I was awarded my PhD in 1991 from the University of St. Andrews after which I undertook a one-year Research Fellowship funded by the Royal Society at the Station Zoologique, Villefrance-sur-Mer, France.
I joined the University of Sheffield in 1992, first as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant and then was appointed as lecturer in 1997. In 2001 was appointed as Senior Lecturer in Andrology and in 2015 Professor of Andrology.
In addition to my academic duties, I am also the Head of Andrology for Sheffield Teaching Hospitals where I direct a busy clinical andrology laboratory and am in charge of the sperm banking service.
I am interested in the biology of human spermatozoa and aspects of semen quality and fertility in males. It is estimated that 1 in 6 couples have a problem in conceiving a child and in about half of these cases, a problem is identified with the male partner. This may be a result of too few sperm being produced, or the fact that sperm have poor motility (swimming ability) or morphology (size and shape).
In recent years, my research has focussed on how micro-organisms such as Chlamydia trachomatis interact with sperm and affect sperm function. This is in collaboration with Adrian Eley (see links) and has shown that the bacteria can trigger signalling pathways in sperm that lead to premature sperm death. We have investigated the molecular nature of this process and have recently shown that sperm washing methods currently in use in clinics are not effective in removing C. trachomatis from sperm.
In the search for better diagnostic methods in the clinic, I have recently collaborated with engineers from the University of Glasgow (Green/Gilles) and applied modelling techniques used in fluid mechanics to better understand how sperm swim. This paper was published in the Journal of Fluid Mechanics in 2008 (see below) and shows that swimming speed is closely related to the side and shape of the sperm head.
Work with Urologists in Sheffield has developed a new diagnostic test for men who have small numbers of non-motile sperm in their ejaculates following vasectomy. In some men, these sperm are present for many months or years meaning the men cannot be discharged from care or cease using contraception because it is not be certain if the surgery has been successful. We have employed a fluorescent test that allows us to determine if these sperm are dead or alive in order to discriminate between failed vasectomy and inadequate clearance of dead sperm.
Finally, I am interested in occupational and environmental influences on semen quality. In collaboration with colleagues from the University of Manchester, I conducted a large multi-centre study of semen quality at 14 clinics within the UK, relating measures of semen quality to. In 2008 we published the first paper describing how occupational exposure to glycol ethers (found in paints) was associated with a low motile sperm count. Further papers from this data are being prepared and will be published shortly.
I lecture in Phase 1b (GU and Endocrine) and Phase 3 (Women´s Health) of the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) course. I also contribute to the Student Selected Components of Phase 1a (Critical Analysis) and Phase 1b (Research Methods) and offer B. Med. Sci., projects. Outside the Medical School, I lecture on Module MBB 331 (Gametes and Embryos) in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology and also the APS 120 (Reproduction and Development) module in the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences. I am also the Course Director and Admissions Tutor for the MSc in Science Communication which is starting in the Autumn of 2011 (see links).
I am currently a member of the Editorial Board of `Reproduction´ (Society for Reproduction and Fertility) and `Human Fertility´ (Informa Healthcare). I am a trustee of the British Fertility Society Educational Trust (2001 to present), a member of the Advisory Council of the National Gamete Donation Trust (2001 – present) and Chairman of the UK NEQAS Andrology Steering Group (2004 – present). I am currently a member of an Advisory Group to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority as part of their 'Donation Policies Review'.
President of IVI
Speciality: Clinical Directors, Reproductive medicine, Presidents
Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
IVI ROMA, IVI Clinic Valencia
Training:He studied medicine at the University of Valencia, earning his Medical Doctor Degree in 1978. He obtained his PhD in 1980 by the same University and earned his residency of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Hospital Clínico of this city, and the subspecialty of Reproductive Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine (USA), and at Mainz University (Germany). Care activity:ProfessorPellicer founded the Valencian Infertility Institute - InstitutoValenciano de Infertilidad (IVI) in 1990, and his work in the reproduction field has conducted to create several IVI clinics both in Spain as well as internationally. He is also Chairman of IVI Foundation for the Study of Reproduction and Chief Director of IVI Team. Teaching activity:He is Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the University of Valencia since 1999 and Dean of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of Valencia since 2006. He is Head of Service of Obstetrics and Gynecology of La FE University Hospital since 2009. Awards and merits:ProfessorPellicer has been honoured with several prizes for his contribution to the reproductive health field, where must be highlighted the followings: the American Society for Reproductive Medicine has conceded him for seven times the Annual Meeting Prize Paper, the XXV Society for Gynecological Research President's Award 2002, Rey Jaime I Prize in the modality of Clinical Medicine granted by the Rey Jaime I Foundation Awards in Valencia in 2004, Golden Medal Imposing Prize by the Official School of Doctors of Valencia, in Valencia 2006, ROTARIAN FLAME Award: of SCIENCES 2007, in Valencia 2008// and Lily Foundation Prize of Clinic Biomedical Research 2008 granted by Lily Foundation in Madrid, 2008. He has been recently named Honorary Doctor by the Polytechnic University of Valencia in Gandía, Valencia, 2001. Research and scientific activity:ProfessorPellicer is a member of the ESHRE Executive Committee (European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology) and from the International Federation of Fertility Societies. He has been President of the Spanish Fertility Society during the years 1994 and 1996 and he is currently member of the National Commission of Human Assisted Reproduction. He has written more than 200 chapters of books and has published more than 650 articles in national and International journals and has presented more than 400 conferences in national and International congresses. He is Co-Editor of the Fertility & Sterility Journal and is member of the editorial boards of several scientific societies.
