved to the University of Aberdeen’s Institute of Medical Sciences and subsequently served as its director for 6 years (2015-21). His career focus is elucidating mechanisms regulating and dysregulating reproduction and development from an endocrine focus. He has over 170 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters as well as participating in numerous European Food Standards Agency opinions. Since 2000, his research has focused principally on effects of environmental/lifestyle exposures, such as maternal smoking, obesity, and medication use. This has aimed to understand endocrine disruption of fetal development and health. For the last 15 years the main model used by his group is the normal first and second trimester human fetus. Since 2009 he has led or participated in 3 large EU research programmes studying endocrine disruption. The Fowler group has also been funded by MRC, BBSRC, Wellcome Trust as well as various charities and participates in PARC (Partnership of the Assessment of Risks from Chemicals, 2022-2029).
Denny Sakkas, Chief Scientific Officer, Boston IVF, USA
The IVF lab of the future: Automation, microfluidics and AI, oh my!!
Denny Sakkas PhD has been involved in the field of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) since the early 1980s, having gained his Ph. D. under the supervision of Prof. Alan Trounson at Monash University, in one of the leading Reproductive Research Units in the world. During this period, he was responsible for disseminating a number of innovations to laboratories around the world, which are used in routine IVF today. Included in this, was training many groups to perform micromanipulation and the initiation of blastocyst culture. He has subsequently headed his own Research Laboratories and been the Scientific/Laboratory Director of IVF units in Europe and the USA. He has also aided numerous groups in establishing their own IVF units around the world.
Dr Sakkas has extensive experience in clinical IVF and reproductive research publishing more than 200 papers in the field of fertilization, early embryo development and male infertility. His papers have been cited over 15,000 times and his H-Index is >65 placing him in the highest group in the field of IVF. He has been involved in novel research, which has improved our understanding in areas of sperm DNA through to noninvasive methods of assessing embryos. He has also trained many PhD, Masters and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility fellows.
Dr. Sakkas has been extensively funded in his research career, and continues to work on innovations in the area of human and animal reproduction. He now currently serves as Chief Scientific Officer at Boston IVF and as an Associate Professor at the Yale University School of Medicine.
Nina Barnsley, Director, Donor Conception Network, UK
Openness: What it means for parents, children and donors
Nina is the director of the Donor Conception Network, a support organisation for people considering donor conception and parents who have donor conceived children. The charity was founded nearly 30 years ago and Nina has been leading the team at DCN for the last 8 years. She has a deep understanding of the particular issues that face families created through donor conception and regularly speaks and writes on the subject. Through peer support, the charity aims to break the isolation many people feel when navigating their complex and, often emotional, fertility journey. Nina and the DCN team, along with dedicated volunteers, offer personal, tailored support and connections both in-person and online. The charity publishes a range of books for both parents and children and runs a variety of workshops. With 30 years experience, it also aims to be a resource for academics and policy-makers as well as a much-needed voice for donor conception families more widely.
Michelle Bellingham, Senior Lecturer, Glasgow University, UK
Understanding the long-term reproductive and metabolic effects of developmental exposure to low level chemical mixtures using sheep exposed to biosolids treated pasture
Michelle Bellingham is a senior lecturer in comparative physiology at the School of Biodiversity, One Health and Veterinary Medicine at the University of Glasgow. Her research for the past 15 years has focused on understanding the long-term health effects of exposure to environmental chemical mixtures, where she has published widely on the physiological effects on sheep exposed to chemical mixtures during development as a result of maternal grazing on biosolids-treated agricultural land.
Julia Bradley, Matron, SBU Wales Fertility Institute, UK
Recurrent miscarriage: The role of progesterone
Anne M Bronikowski, Professor, Integrative Biology, Michigan State University, USA
Reproductive ageing in wild vertebrate populations
Presentation learning objective: Among primates, humans are unique in their long female post-reproductive lifespan. Among amniotes, most species do not exhibit female reproductive senescence. In some amniotes, this is due to high mortality which may obscure reproductive decline. Whereas in others, oocyte maturation and ovulation continue in the oldest old and reproductive output increases with advancing age.
Dr Bronikowski studies ageing in a comparative biological context. She merges biodemography, genomics, and physiology to understand the evolution of declining fertility and survival with advancing age. She leverages natural variation across diverse animal species and across populations within single species to test proximate and ultimate causes of aging. She focuses on wild populations where reproductive and mortality senescence evolved.
Rebecca Campbell, Professor of Physiology, University of Otago, New Zealand
The role of the brain in PCOS
Rebecca Campbell, PhD is a Professor and Principal Investigator in the Centre for Neuroendocrinology (CNE) and Department of Physiology at the University of Otago in New Zealand. She is also serves as the Deputy Head of Department of Physiology and Deputy Director of the CNE. She received her PhD from Oregon Health & Science University in 2002, joined the Centre for Neuroendocrinology as a Postdoctoral Fellow and then established her independent research group in 2009. Her research focuses on defining and understanding the neuronal network regulating gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons, the final output neurons controlling fertility. She is particularly interested in understanding how this neuronal network is involved in the common female infertility disorder, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). The majority of her work uses mouse models of PCOS and a wide range of transgenic anatomical and functional neuroscience tools to better understand how androgen excess impacts the female brain. Rebecca is a Board member of the Androgen Excess-PCOS Society, an Editorial Board member for Endocrinology, co-Series Editor for the Master Class in Neuroendocrinology book series and the recently elected Program Organizing Chair for the 2026 International Congress of Neuroendocrinology.
Shai Carmi, Associate Professor, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
Screening IVF embryos with polygenic risk scores: Pros and cons
Shai Carmi is an Associate Professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem School of Public Health. He is working in the fields of population, statistical, and medical genetics. Among his research interests are theoretical population genetics, genetic genealogy, ancient DNA, preconception and preimplantation genetic testing, genome-wide association studies, and genetic risk prediction. His recent work focuses on statistical modeling of preimplantation genetic testing for polygenic traits and diseases.
Aoife Corley, Director of Nursing and Midwifery, ReproMed Ireland
High-risk and complex cases
Aoife graduated from Trinity College Dublin in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Midwifery, the first year this degree was offered in Ireland. She staffed in her training hospital with antenatal, labour ward and postnatal experience before moving into the field of fertility in 2011.
Aoife completed a Graduate Certificate in Fertility and Early Pregnancy Ultrasound in 2013 and in 2019 became Ireland’s first ESHRE Certified MAR Nurse/ Midwife.
Aoife has worked with ReproMed Ireland since early 2014 starting as Fertility Midwife Specialist. She has held the position of Nurse/ Midwife Manager and in early 2022 was appointed Director of Nursing and Midwifery for the ReproMed Group which includes clinics in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Kilkenny and Drogheda.
Nuno Costa-Borges, Scientific Director, Embryotools, Spain
Automated ICSI: A dream or reality?
Anne Couturier-Tarrade, Senior Scientist, INRAE-UMR1198 BREED, France
Environmental diesel exposure on offspring
Anne Couturier-Tarrade is a senior scientist at BREED Unit (Biology of Reproduction, Epigenetic, Environment and Development) from INRAE, a research unit focusing on reproduction and DOHaD (Developmental Origins of Health and Disease). She is at the head of PEPPS team (Placenta, Environment and Programming of PhenotypeS). She has been working in the field of DOHaD for over ten years now, focusing on the effects of maternal environment (nutrition, metabolism, pollution and nanoparticles) on the placenta, a programming agent of offspring phenotype. She has acquired a strong expertise on several animal models including rabbit and mouse, but also on human placenta during her PhD.
Kylie Dunning, Hospital Research Foundation Fellow, The Robinson Research Institute, University of Adelaide, Australia
Determining embryo health with biophotonics: An interdisciplinary approach
Ryan Flannigan, Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia, Canada
3D printing of testicular cells
Dr Ryan Flannigan is an Assistant Professor and surgeon-scientist in the Department of Urologic Sciences, at the University of British Columbia. He serves as the director of the male reproduction and sexual medicine research program at UBC as well as the fellowship director of the Infertility, Sexual Medicine & Microsurgery Training program. His REGENERative & Advanced Infertility Therapeutics (REGENERAIT) research program is focused on developing novel therapies for male infertility. His program is highly collaborative and are working toward building artificial intelligence technology solutions for sperm identification in azoospermic males. His program is also working to understand patient-specific cellular dysfunction in azoospermic men with sperm production deficiencies through single cell sequencing approaches to develop a precision medicine framework to treat these patients through regenerative therapies. To accomplish this, Dr. Flannigan’s team is also working to develop a 3D bioprinted platform using primary and iPSC-derived cells to establish a human in vitro model of spermatogenesis and therapeutic conduit for regenerating sperm for males that cannot produce sperm in vivo.
Katharina Gapp, Professor, Institute for Neuroscience, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Transgenerational effects of stress
Katharina Gapp is an assistant professor at the Institute for Neuroscience at ETH Zürich, Switzerland. She has spent the last 12 years studying the impact of paternal stress on offspring phenotype and the mechanisms that mediated non-genetic information transfer across generations. Her early work during her PhD in the lab of Isabelle Mansuy at the Brain research institute of ETH Zürich identified sperm RNA as a crucial vector of the behavioral and metabolic effects of early life stress across generations in mice and sparked a new field of RNA mediated inheritance of environmentally triggered traits in mammals. Katharina`s studies have been published in a range of prestigious journals. Her work has been acknowledged with the prestigious PRIMA (Swiss national Science foundation) and ERC starting grant (now to be funded by Switzerland). While Katharina´s past research during her post doc at Cambridge University and Sanger Institute UK still focused on non-coding RNAs, the current work of her team has a particular focus on nuclear receptors and the development of novel translational tools to interfere with their function.
Zeynep Gurtin, Lecturer in Women’s Health, UCL Institute for Women’s Health, and Authority Member, HFEA, UK
Elective Egg Freezing: Socio-ethical considerations and lessons for best practice after a decade of use
Danya Harris, Donor Information Manager, HFEA, UK
Opening the register service and 2023
Danya has been in the Opening the Register (OTR) team since 2017, working with applications for information from donor-conceived people, their parents and donors. She started managing the service in spring of 2020 and has been responsible for growing the size of the team over the last few years in response to increased demand. She is involved in the project to prepare the OTR service for 2023, when the first cohort of donor-conceived children will be able to access identifying information about their donors. Before working at the HFEA she organised events at the University of Cambridge. She has Master’s in Health Care Ethics and a degree in Philosophy, specialising in medical ethics. She is a Mental Health First Aider and has completed a 10-week counselling skills course as well as various training courses on managing difficult and sensitive conversations. Outside of work, Danya enjoys swimming outdoors and long bike rides.
James M. Hotaling, Associate Professor of Surgery (Urology), University of Utah, USA
Sperm selection with microfluidics
Dr Hotaling is the Director of Andrology Services at IVIRMA basking ridge and an Associate Professor of Surgery (Urology) at the University of Utah. He established the clinical male infertility program at IVIRMA and in Utah. He has over 200 publications and has had significant NIH funding to study men’s health and male infertility. He has also had multiple start-up companies related to men’s health and male infertility and has several patents. His work focuses on understanding how de novo mutations impact male infertility and its link to poor somatic health, microfluidic sperm sorting and the genetics of erectile dysfunction. He is the current president of the Society for the Study of Male Reproduction (SSMR) and an editor for Fertility & Sterility in addition to being the fellowship director for male infertility in Utah and the program director.
Nicky Hudson, Professor of Medical Sociology, De Montfort University, UK
The changing landscape of egg donation in Europe: evidence from the UK, Spain and Belgium
Nicky Hudson is Professor of Medical Sociology and Director of the Centre for Reproduction Research; an interdisciplinary centre of expertise at De Montfort University focused on the social, cultural and political aspects of human reproduction. Her research explores experiences of reproductive health, the development and use of a range of reproductive technologies, and the social contexts in which they exist. Her current work focuses on egg donation, direct-to-consumer genetic testing and its impact on donor conception, and the use of pre-conception expanded carrier screening. She has received funded from the Economic and Social Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, the NIHR and the Foundation for Sociology of Health and Illness.
Her research has been influential in the development of policy in the regulation and management of infertility and its treatment in the UK and Europe. She is a member of the British Fertility Society’s Law Policy and Ethics Special Interest Group and has been invited to give evidence to policy and professional bodies such as the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, Royal College of Nursing, the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, and the International Infertility Counselling Organisation. She is co-editor of the Emerald Series in Reproduction, Culture and Society.
Judith Huirne, Amsterdam University Medical Centres, The Netherlands
Caesarean scar niche – implications for fertility
Karla Hutt, Associate Professor, Monash University, Australia
Associate Professor Karla Hutt is an ARC Future Fellow and co-Head of the Development and Stem Cells Discovery Program at Monash University. She obtained her PhD from the Australian National University in 2006, where her studies focussed on understanding ovarian development. She then undertook her postdoctoral studies at the University of Kansas Medical Center (USA), investigating the impact of environmental toxicants on oocyte and embryo quality. In 2008 she returned to Australia to join Prince Henry’s Institute. She subsequently joined the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology at Monash University in 2015, where she now leads the Ovarian Biology Laboratory. Her lab investigates the biological, cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the loss of oocyte number and quality associated with reproductive aging, contaminated environments, cancer treatment and infection. Her goal is to use these insights to develop innovative strategies to protect the ovary from damage and preserve optimal fertility. Her research is supported by grants and fellowships from the ARC, NHMRC and NBCF.
Asma Khalil, Professor of Obstetrics and Maternal Fetal Medicine, St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, UK
Obstetric management of older and medically complex women
Asma Khalil is a Professor of Obstetrics and Maternal Fetal Medicine. She is the Obstetric Lead at the National Maternity and Perinatal Audit (NMPA). She gained her MD at the University of London in 2008. She also has a Master’s degree in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
Prof. Asma Khalil has published more than 400 peer-reviewed papers, and many published review articles and chapters. She was awarded many research prizes, both at national and international meetings. She was awarded the 2021 FIGO Women’s Awards: Recognising Female Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Her research interests include twin pregnancy, fetal growth restriction and hypertensive disorders in pregnancy.
She had a fellowship with the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE). committed to the implementation of clinical guidelines in practice. She is the Lead author of the ISUOG guideline on the role of ultrasound in twins. She also led the guideline team developing the FIGO guideline on twin pregnancies. She was a member of the NICE Guideline Committee updating the Twin and Multiple Pregnancy guidance.
Jackson Kirkman Brown, Professor of Human Reproductive Science, University of Birmingham and Chair, ARCS
pICSI sperm selection – the answer for lower quality eggs?
Andrology supplements and IVF outcomes
Sheila Lane, Consultant Paediatric Oncologist, Oxford University Hospitals, UK
Ovarian tissue preservation for paediatric oncology patients
Dr Lane received her PhD from Cambridge University before qualifying as a doctor at St George’s Hospital London. In 2007 she was appointed as a Consultant Paediatric Oncologist at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. She has been involved in the development and since 2014 has been the Programme Lead for the Future Fertility Programme Oxford. This programme provides children and young adults with advice and treatment options if they are at high risk of infertility. The programme has helped several thousand children in the last 10 years, has ovarian and testicular tissue stored for almost 2000 children and has successfully re-implanted tissue with the restoration of ovarian function and pregnancies for a number of young women. Dr Lane is chair of the NHSE working group which is developing service specifications for the future commissioning of national service. Dr Lane is co-PI on a number of research programmes, has co-supervised a number of PhD students and is the author of over 50 peer-reviewed papers in the area of fertility preservation for children and young adults.
Joop S.E. Laven, Reproductive Endocrinologist and Infertility (REI) Specialist, Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
The PCOS phenotype throughout a woman’s life span
Professor Joop S.E. Laven is Professor and Head of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility of Erasmus University Medical Center. He was initially trained and board certified in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and in 2000 he became a subspecialist in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.
For many years he has a particular interest in the management of polycystic ovary syndrome covering the full spectrum of the syndrome during a woman’s lifespan and it’s on menstrual cycle, fertility, body weight and health. During the last decade the research focussed on long-term health risks as well as the genetic basis of the disease.
Clinical work focuses on women’s health in particular reproductive endocrinology and menopause as well as on infertility treatment and ART and pregnancy outcome in infertile couples especially women with PCOS.
He has published over 350 peer-reviewed papers and several reviews as well as chapters in books, and has delivered over 300 lectures to international scientific audiences. He is a visiting professor at the Universities of Shandong, Shandong, China and the University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia. He is also a member of the international guideline groups for PCOS, POI and unexplained infertility within the Center of Research Excellence (WHIRL) Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.
Deborah Lawlor, Professor of Epidemiology, MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit, University of Bristol, UK
Parental age and health-related outcomes of offspring
Angela Pericleous-Smith, Fertility Counseller and Chair, British Infertility Counselling Association (BICA), UK
Implications counselling for donation – Who? What? When? and Why?
Angela is Chair of the British Infertility Counselling Association (BICA), counsellor representative for British Fertility Society (BFS) and a Trustee for Fertility Network UK (FNUK). Angela has specialised in fertility counselling within the NHS and private practice since 2004, currently working as Head of Counselling, offering counselling to those experiencing infertility, secondary infertility and those who are involuntarily childless.
Angela has written and spoken about the emotional impact of infertility and has co-authored BICA Guidelines for Good Practice in Fertility Counselling 4th Ed. 2019 and Counselling in Surrogacy in UK Licensed Centres (2021). Her recent research and writing have focused on The emotional, physical and psychological impact of infertility in the workplace, Covid-19’s impact on UK counselling provision and patients’ experiences and Counselling challenges associated with donor conception and surrogacy.