Dr. Racowsky is Director of the ART Laboratory at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts and an associate professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Harvard Medical School. She previously directed the ART Laboratory at the University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona. Having graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Zoology at the University of Oxford, she received her Ph.D. in Reproductive Physiology from the University of Cambridge in England, and did post-doctoral fellowships at Harvard Medical School, first with Dr. Koji Yoshinaga, and then with Dr. John Biggers. She is a peer-reviewer for numerous journals in reproductive medicine and has served on a number of editorial boards. She has been a member of several professional committees including her current membership on the SART Executive Council and the ASRM Practice Committee. She is also the 2006-2007 President of the New England Fertility Society.
Professor Barratt is Head of the Reproductive Medicine Group at the University of Dundee as well as a clinical scientist (Hon) with NHS Tayside. He graduated with an Honours degree in Zoology and then completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (University of Wales, Swansea). His PhD, also in Zoology, was under the supervision of Jack Cohen (sperm selection fame) at the University of Birmingham. His formative post-doctoral studies and IVF experience was gained at the University of Sheffield [with Ian Cooke] where they specialized in natural cycle IVF. From 1997-2005 he was the Scientific Director of the ART Centre at the Birmingham Women’s Hospital. In 2002 he was awarded Young Andrologist of the Year (American Andrology Society) for outstanding contributions to the discipline. He is a regularly invited speaker at national and international scientific conferences/workshops. He was a member of the WHO Male Fertility Semen Analysis Taskforce (for both the 4th and 5th editions) and is now director of the new WHO (2012-2016) Male Fertility Expert Working Group which is devising a new system for the diagnosis and treatment of the infertile male. He was a member of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority for 6 years. He has been on the Editorial Board of Human Reproduction, Human Fertility, Biology of Reproduction, Human Reproduction Update and Journal of Andrology. In 2014 Professor Barratt presented the Professor Sir Robert Edwards keynote lecture at ESHRE. This presentation was based on the highest downloaded paper in Human Reproduction for 2013. Currently he is Editor-in-Chief of Molecular Human Reproduction (Impact factor 5 year 3.9). His life’s ambition is to see - live - Wales comprehensively beat the All Blacks.
Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women's Health (OBGYN)
Dr. De Jonge is the Senior Director of Laboratory Operations, ReproductiveMedicine Center.
He is a board-certified High-complexity Clinical Laboratory Director with the American Board of Bioanalysis and a board-certified Embryologist with the American College of Embryology.
He has served on many national and international bodies that are responsible for establishing laboratory standards including the World Health Organization.
Dr. De Jonge received his Ph.D. from the Department of Physiology at Rush University in Chicago and completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology/ Infertility from that same institution.
Awards & Recognition
Co-investigator/author of research publication cited by TIME magazine as 2010 Top Ten Medical Breakthroughs, 2010
British Medical Association Medical Book Competition. “Highly Commended” Obstetrics & Gynaecology for “The Sperm Cell: Production, Maturation, Fertilization, Regeneration.”, 2007 American Society of Andrology, "Young Andrologist Award", 1995 Outstanding Achievement, College of Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center, 1994 The Graduate College Award, 1989
Stage-Specific Genomic Characterization of Human Preimplantion Embryos Molecular Genetic Analysis of Human Imprinting and Assisted Reproduction Human oocyte and ovarian tissue cryopreservation
For a list of publications, see PubMed. Wong CC, Loewke KE, Behr B, Bossert NL, Raja R, De Jonge CJ, Baer TM, ReijoPera R (2010). Correlated time-lapse imaging and single-cell gene expression in human embryogenesis. Nat. Biotechnol. 28, 1115–1121. De Jonge CJ (2005). Biological basis for human capacitation. Human Reprod Update 11:205. Doherty CM, Tarchala SM, Radwanska E, De Jonge CJ (1995). Characterization of two second messenger pathways and their interactions in eliciting the human sperm acrosome reaction. J Androl 16:36.