Angela is driven to improve professional standards in fertility counselling; the psychological support, provision and accessibility of information and fair treatment for patients.
Pippa Sangster, Consultant Urologist, Clinical Lead Male Infertility, University College London Hospital, UK
Fertility preservation in peri pubescent boys
Ms Sangster is a Consultant Urologist at University College London Hospital and is the lead for male infertility. She qualified from Guy’s and St Thomas’s Medical School, London in 2001. She has further degrees in Psychology (BSc) and was awarded a gold medal in the Urology MSc before achieving FRCS (Urol). Her main area of expertise is Andrology and she is particularly interested in male factor infertility and fertility preservation. She has strong links with the Gynaecology, Endocrinology, Haematology and Oncology teams to ensure that the fertility of these patients can be preserved or helped. Men about to undergo cancer treatment or those wanting to investigate their fertility potential post chemotherapy/radiotherapy can be assessed and treated quickly.
Ertan Saridogan, Consultant in Reproductive Medicine and Minimal Access Surgery, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, UK
Surgery for endometriosis before IVF – an evidence-based approach
Ertan Saridogan is a Professor of Gynaecological Surgery at University College London and a Consultant in Gynaecology, Reproductive Medicine and Minimal Access Surgery at University College London Hospitals. He is a former President of the British Society for Gynaecological Endoscopy and is the current President-Elect of the European Society for Gynaecological Endoscopy. He is the current Editor of Facts, Views and Vision: Journal of the European Society for Gynaecological Endoscopy. He is also a member of the ESHRE and ESGE/ESHRE/WES Endometriosis Guideline Development Groups. He has been one of the authors of the ESHRE Endometriosis Guideline in 2005, 2013 and 2021.
His clinical interests include laparoscopic and hysteroscopic surgery for benign gynaecological conditions, endometriosis, fibroids and outpatient hysteroscopy. His research interests include noninvasive diagnosis of endometriosis, clinical outcomes following endometriosis surgery, outpatient hysteroscopy, and the place of screening and risk reducing surgery in women with a history of familial cancer.
Marta Shahbazi, Group Leader, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, UK
Mechanisms of embryo failure at implantation
Kasia Siemienowicz, Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences, Edinburgh Napier University, UK
Metabolic dysfunction in ‘PCOS males’
Dr Kasia Siemienowicz is a Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences in the School of Applied Sciences at Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland, UK.
Kasia has a BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Sciences from the Edinburgh Napier University and MSc by Research (with Distinction) in Reproductive Sciences from the University of Edinburgh. In 2013 she was awarded an MRC Studentship to study for her PhD in the lab of Prof. Colin Duncan at QMRI Centre for Reproductive Health, the University of Edinburgh. She was awarded her PhD in 2017 with a thesis examining causes and consequences of dysregulation in an ovine model of PCOS. Following on from her PhD she has worked as a Research Fellow in the laboratory of Prof. Mick Rae at Edinburgh Napier University and in the laboratory of Prof. Colin Duncan at the University of Edinburgh. She has recently taken up a lecturing position in the School of Applied Sciences, Edinburgh Napier University.
Kasia’s research focuses upon understanding how altered hormonal exposure during fetal life affects development and predisposition to adult disease, to ensure best lifelong health opportunities for our children and providing information regarding possible treatment routes.
Francesca Steyn, Director of Fertility and Women’s Health, Peppy Health
The transition from fertility to midwifery care – An RCN publication
Francesca Steyn is the Director of Fertility and Women’s Health services at Peppy. She has a special interest in donor conception, surrogacy and fertility care for LGBTQIA people. Francesca has co-authored RCN publications for fertility nursing staff and has published Department of Health guidance on surrogacy best practice and care in surrogate births. She was awarded surrogacy professional of the year in both 2018 and 2019 at the National Surrogacy Awards and has had the opportunity to present her work on both national and international platforms. She is also a member of the legislative reform advisory group, appointed by the HFEA to modernise the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act.
David Williams, Professor of Obstetric Medicine, Institute for Women’s Health, University College London, UK
Guidance on pre-conceptual care for older women before fertility treatment
Professor David Williams is a consultant obstetric physician at University College Hospital London. He specialises in the care of pregnant women with medical disorders and his research group investigates the causes and treatment of pregnancy syndromes.
He leads multi-disciplinary obstetric clinics and has particular expertise in the management of pregnant women with kidney disease and hypertension.
His research team investigates the causes and treatment of gestational syndromes in particular pre-eclampsia, hyperemesis gravidarum and acute fatty liver of pregnancy. He has developed the concept that pregnancy syndromes unmask future health disorders in the mother and her family. His team also investigates the cause and treatment of recurrent pregnancy loss due to placental inflammation. They are funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC), UCL/UCLH Biomedical Research Centre and Wellbeing of Women.
Professor Williams chaired the NICE guidelines for the intrapartum management of medical disorders and is chairman of the Wellbeing of Women Charity Research Advisory Committee. He is a member of the UK Independent Advisory Group on maternal morbidity and mortality and is part of a national team to implement new clinical maternal medicine networks throughout the UK.
Mary Wingfield, Former Clinical Director, Merrion Fertility Clinic, Dublin, Ireland
AHR Legislation in Ireland – A long and winding road
Professor Wingfield worked for almost 30 years as a Consultant Obstetrician Gynaecologist at the National Maternity Hospital, Dublin where she established Merrion Merrion Fertility Clinic in 1999. She is Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at University College Dublin, and Adjunct Professor in the School of Medicine at Trinity College Dublin. She was a founding member and past President of the Irish Fertility Society and served on the government-appointed Commission on Assisted Human Reproduction. She is currently Chair of the Fertility Preservation Subgroup of the National Cancer Control Program (NCCP) Children Adolescents/Young Adults Clinical Leads Group.
Professor Wingfiled has written several fertility-related position papers for the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, has acted as an expert witness in High Court cases regarding assisted reproduction and has spoken at the Oireachtas regarding AHR legislation and surrogacy. She authored The Fertility Handbook, Gill Press 2017, a guide to fertility and infertility. Her current clinical and research interests are subfertility in all its facets, including the development of national frameworks and legislation, equitable access to fertility treatment, fertility preservation, endometriosis and implantation.
Sophie Adams, Medical Student, University of Glasgow, UK
Quantifying the daily variability following a single estimation of reproductive hormone levels
Sophie is a 4th year medical student at the University of Glasgow, however she completed her intercalated BSc in Medical Sciences with Endocrinology at Imperial College London where she worked with a team to complete this research project on Quantifying Reproductive Hormone Levels.
Balsam Al Hashimi, Senior Embryologist , London Women’s clinic, UK
Poor quality blastocysts diagnosed as euploid have a higher chance of achieving a live birth than untested poor-quality blastocysts
Balsam Al Hashimi is a registered clinical scientist by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and certified senior embryologist by the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (CFAS). She obtained a Master’s degree in clinical embryology from the University of Leeds. Currently she is senior embryologist working at the London Women’s Clinic (LWC). Balsam is the lead for preimplantation genetic testing program, senior clinical biopsy practitioner and Officer trainer- Scientist Training Program (STP)/ Association of Clinical Embryologists (ACE). Balsam has extensive experience in oocyte vitrification and had worked in Canadian fertility clinics where she developed solid practical skills. She is currently registered as a PhD student at University of Kent.
Ilianna Armata, Trainee, Cambridge University Hospital, UK
Causes of infertility and their effects on pregnancy and neonatal outcomes
Emma Atkinson, Reproductive Technologist, Care Fertility (Leeds), UK
Is ICSI really necessary in cases of poor sperm morphology?
Emma completed her Master’s degree in Clinical Embryology and ART at the University of Leeds, before commencing her embryology training at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. After a couple of fantastic years there, the opportunity arose to move back up North, and she joined Care Fertility Leeds (formerly Leeds Fertility) in 2021. She is passionate about reproductive science and always looking for opportunities to progress in the field, hoping to become a state-registered embryologist in the near future.
Thomas Bamford, Clinical Fellow, Care Fertility, UK
A comparison of artificial intelligence (AI) models to predict ploidy status using a morphokinetic and meta-dataset of 8147 blastocysts
Dr Tom Bamford, is an Obstetrics and Gynaecology Registrar, now doing a PhD programme of research as part of a Clinical Research Fellowship at Care Fertility, Manchester. This is under the supervision of Professor Arri Coomarasamy’s team at the University of Birmingham. His series of work focusses on the use of morphokinetics and artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to predict blastocyst ploidy status in IVF. Tom has developed an interest and knowledge of model development and application, having built several AI models in this area.
Saeed Baradwan, Assistant Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynecology, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Saudi Arabia
Value of intrauterine platelet-rich concentrates in patients with intrauterine adhesions after hysteroscopy: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
Dr Saeed Marzoq Baradwan is assistant consultant in Obstetrics & Gynaecology department, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He has a Saudi and Arab board Certified in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Also, He get full membership MRCPI (Royal College of Physicians of Ireland) and MRCOG (Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, UK) (RCOG).He has published many scientific research papers in international medical journals and has been serving as a volunteer editorial board member. He had presented at many international conferences worldwide in the field of Obstetrics & Gynaecology and has won several local and international awards.
Ana-Rita Batista, Head of Medical – Fertility, Endocrinology and General Medicine, Merck, UK
Luteinizing hormone is able to protect reproductive health in cancer patients
Ana Rita Batista is a pharmacist with a master in nanotechnology and post grad in pharmaceutical medicine and pharmaceutical management. With 9 years of experience ranging from Oncology to Rare Diseases in the healthcare industry, Rita is currently the Head of Medical for Fertility, Endocrinology and General Medicine in Merck UK and ROI. Her main areas of interest are exploring the best healthcare solutions to optimise patient clinical outcomes through innovative research and medical education.
Nihar Bhoi, Head Clinical Research and Academics, Indira IVF Hospital Pvt Ltd, India
Can MPA be a surrogate to GnRH antagonist to prevent premature LH surge during COS in voluntary oocyte donors
Dr Nihar Bhoi is the head of the department of clinical research and training. He is an Ex-Assistant professor at the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He is a Member of ESHRE, ASRM, BFS, EFS, ISAR, IFS, and has been practicing ART and Laparoscopy since 2011. His Special areas of interest include teaching and training fellow students and fertility enhancing laparoscopy.
Lucy Bolger, Obstetrics & Gynaecology Registrar, National Maternity Hospital, Ireland
A rapid improvement event: Progesterone prescribing in prevention of miscarriage
Lucy Bolger is an Obstetrics & Gynaecology junior registrar at the National Maternity Hospital, Dublin. She was awarded her undergraduate medical degree from the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland in 2017. Before beginning Obstetrics & Gynaecology specialty training, she spent two years in Perth, Western Australia working in both Obstetrics & Gynaecology and Emergency Medicine. She was recently awarded the MSc in Healthcare Ethics and Law at RCSI and a Professional Certificate in Early Pregnancy Ultrasound from University College Dublin. She initiated this improvement project while working as a senior house officer in the emergency department and early pregnancy unit.
Tim Bracewell-Milnes, Consultant Gynaecologist, Sub-specialist in Reproductive Medicine, The Lister Fertility Clinic, UK
Young oocyte donors do not negatively impact live birth rates in their recipients
Henry Brennan-Craddock, Masters Student, Centre de Recherche du Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CRCHUM), Canada
Spatiotemporal control of mitotic exit in the mammalian embryo
Henry completed his undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences at Cardiff University where he began to study oocyte calcium storage under the supervision of Dr. Karl Swann. In 2021 Henry left the UK to join the laboratory of Dr. Greg Fitzharris in Montréal, Canada to pursue an MSc in molecular biology. Here, he became interested in the first cell divisions of the preimplantation embryo and the mechanisms controlling their timing. He is currently investigating how an imbalance of genetic material in the embryo may have an observable impact on the cell cycle of the mouse embryo using morphokinetic movies.
Matilda Bui, Student, University of Edinburgh, UK
Assessing chromosome ageing in mammalian oocytes
Matilda Bui is a third year MRC PhD student at the MRC Human Genetics Unit with the University of Edinburgh. She is interested in understanding the link between maternal age and fertility, specifically on the behaviour of chromosomes in oocytes that can cause genetic conditions such as Downs’ syndrome in offspring. Her work focuses on the mechanisms of chromosome cohesion loss that occur in mammalian oocytes.
Alison Campbell, Chief Scientific Officer, CARE Fertility Group, UK
Assessment of the power of single variables to predict blastulation, embryo utilisation and livebirth and how this may help both time-lapse algorithm development, and standard selection practices,
Alison is Chief Scientific Officer of the Care Fertility Group which currently consists of 14 IVF laboratories, predominantly in the UK. Alison is a Consultant Embryologist, Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists and has published widely in the field of clinical embryology. Alison has a passion for the training and development of embryologists and has established a dedicated practical training centre for embryologists which is now home to the UK’s first university-industry joint Masters degree in Clinical Embryology. Alison is a developer, implementer and author of time-lapse algorithms to predict ploidy and live birth and is currently celebrating the introduction of artificial intelligence, following in house development, to support embryo selection across the Care clinics. Alison actively shares her knowledge and experience, lecturing worldwide and participating on scientific advisory board including the scientific and clinical advances advisory committee for the UK’s regulator (HFEA).
Laura Carter-Penman, Deputy Director of Fertility and Women’s Health, Peppy Health, UK
The implementation and pathway for semen analysis via an app based fertility service – preliminary findings
Laura qualified as a nurse at the University of East Anglia in 1996 and has worked in various NHS and private healthcare settings, before establishing her fertility knowledge at the world’s 1st IVF clinic, Bourn Hall. Laura is the current Co-chair and secretary of SING (Senior Infertility Nurse Group) providing peer support to lead nurses across the UK and Ireland. As part of this role, Laura works closely with the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) on publications and sits on various committees including the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) add-ons Group. Laura is passionate about nurse education and empowering nurses, she regularly presents and chairs national conferences and has taken part in radio broadcasts including BBC’s The Naked Scientist.
Alejandro Chavez Badiola, CEO, IVF 2.0 Ltd, UK
Using SiD software to associate single spermatozoa motility patterns with ICSI outcomes, a multicentric retrospective study
Yealin Chung, PhD fellow, University of Birmingham, UK
The association between dietary patterns and risk of miscarriage: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Dr Yealin Chung is an obstetrics and gynaecology registrar. She is currently undertaking a PhD in reproductive medicine as a clinical research fellow at the University of Birmingham. Dr Chung’s research focuses on evidence synthesis and clinical studies, specifically on the subject of optimising early pregnancy outcomes and miscarriage prevention through lifestyle modification such as diet. In addition to her academic pursuits, Dr Chung works clinically for the Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research in Birmingham and undertakes fertility assessment and treatment at CARE fertility Birmingham.
Georgina Clark, Laboratory Manager, Juno Genetics, UK
New data on the incidence and impact of DNA contamination affecting embryo samples used for PGT-A highlights the importance of diagnostic methods that allow contamination to be detected
Georgina graduated from the University of Reading in 2015 with a BSc in Biomedical Sciences and then from University College London in 2018 with an MSc in Prenatal Genetics and Fetal Medicine. She is currently the Laboratory Manager of Juno Genetics, Oxford, where her main experience is in Preimplantation Genetic Testing for aneuploidies and structural rearrangements, and expanded carrier screening. In 2022, Georgina began reading for a DPhil with the Nuffield Department of Women’s and Reproductive Health, University of Oxford, under the supervision of Prof. Dagan Wells. Her research interests include epigenetics and factors influencing embryo viability.
Lucy Davies, Medical Student, University of Birmingham, UK
Exploring the experiences of women who have moved to Israel and subsequently used Israeli fertility treatment services: A qualitative study
Lucy Davies is currently in her fifth year of study at the University of Birmingham. She is in the fourth year of the MBChB Medicine and Surgery degree and has achieved a 1st class Intercalated BMedSc Global Health with Honours. Her current ambition is to pursue a career in Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
Morven Dean, Trainee Embryologist, ACU Dundee, UK
Have online consent forms impacted the likelihood of patients consenting to training?
Morven Dean is in her final (third) year of training in Clinical Embryology at the Assisted Conception Unit at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee. She completed an MSc in Human Clinical Embryology in 2017 and progressed into a PhD at the University of Dundee, graduating in 2021. Morven’s research focused on investigating the (patho)physiological regulation of CatSper in human sperm. She presented my research at Fertility 2020 and 2021 and won the pre-registration Jean-Purdy prize in 2021.
Kathleen Duffin, Clinical Research Fellow, University of Edinburgh, UK
The effect of cyclophosphamide and ifosfamide in childhood on subsequent male fertility and reproductive function: A systematic review
Kathleen Duffin is a paediatric doctor in South East Scotland and is currently undertaking a PhD in the Spears Lab, University of Edinburgh, through the Edinburgh Clinical Academic Track. Kathleen’s research focuses on fertility in childhood cancer patients and encompasses lab research into the effects of chemotherapy on the immature testis, as well as systematic reviews, surveys, and clinical data analysis looking at fertility outcomes.
Hanh Duyen Tran, Undergraduate Research Assistant, King’s College London, UK
Identification and characterisation of novel follicle-stimulating hormone receptor antagonists
Hanh Duyen Tran is currently in her final year of her undergraduate BSc in Biomedical Science at St. George’s University of London. Last year, she undertook a placement year at Dr Kim Jonas’ lab in the Department of Women’s and Children’s Health at King’s College London. Her research project focused on investigating small molecule follicle-stimulating hormone receptor inhibitors using cell-based assays in the context of potential therapeutics for contraception and management of menopause-associated co-morbidities.