Reproductive Medicine Center
Embryologist, American College of Embryology; High Complexity Clinical Laboratory Director, American Board of Bioanalysis
Role: Honorary Professor of Clinical Embryology and Stem Cell Biology; Scientific Director of the Department of Reproductive Medicine; and Co-Director NW Embryonic Stem Cell Centre (NWESCC)
• Research Student (1989 - 1992) Dr HJ Leese, University of York Funded by MRC
• Post-doctoral Research Fellow (1992 - 1993) Dr HJ Leese, University of York Funded by Journal of Reproduction and Fertility
• Post-doctoral Research Fellow (1993 - 1997) Dr RM Schultz, Department of Biology University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA Funded by NIH
• Scientific Director (1997 -present) Department of Reproductive Medicine, St Mary's Hospital
Central Manchester and Manchester
University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT)
• Consultant Clinical Scientist (1997 - present) Department of Reproductive Medicine, St Mary's Hospital Central Manchester and Manchester
University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT)
• Co-Director (2006 - present) NW Embryonic Stem Cell Centre (NWESCC)
• Professor (hon) of Clinical Embryology and Stem Cell Biology (2009 - present) Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences, University of Manchester
Memberships of Committees and Professional Bodies
Professional advisory or consultancy work
• NovoCellus Ltd. University of York spinout. Consultant to and minor shareholder with NovoCellus Ltd. on development of embryo amino acid profiling technology
• Co-opted expert on Embryology for the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority’s Scientific and Clinical Advances Advisory Committee (SCAAC) (2005 - present)
• Elected member of the General Council of the Society for the Study of Reproduction (2002 - 2004)
• Co-opted embryology expert to HFEA committee on Safety and New Technology (SANT) (2004 - 2005)
• Reproductive scientist member of the British Fertility Society Executive committee (2005 - present
• Regional tutor for the NW region in clinical embryology training (2008 - present)
• Examiner in embryology for the Royal College of Pathologists (2009 - present)
• Vice-chair of the UK Clinical Embryonic Stem Cells Forum (2010 - present)
• Editorial Board member for the journals Human Fertility and Reproduction
• BSc (Hons), University of London, UK. Class 2:1 (1983)
• PhD, University of York (1992)
• FRCPath, Royal College of Pathologists (2009)
• Association of Clinical Embryologists Certificate in Clinical Embryology (hon)
• State Registration as a Clinical Embryologist with Healthcare Professions Council (CS00267) Role
I am a Consultant Clinical Scientist in the NHS and Scientific Director of the clinical Department of Reproductive Medicine, which offers infertility treatment services to the North West of England. I have managerial responsibilities for the clinical department, and am directly responsible for the Andrology and Embryology laboratories. I hold the post of Person Responsible to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority for research licences in embryo research (licence R0026) and embryonic stem cells (R0171). I co-direct (with Professor Sue Kimber) the NW Embryonic Stem Cell Centre (NWESCC) based in the Central Manchester Trust and the University of Manchester. I am a member of the British Fertility Society Executive committee, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority's Scientific and Clinical Advances Advisory Committee, and vice-chair of the UK Clinical Embryonic Stem Cells Forum. I am regional tutor for the NW region in Clinical Embryology training.
Current teaching duties
• Medical student SSCs: 2/3 per year
• Medical student 4th/5th year research options: 1/2 per year
• Biology research students (1 per year, with Professor SJ Kimber)
• Biology placement students (2 total supervised/hosted)
I have recently taught on the following MSc courses:
• Clinical Embryology, University of the Danube, Krems, Austria
• Clinical Embryology (distance learning), University of Leeds, UK
• Med Sci. ART, University of Nottingham, UK
Subspeciality training: I am a tutor on the subspecialty training programme in Reproductive Medicine under the auspices of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
I am an examiner in Embryology for the Royal College of Pathologists.