Renata Finelli, Embryologist, Create Fertility, UK
Polymorphic rearrangements of human chromosome 9: Correlation with male infertility
Renata Finelli is a Medical Biotechnologist, with 7+ years of experience in the experimental research. She is specialized in human reproduction, with a PhD in Biotechnology of Reproduction. She loves the world of assisted reproduction, so she spent some months abroad during her PhD in a IVI clinic (Bilbao, Spain), where she learnt how to work in an ART lab, and in Cleveland Clinic (Cleveland, Ohio, USA), to learn more about the role of oxidative stress in male infertility. Currently, Renata Finelli is working as Junior Embryologist at CREATE Fertility in London, UK.
Heather Flanagan, PhD Student, University of Edinburgh, UK
Does cigarette smoking increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy by activation of epithelial to mesenchymal transition?
Mathias Fréville, PhD Student, INRAE, France
Chronic dietary exposure to a glyphosate-based herbicide in young broiler hen increases ovary weight and modulates ovarian transcriptome
Mathias Fréville is a second year PhD student under the supervision of Doctor Joëlle Dupont, from the SENSOR team at the INRAe laboratory in Tours, France. His work focuses on the impact of glyphosate-based herbicides on reproductive and metabolic functions in hens. Furthermore, he evaluates their impact on egg quality and embryonal development. He also tries to evaluate how plant extracts supplementation could help reducing their toxic outcomes, particularly thanks to their antioxidant properties.
Lucy Frith, Reader in Bioethics & Social Science, University of Manchester, UK
Gamete donor conception and direct-to-consumer genetic testing: How are donor conceived people, their parents and donors using direct-to-consumer genetic testing?
Liz Gale, Senior Lecturer (Midwifery), University of Greenwich, UK
A hermeneutic phenomenological study of parental expectations and the meaning of transition to early parenting in couples with a pregnancy conceived using IVF
Dr Liz Gale is a Senior Lecturer in Midwifery at the University of Greenwich and Practice Lead within the Institute for Lifecourse Development. An experienced midwife, Liz’s teaching focuses on psychosocial aspects of care and the recognition of wider influences on health and wellbeing. Her particular interests are in public health, promoting equitable outcomes for more disadvantaged families, infant feeding and transition to early parenthood. Her PhD, awarded in 2021, was a hermeneutic phenomenological study of the transition to early parenthood for couples with an IVF pregnancy.
Akanksha Garg, Doctor, Imperial College London, UK
Intrauterine insemination (IUI): Identifying patient characteristics associated with a successful pregnancy
Dr Akanksha Garg is an Obstetrics and Gynaecology trainee and holds an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship at Imperial College London. Her research interests include Reproductive Endocrinology and Medical Education, with a particular focus on Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and Assisted Reproductive Technologies including IVF and IUI. She also collaborates with the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.
Federica Giangrazi, PhD Student, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
The uterine microbiome and the microbial metabolite butyrate stimulate pro-inflammatory responses in endometrial epithelial cells, suggesting a possible impact on female fertility
Federica Giangrazi is a final year PhD student, working in the Comparative Immunology laboratory of Prof. Cliona O’Farrelly in Trinity College Dublin. Born in Rome, Italy, Federica graduated in 2012 in BSc Biological Sciences at the University of Tor Vergata, Rome. She then obtained her MSc in Medical Biotechnology in 2015 from the University of Tor Vergata, Rome, with a research project undertaken in a molecular biology laboratory. After completing a six-month training programme, she moved to Ireland in 2017 where she started her PhD project focusing on understanding the role of microbial derived metabolites and in female fertility.
Robert Gilchrist, NHMRC Investigator Fellow, University of New South Wales Sydney, Australia
FSA/BFS Exchange prize: Development of In Vitro Maturation (IVM) and its application in fertility preservation
Professor Robert Gilchrist is a research scientist and a NHMRC Investigator Fellow. He is Research Lead of the Discipline of Women’s Heath UNSW, and Head of Research of the Fertility & Research Centre (Royal Hospital for Women/UNSW), and is a Fellow of the Society for Reproductive Biology. He is or has been a Scientific Advisory Board member and/or consultant to; City Fertility, IVF Australia, CooperSurgical, Repromed, Fertility SA, Cook Medical, and the NZ Ministry of Health.
Professor Gilchrist is a reproductive biologist whose research encompasses basic and applied aspects of ovarian folliculogenesis, oocyte maturation and preimplantation embryo development. He conducts discovery research on oocyte-somatic cell interactions as a determinant of subsequent embryonic development. He has made important scientific contributions demonstrating that oocyte paracrine signalling determines cumulus cell differentiation and function. Dr Gilchrist also studies new biomarkers of oocyte quality. In addition, he leads a translation research program with the objectives of improving oocyte in vitro maturation (IVM) procedures for treatment of infertility and fertility preservation in women/girls with cancer. One of his IVM procedures is now in clinical practice. He has published 146 peer-reviewed papers including 27 reviews/chapters. He currently has an H-index of 51 with >8,500 citations [Scopus].
Bola Grace, Research, University College London, UK
The international fertility education initiative – a global collaboration to improve fertility awareness
Dr Bola Grace has extensive experience in women’s health across industry and academia. She values collaborative research into a variety of topics including Sexual & Reproductive Health, Digital Health, and Inclusive Innovation. In her recent work, she has published several papers on reproductive epidemiology and fertility awareness, and has developed digital health products. She sits on several reproductive health committees and boards. Dr Grace holds a PhD in Population Health & Epidemiology from UCL and an MBA from University of Cambridge Judge Business School. She enjoys coaching and mentoring and is passionate about helping underrepresented groups in STEM.
Ayman Haj Ali, Senior Molecular Geneticist, Juno Genetics
Preimplantation genetic testing for monogenic disease (PGT-M): Reliance on analysis of linked polymorphisms risks serious diagnostic errors
Ayman Haj Ali (MSc in prenatal genetics and foetal medicine) has always been interested monogenic disorders due to the prevalence of hemoglobinopathies in the Eastern Mediterranean and especially when they affected some of his relatives. This piqued his interest in PGT-M with which he worked for more than three years at Juno Genetics combining direct mutation testing with linkage analysis. He recently started a DPhil in women’s reproductive health at the University of Oxford.
Imogen Harris, PhD Candidate, Hartpury UWE, UK
Reproductive trends in the novel equine model: Declining semen quality and environmental aetiologies revisited
Imogen is in the final stages of completing her doctorate at the University of the West of England and Hartpury University. Her thesis is titled ‘male reproductive trends in the novel equine model: investigations into anthropogenic environmental chemical exposure’. She is interested in the effects of environmental contaminants and micro plastics on reproductive health and function, hoping to continue this line of research in aquatic species following her PhD completion. Imogen has recently set up a business as a scientific illustrator, and is passionate about disseminating research to a range of audiences including through the use of diagrams and illustrations.
Amber Hart, PhD Student, The University of Sheffield, UK
Receptive phase simulated endometrial extracellular vesicles proteome differs from non-receptive simulated periods
Amber Hart is a third year PhD student at the university of Sheffield within the Fazeli laboratory. Amber graduated in 2018 with a bachelor’s in biomedical science and then went onto work as a clinical trial coordinator. Her current PhD research is focused on understanding the role of extracellular vesicles in the endometrium and their role in communication for successful pregnancy. Further areas of her research are aimed at providing proof of concept of non-invasive endometrial receptivity biomarkers.
Cristina Hickman, VP of Clinical Affairs, Fairtility, UK
Lean management in the IVF clinic: Using technology to eliminate wasted time in IVF lab processes whilst maximising value to patients
Dr Fabrizzio Horta, Monash University, Australia
SIRT/ARCS exchange prize: Non-invasive metabolic live cell imaging of early embryo development using novel adapted confocal microscopy in ageing
Dr Fabrizzio Horta is a medical reproductive scientist who started his career as a research Andrologist. He has been involved in IVF as a clinical Andrologist, clinical embryologist and lately as Scientific Supervisor of R&D. He has undertaken studies in Medical Science, Medicine, Master of Clinical Embryology and PhD studies at Monash University in Melbourne, including a fellowship in molecular and clinical Andrology as well as training in biomedical innovation and entrepreneurship.
He currently works lecturing and developing research at the department of obstetrics and gynecology, Monash University and his research is focused on idiopathic infertility, biomarkers and non-invasive biomarkers of gamete and embryo quality, sperm selection, Artificial Intelligence, reproductive genetics and technology innovation in Assisted Reproductive Technologies.
Additionally, he also consults as Scientific Advisor in reproductive genetics and innovation in assisted reproductive technologies.
Cindy Ikie, PhD Student, Cardiff University, UK
At fertilization in mouse eggs a sperm induced secondary rise in ATP levels is independent of Ca2+ oscillations
Cindy Liz Ikie AFHEA, is the former Black Lives Matter Campaign Manager of 13 regions in Wales. She has independently trained police forces, art institutions in race equality, diversity, and inclusion. Throughout her studies, she dedicated time to stand as representative for her peers, bridging the gaps between the learners and their Higher Educational institutions. She has served as the elected Black and Ethnic Minority Officer of Cardiff University Student’s Union. She has spoken at Houses of Parliament for an intersectionality event which was the first of its kind. She has been advisor to Welsh Government Education Policy leaders.
Caitlin Johnson, Clinical Research Associate, California Pacific Medical Center, USA
Early menopause and cadmium exposure: The impact of toxic cadmium levels on fertility status among aging women
Gillian Johnson, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Kings College London, UK
Determining the impact of FSH glycosylation variants on the pre-antral follicle transcriptome in the ageing ovary
Erna Bayar, Clinical Research Fellow, Imperial College NHS Foundation Trust, UK
Fertility preservation and realignment in transgender women
Lorraine Kasaven, Clinical Research Fellow, Imperial College London, UK
Systematic review and meta-analysis: Does pre-implantation genetic testing for aneuploidy at blastocyst stage improve live birth rate?
Lorraine Kasaven is currently undertaking a PhD on various aspects of fertility preservation at Imperial College London. She graduated from the University of St Andrews in 2010 with a BSc in Medical Sciences and then from the University of Manchester in 2013 with an MBChB. She is an Obstetric and Gynaecology Specialist Registrar. Her research interests include elective oocyte cryopreservation, fertility sparing surgery in the management of borderline ovarian tumours and is currently a co-investigator of a randomized controlled trial to assess the use of intra-operative ultrasound as an adjunct of fertility preserving surgery.
Afsaneh Khoshkerdar, PhD Student, University of Nottingham, UK
The impact of paternal diet on late gestation fetal heart gene expression in mice
Afsaneh Khoshkerdar is a vet surgeon who received her qualification as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) – a first class degree at Tabriz University, Iran. She then pursued a Master of Medical Science in Assisted Reproduction Technology degree (2017-2018) with merit at Nottingham University, UK. After completing her Master’s in ART, she pursued her PhD in gynaecology and obstetrics at Nottingham University in (2019-2023). Currently she is in the thesis pending period of her PhD and she was conducting her research in Dr Watkins’s lab, investigating the impact of paternal diet on the maternal metabolic health during gestation.
Pooja Khurana, Postdoctoral Research Specialist, University of Southampton, UK
Mouse embryonic stem cell model reveals maternal protein restriction around conception alters embryonic signaling and metabolic phenotype
Pooja Khurana is an experienced Stem Cell Scientist and a Developmental Biologist, Pooja worked across multiple disciplines during her studies in Biotechnology (India) and Biomedical Engineering (Germany). Given her strong curiosity for research, she was awarded the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship (England), where she spent 5 intense but rewarding years of her career. Since her postdoc in exotic Hawai’i, she has been working as an Editor for the Marie Curie Alumni Association; Ambassador in Public Health, representing The Pad Project; Outreach Coordinator of a sustainability think tank called Global Crisis Response, and a founding member of a virtual peer-support group called Therapy Thursday.
Fiskani Kondowe, Marie-Curie ESR, The University of Manchester, UK
The impact of consent for disclosure (CD) in the HFEA ART register: Possible implications for treatment outcome research
Karolina Kravarikova, Student, Research Centre of The Hospital of University of Montreal (CRCHUM), Canada
Aneuploidy does not alter cytoplasmic flow in mammalian oocytes
Karolina Kravarikova is a molecular biology master student at Université de Montréal in Canada. She joined the laboratory of Greg FitzHarris in 2021 and her research focuses on how incorrect chromosomal segregation affects cytoplasm and its contents in mouse oocytes. She is originally from Slovakia and has completed her BSc in the field of bioinformatics at the University of Linz, Austria. During her undergraduate she developed research in the laboratory of early mammalian developmental biology where her main focus was to identify and characterise novel transcripts in mouse preimplantation embryos.
Jorge Lopez-Tello, Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Cambridge, UK
Maternal gut bifidobacterium remotes control placental endocrine function and fetal brain development
Georgia Manley, Embryology Practitioner, CARE Fertility, UK
Equilibration of media aliquots – an advisory note
Georgia started as a laboratory technician at Care Fertility Bath in 2021 before being promoted to Embryology Practitioner in 2022. Alongside, she is completing a masters in Reproduction and Development at the University of Bristol. She is keen to gain entry to the Scientist Training Programme to study Embryology with the hope of becoming a state-registered embryologist in the future
Bushra T Mohammed, Researcher and Lecturer, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Duhok, Iraq
MRNA-miRNA interaction network in the ovarian follicle reveals miRNA target genes crucially involved in the regulation of cell apoptosis
Charlotte Moore, Senior Embryologist, Lister Fertility Clinic, UK
Utilisation of monopronucleated (1PN) embryos and potential clinical benefits for patients
Seyed Omid Reza Mousavi, Researcher, Royan institute for reproductive biomedicine, Tehran, Iran
Oxidative phosphorylation genes alteration by insulin resistance or sensitivity in cumulus cells of the PCOS patients
Seyed Omid Reza Mousavi completed his bachelor of sciencedegree in the field of biotechnology at Yazd Azad University. Also, he has master degree in genetics and his thesis project was focusing on cellular and molecular interactions of spermatozoa with fallopian tube epithelial cells which was performed at Royan institute, an Academic Center for Education, Culture and Research (ACECR) in Iran. Since his graduation, he has worked at Reproductive Clinical Research Laboratory in the same institute for two years.
Bethany Muller, Pre-Registrant Clinical Embryologist, Hewitt Fertility Centre, UK
Does number of sperm used at in vitro fertilisation insemination impact rate of normal and abnormal fertilisation events?
Bethany Muller is a Clinical Embryologist at the Hewitt Fertility Centre, Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust, where she recently completed her training through the NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP). Prior to training as an embryologist, Bethany gained her MSc in Human Clinical Embryology and Assisted Conception at the University of Dundee before undertaking her PhD at the Hull York Medical School on the topic of embryo metabolism.
Ciara Murphy, PhD Student, The University of Melbourne, Mercy Hospital for Women, Australia
SPINT1: Regulation and function in human placental trophoblasts
Ciara is a second-year PhD candidate in The University of Melbourne’s Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at the Mercy Hospital for Women. Her PhD is investigating the pathogenesis of placental insufficiency and fetal growth restriction. She has a passion for pregnancy research aimed at improving maternal and perinatal outcomes, particularly where there is significant disparity, such as in Australia’s Indigenous population and in low- and middle-income countries, where the burden of stillbirth is greatest.
Peter Nagle, Post-doctoral Fellow, MRC Centre for Reproductive Health, University of Edinburgh, UK
Drug screening to identify protectants against chemotherapy-induced male infertility
Sorca O’Brien, Clinical Fellow, Merrion Fertility Clinic, Ireland
Draft national legislation on assisted human reproduction (AHR): Determining opinions and perceptions among fertility patients,
Dr. Sorca O’Brien received her medical degree from Queens University Belfast (2010) following completion of a BScHons (2004) and MSc Phys (2006) in UCD. She completed NHS Foundation Training before specialising in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Ireland, achieving membership of the RCPI (2014) and the RCOG (2019). She has recently completed a Masters in Leadership with the RCSI Leadership Institute, supported by a 30% Club Scholarship. Dr. O’Brien received her Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training from the RCPI and the IOG in 2021. She joined MFC as an ASPIRE Fellow in Fertility and is particularly passionate about equitable access to fertility care. Her MD research focuses on integration of ART into the public hospital system.
Helen O’Neill, CEO, Hertility Health, UK
Exploring women’s perspectives on dismissal of reproductive health symptoms by medical professionals
Vladimir Ovsyankin, Senior Embryologist, ARGC, UK
Analysis of cumulative PGT-M data from embryos for primary ciliary dyskinesia suggests gene duplication in consanguineous reproductive partners
Vladimir Ovsyankin is a senior HCPC registered clinical embryologist currently working for the ARGC clinics in the United Kingdom. He graduated as a veterinarian doctor, and his professional journey as an embryologist beginning in 2003 at the Reproductive Genetics Institute in the USA under the supervision of Dr Yury Verlinsky. Since then, Vladimir has obtained the ACE certificate, qualified as an ESHRE senior embryologist and RCPath associate. Since 2006 he has worked as a lead clinical scientist for Preimplantation Genetic Testing.
Amelia Parkin-Green, PhD Student, University of Sheffield, UK
Regulation of primordial follicle quiescence by TGFB signalling
Amelia is currently in the second year of her PhD in the Academic Unit of Reproductive and Developmental Medicine at The University of Sheffield. Her MSc research project, where she was awarded the 2020 Infertility Research Trust Prize, inspired her to pursue a PhD. Here, she continues to work in Dr Mark Fenwick’s Laboratory, after developing an interest in the role of TGFB signalling in the regulation and maintenance of primordial follicles within the ovary.
Edel Rocher, Clinical Embryologist, Lister Fertility Clinic, UK
When to stop freezing? The impact of embryo quality at cryopreservation on thaw survival and FET outcomes (2015-2021)
Lydia Ruddick, Senior Clinical Embryologist, Manchester Fertility, UK
Are vitrified donor oocytes an option for patients with high sperm DNA fragmentation?
Lydia studied in Cambridge and Nottingham, completing projects at the Gurdon Institute, Cambridge and the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA). Lydia completed the Scientist Training Programme at Birmingham Women’s Hospital before moving north to join Manchester Fertility. She passed the RCPath Part 1 Exam in 2020 and has now started the HSST. Alongside research interests including sperm DNA fragmentation, she manages the clinic’s expiring sperm and embryos and has a special interest in LGBTQ+ family building, including being part of the clinic’s surrogacy team.
Optimising the alkalinisation protocol for patients with retrograde ejaculation
The optimal alkalinisation method for patients with retrograde ejaculation
Olivia Sandys is a Clinical Andrologist currently working at The Hewitt Fertility Centre in Liverpool. In 2021 she completed the NHS Scientist Training Programme in Andrology and was awarded with a distinction in MSc Cellular Science at Manchester Metropolitan University. Olivia completed her MSci in 2018 at The University of Aberdeen in Human Embryology and Developmental Biology.
Andreia Santos Miranda, PhD student, University of Leeds, UK
The plastic used for microfluidic device fabrication affects mouse embryo culture outcome
Laurentina Schaler, Clinical Fellow Reproductive Medicine, Merrion Fertility Clinic, National Maternity Hospital, University College Dublin, Ireland
Male fertility: Impact of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines
Dr. Laurentina Schäler graduated with Honours from the Charité Medical School, Berlin 2013. Since moving to Ireland, she has embarked on a career in Obstetrics and Gynaecology with the The Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and holds an Honours Masters degree in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (UCC) and Healthcare Management (RCSI). Dr. Schäler has undertaken research on the impact of COVID -19 on reproductive medicine as part of her Fellowship in Reproductive Medicine at Merrion Fertility Clinic at the National Maternity Hospital in Dublin, Ireland.
Deborah Se-Ember Adi, PhD Student, University of Nottingham, UK
A common flame retardant (polybrominated diphenyl ether: PBDE-47) detectable in testicular tissue may adversely affect sperm quality in humans and dogs
Deborah Se-ember Adi is a final year PhD student at the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science at the University of Nottingham. Deborah completed her Veterinary degree (DVM) and M Sc Theriogenology in Nigeria and was employed to teach Theriogenology at Joseph Sarwuan Tarka University in Nigeria before enrolling for her graduate studies. Deborah’s research interest is on the effects of environmental contaminants on male and female fertility. She is presently investigating the effects of flame -retardants (PBDE-47) on male and female development outcomes using a mouse model.
Katharina Spath, Research Supervisor, Juno Genetics, UK
Accurate mitochondrial DNA quantification clarifies the clinical value of measuring mtDNA in trophectoderm biopsy specimens,
Katharina Spath is a reproductive biologist specialising in the genetics of human reproduction. She obtained her BSc in Biology from the University of Bayreuth (Germany) in 2009 and her MSc in Reproductive Biology from the University of Edinburgh in 2011. She completed her PhD at the Nuffield Department of Women’s & Reproductive Health, University of Oxford in 2019. In her current role as Principal Research Scientist at Juno Genetics UK, she focuses on the development and application of molecular genetic techniques for the diagnosis and study of infertility-related conditions.
Agnes Stefansdottir, Lecturer in Reproductive Biology, University of Edinburgh, UK
The effect of chemotherapeutics on the fetal testis
Agnes is a Teaching-Track Lecturer in Reproductive Biology at Edinburgh University. She is responsible for the running of several undergraduate courses and contributes to a wide-range of teaching and student supervision within the school of Biomedical Sciences. Prior to taking on this role, Agnes worked as a postdoctoral research fellow with Prof. Spears, having completed her PhD in 2014. Agnes’ current research focus is on investigating whether and how treatment of pregnant women with chemotherapy agents can impact on the developing fetal gonads.
Andrea Syrtash, Founder, Pregnantish, US
Why I left my fertility clinic for another ART provider – it’s not what you think: A RealTalk patient survey
Tamanda Timvere, Clinical Andrologist, Hewitt Fertility Centre, UK
Computer aided semen analysis (CASA) in therapeutic semen analysis improves embryologist efficiency and accuracy
Tamanda Timvere has recently completed the NHS Scientist Training Program to become a Clinical Andrologist in 2022. She is currently working at the Hewitt Fertility Centre in Liverpool. During the Training Program, Tamanda achieved a Distinction in MSc Clinical Science: Cellular Science (Andrology) at Manchester Metropolitan University. Prior to that Tamanda completed a MSc in Reproductive and Developmental Medicine at The University of Sheffield.
Andreia Trigo, Nurse, Enhanced Fertility, UK
Test it, know it, plan it: Exploring the perceived usefulness of a digital platform to remotely assess infertile patients ahead of treatment abroad
Andreia Trigo RN BSc MSc is the CEO of Enhanced Fertility. Andreia is also an experienced nurse consultant, researcher, and chairwoman of the European Fertility Society Care Awards, having presented research at national and international conferences on the topic of reproductive health and digital health. Andreia is the recipient of numerous awards, including the British Fertility Nurse prize 2022 by the British Fertility Society and Women in Innovation 2022 by InnovateUK. At Enhanced Fertility, Andreia has been helping people be diagnosed faster, using at-home testing and digital platforms that use artificial intelligence to deliver personalised recommendations.
Nikolaos Tsampras, Consultant Gynaecologist, The University of Manchester, UK
Video consultations in reproductive medicine: Safety, feasibility and patient satisfaction
Nikolaos is a Consultant Gynaecologist in Manchester University Foundation Trust and an Honorary Senior Lecturer in The University of Manchester. His special interests include reproductive medicine and surgery, minimal access gynaecology and gynaecological emergencies. He has published his research in peer reviewed journals and presented in national and international conferences. His research focus has been fertility preservation, endometrial receptivity and more recently the implementation of virtual consultations in fertility services.
Dagan Wells, Director, Juno Genetics, UK
Mitochondrial reversal can occur following meiotic spindle transfer, potentially impacting efforts to avoid transmission of mtDNA disorders using this form of mitochondrial replacement therapy
Jingyi Xie, Pre-registration Clinical Embryologist, Manchester Fertility, UK
The impact of an AI sperm selection tool on ICSI outcomes – a validation study
Jingyi Xie graduated with an MSc in Reproductive and Developmental Biology from Imperial College London. She has previously been involved in research on sperm DNA fragmentation, and the roles of inflammatory cytokines in the reproductive tract. Jingyi began her career in fertility as an Andrologist at The Doctor’s Laboratory, and is now working as a Pre-registration Clinical Embryology at Manchester Fertility.
Cindy XW Zhang, PhD Student, University of Cambridge, UK
Maternal spleen-liver axis inflammation during obese pregnancy and placental nutrient sensing
Wei Zhou, Research Fellow, University of Melbourne, Australia
Infertile human endometrial organoid apical protein secretions are dysregulated and impair trophoblast progenitor cell adhesion
Dr Zhou’s research interest has been focusing on reproductive biology since 2010. He obtained a Master’s degree in 2013 (Shanghai Jiaotong University, China) and a PhD degree in 2019 (University of Newcastle, Australia). During these years, he has generated a genetic mouse model and pioneered the development and implementation of a broad range of contemporary cell, proteomic and molecular biology techniques to understand sperm production and maturation. He was recruited to join the lab of Prof Evdokia Dimitriadis in 2019 at The University of Melbourne. His overarching research interest changes to identifying the molecular mechanisms responsible for blastocyst implantation failure.
SRF Satellite day
Bridget Arman, University of Melbourne, Australia
SRF/SRB David Healy Post-Doc Exchange (Australia)
Bridget is a final year PhD student within the Therapeutics Discovery and Vascular Function in Pregnancy group at the University of Melbourne under the primary supervision of Prof Natalie Hannan. She has a background in embryology, infertility, and reproductive immunology research at the University of Adelaide and Robinson Research Institute. In 2020, she moved to Melbourne to join her current team and she is now focussing on the uterus and parturition, specialising in the myometrium. Her PhD project is investigating novel therapeutics for the prevention of preterm birth. Being based at the Mercy Hospital for Women in Melbourne, she has the benefit of performing preclinical studies utilising samples collected from pregnant patients and the ability to work collaboratively with clinicians, midwives and scientists within the teams of Mercy Perinatal.
Eswary Ganesh did her MSc in Human Clinical Embryology and Assisted Conception at the University of Dundee. She is very passionate about embryology and fertility treatment. Currently, she has just started working as a trainee embryologist at IVF Center @ Medini, Malaysia. She is always looking forward to gaining more knowledge and skills in this field.
ECR symposium: Cost-effectiveness comparison of 95,034 cycles of Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) and 30,667 cycles of In-vitro Fertilisation (IVF) using donor sperm
Fataneh Ghafari, Research Fellow, Royal Veterinary College, UK
Beneficial effects of melatonin on canine oocyte nuclear maturation through reduction of oxidative stress
Sofia Granados Aparici, Postdoctoral Fellow, McGill University, Canada
SMAD4 within granulosa cells promotes adhesion of transzonal projections to the oocyte in the mouse
Sofia Granados Aparici did her PhD thesis at the University of Sheffield, UK, where she studied how the TGFβ mediators, the SMADs, regulate primordial follicle activation and growth in the ovary (2013-2017). After that, she started a postdoctoral position at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where she continued her investigations about the SMADs in the context of oocyte-granulosa cell communication during preantral follicle development (2018-2021). She recently moved to Valencia, Spain, where she started a MSc in Bioinformatics and joined the University of Valencia/INCLIVA as postdoctoral researcher, where she develops artificial intelligence-based image analysis tools for healthy and pathological tissue.
Scarlett Green is an undergraduate student at the University of Edinburgh in her final year of studying Biomedical Sciences BSc. She has a strong interest in reproductive science, particularly in relation to ovarian studies and fertility. She obtained her findings from a project she participated in summer 2022 over a period of eight weeks of which she thoroughly enjoyed.
ECR symposium: The effect of cisplatin on the fetal mouse ovary in vitro
Kasun Godakumara, Research Fellow, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Estonia
Dynamics of extracellular vesicle based embryo-maternal communication in pre-implantation microenvironment
Nada Kubikova, Junior Research Fellow, University of Oxford, UK
The repair of DNA double-strand breaks is deficient in human preimplantation embryos indicating that genome editing performed at early developmental stages may carry additional risks
Nada is a reproductive biologist with interests in human genetics and infertility. Recently, she started investigating how genome editing technologies might be harnessed to shed light on the key processes underlying human preimplantation development, with special interest in DNA repair and genome instability. She completed her DPhil from the University of Oxford in 2020 and had since been appointed a Maplethorpe Junior Research Fellow in Biomedical Sciences at Jesus College, Oxford.
Hanning (Julia) Li is an undergraduate student at the University of Edinburgh. Currently, she is working towards a degree in Reproductive Biology BSc. She is interested in the field of reproductive sciences, especially topics related to reproductive health and treatment. For Fertility 2023, she will present results from her summer research project which focuses on the molecular mechanisms underlying tubal ectopic pregnancy.
ECR symposium: TGF-β1 stimulates embryo attachment in an in vitro model system
Hannah Morgan, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Nottingham, UK
Paternal under and over-nutrition alters sperm RNA profile and in vitro embryo development in mice
Dr Hannah Morgan is a post-doctoral research fellow in the Centre for Perinatal Research at the School of Medicine in the University of Nottingham. Hannah’s current research focuses on examining the how sub-optimal paternal diets influence reproduction, with particular focus on the impacts on early embryo development, implantation and placental development in a mouse model. Hannah graduated from the University of Newcastle with a BSc in Physiology before obtaining an MRes in Maternal and Fetal Health at the University of Manchester and obtained her PhD in Cardiovascular Sciences from University of Glasgow in 2018.
Rachel Myles is based at the University of Dundee. She graduated in 2021 with a First-Class BSc Honours degree in Biomedical Science. Rachel then obtained a role as a laboratory technician on the University of Dundee’s male contraceptive project, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. For the past year Rachel has balanced her part-time work alongside undertaking a part-time MSc by Research degree in Reproductive Medicine. Her project focuses on testing compounds with male contraceptive activity using different sperm functional tests. Fertility 2023 will be Rachel’s first conference.
ECR symposium: Use of human sperm functional tests to assess compounds with male contraceptive activity
David Pépin, Associate Professor, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, USA
SRF/SSR Virendra Mahesh New Investigator (USA): The AMH/AMHR2 axis as a target for contraception
Dr. Pépin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, an Associate Molecular Biologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Associate Director of the Pediatric Surgical Research Laboratories of the Massachusetts General Hospital.
Dr. Pépin trained as a reproductive biologist, completing his Ph.D. at the University of Ottawa, Canada, studying the role of SMARCA1 in the regulation of ovarian folliculogenesis under the mentorship of Barbara C. Vanderhyden. Dr. Pépin then pursued his postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Patricia K. Donahoe, at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, where he worked on the biology of Mullerian Inhibiting Substance (MIS or AMH) and its application to the treatment of ovarian cancer.
Dr. Pépin now leads a laboratory investigating the role of AMH/MIS in female reproduction and particularly in the context of ovarian function and diseases. His research includes basic reproductive development, and applied translational work in contraception, oncofertility, assisted reproduction, and ovarian cancer.
Carla Robb is a fourth-year Reproductive Biology (Hons) student, aiming to study Medicine as a post-graduate. She hopes to have a career as a clinician with a basis in research as well. Here interests include the female reproductive system and abnormal menstrual bleeding. In summer 2022, she undertook a research project in the Maybin laboratory, to examine ovarian hormones in women with long covid across the menstrual cycle.
ECR symposium: A pilot study to examine ovarian hormones in women with long COVID across the menstrual cycle
Roseanne Rosario, Academic Track Lecturer (Reproductive Biology), University of Edinburgh, UK
SRF/SSR New Investigator UK
Dr Roseanne Rosario completed her Postdoctoral training with Professor Richard Anderson at the MRC Centre for Reproductive Health, before moving to the Deanery of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Edinburgh to establish her research group. Roseanne is interested in exploring the formation of the ovarian reserve, and the mechanisms that underlie follicle loss, especially in women following chemotherapy treatment, and ways to protect against this.
Alexandra Rutherford was born and raised in South Africa and studied Life Sciences at The University of Toronto in Canada completing her BSc with honours in 2021. Thereafter she moved to the United Kingdom and obtained a Masters in Translational Medicine at St George’s University in 2022.
ECR symposium: Investigating fibrosis in the ovary: a possible association with FSH/ testosterone in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
Dhruvpal Singh Anchan is a Masters’ student at Hartpury University. His current research is focused on stallion semen freezing and assessing the effects of different semen-extending protocols and reagents on post-thaw semen parameters. He is also interested in neonatal foal medicine and post-partum care of mares and foals. Dhruvpal is keen on integrating the scientific and practical aspects of equine reproduction and assisted reproductive techniques. Dhruvpal enjoys photographing animals and nature in his spare time and is also an avid percussionist.
ECR symposium: Correlations between equine breeding parameters and fertility – a retrospective study
Tomoya Takashima, Post Doctoral Fellow, Nara Medical University, Japan
Reproduction Journal Prize Lecture: Effect of in vitro growth on mouse oocyte competency, mitochondria and transcriptome
Dr Tomoya Takashima received his BSc (2016) and MSc (2018) from Tokyo University of Agriculture for epigenome and non-coding RNA studies on sex-specific differentiation of mouse primordial germ cells in Prof. Tomohiro Kono’s group. He then studied the competency of oocytes using in vitro mouse oocyte culture systems and bioinformatics, and received his PhD in 2021 under the supervision of Prof. Yayoi Obata at Tokyo University of Agriculture. After receiving his degree, he continues research on gametogenesis, especially on the mechanism of oogenesis, in the laboratory of Kazuki Kurimoto at Nara Medical University as a postdoctoral fellow. His article in Reproduction journal “Effect of in vitro growth on mouse oocyte competency, mitochondria and transcriptome”, reporting on his doctoral research, won the 2022 Best Research Award in Reproduction journal.
Pranali Tanawade is a recent post-graduate who completed her MSc in Human Clinical Embryology and Assisted Conception from the University of Dundee, United Kingdom. Based on her academic excellence and prior work experience, she was awarded an internship at TFP GCRM Fertility, Glasgow as a Laboratory Intern.
Prior to her journey to the UK, she worked as a Junior Embryologist at the Fertility Clinic and IVF Centre in Mumbai, India, where she gained over 4.5 years of experience and technical skills in the field of andrology and embryology. On her very first attempt, she carried out a successful embryo transfer that resulted in a positive pregnancy which was a highlight of her career while working in the above clinic.
Before joining the IVF centre, she completed her MSc in Microbiology and BSc in Microbiology from the University of Mumbai.
She aspires to be a skilled clinical embryologist in the field of assisted reproductive technology by providing value to the organisation and help people with her knowledge and experience.
ECR Symposium: Sperm donation: A study on attitudes exploring motivations and barriers