President and co-owner of Oozoa Biomedical. During the last 24 years he has provided a wide range of consultancy in various areas of reproductive biology and medicine in human, domesticated and laboratory species covering products, equipment and services from both the diagnostic and therapeutic perspectives. Major projects have included setting up state-of-the-art IVF centres, andrology laboratories and cryobanks, based on the principles of Total Quality Management. Born and raised in the UK, his tertiary education was in Zoology (Bristol University) and a PhD from Edinburgh University followed by postdoctoral training in Edinburgh, Paris and Birmingham. In 1983 he was appointed Assistant Professor in the Departments of Obstetrics & Gynaecology and Medical Physiology at the University of Calgary, supported by the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research. His laboratory investigated human sperm pathophysiology and, as Scientific Director of the Infertility Programme, he was responsible for developing diagnostic andrology services and one of the largest sperm banks in Canada. Following several promotions he was cross-appointed to the Department of Pathology and taught each year in the Reproductive System Course, acting as Course Chairman and in an advisory capacity to the WHO in preparing the 3rd (1992) edition of their Laboratory Manual, and Editor for the first two editions of the Canadian Fertility & Andrology Society’s Donor Insemination Guidelines. In 1991 he moved to Sydney (Australia) as the Scientific Director of Sydney IVF (“SIVF”) where he was responsible for the development of assisted reproduction laboratory services at their other sites in Australia and around South East Asia. During this time he developed new sequential IVF culture media and incubators that provided SIVF with the highest success rates in Australia, and which have since been commercialized by SIVF as the Cook Culture System. In Sydney he held honorary appointments as Clinical Senior Lecturer in Obstetrics & Gynaecology at Sydney University, and Visiting Principal Scientific Officer in the Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility Department of the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. In 1997–99 he worked on the World Health Organization’s "Manual for the Standardized Investigation, Diagnosis and Management of the Infertile Male" (Cambridge University Press, 2000). From a business perspective, he was Managing Director of Mortimer Scientific Consulting Pty Ltd, a founding partner in Andrology International BV, and Scientific Director and Board Secretary of Launceston.SIVF Pty Ltd. He has also served on Scientific Advisory Boards for several biotechnology companies before returning to Canada and establishing his consulting company, Oozoa Biomedical Inc., of which he is President. Dr. Mortimer has authored/co-authored over 130 scientific publications, including the books "Practical Laboratory Andrology" (Oxford University Press, 1994), "Quality and Risk Management in the IVF Laboratory" (Cambridge University Press, 2005), and "A Practical Guide to Basic Laboratory Andrology" (Cambridge University Press, 2010), as well as numerous conference presentations. His current h-index (Thomson ISI Web of Knowledge) is 26. He has given many invited lectures, workshops and courses worldwide, and was a founder of the ESHRE Basic Semen Analysis courses. He is a member of numerous national or international professional societies, Editorial Boards, including Human Reproduction and as Associate Editor for Human Reproduction Update, the highest-ranked reproductive biomedicine journal, since January 2011. He was Scientific Programme Chairman for the 11th World Congress on In Vitro Fertilization and Human Reproductive Genetics held in Sydney (Australia) in May 1999, and co-edited the plenary proceedings volume "Towards Reproductive Certainty: Fertility and Genetics Beyond 1999" (Parthenon Press). He is the current Past-President of the Canadian Fertility & Andrology Society (CFAS) having served as the President and Secretary/Treasurer. He has also served on committees for the Canadian Standards Association and with Accreditation Canada
Did his Ph.D. degree in reproductive physiology from the University of Utah, his M.S. degree in cellular and developmental biology from Brigham Young University. He has worked in the area of research and treatment of human infertility for 35 years he also directs a number of post-doctoral fellows, Ph.D. graduate students, and research personnel, he is an international leader in the field genetic aspects of male infertility and early embryogenesis, He has authored more than 225 research papers and book chapters, and has edited 8 medical books related to infertility
The mysteries of conception are this researcher's passion. As a young biologist, Professor Eileen McLaughlin produced her first test tube baby in 1983, just five years after Louise Brown was heralded as the world's first IVF birth. It was a case of 'right time, right place' for McLaughlin, who graduated from the University of Glasgow to research positions involving assisted reproduction at the universities of Birmingham and Bristol at a time when Britain was the international hot spot in this emerging field. That experience was the foundation for what has become a distinguished research career in reproductive science. McLaughlin's work has been recognised with awards from the British Fertility Society and the Society for Reproductive Biology in Australia and has been published in esteemed medical journals including Cell and The Lancet. Since joining the University's reproductive science group in 2001, a focus of McLaughlin's research has been the fertility prospects of older women. She says her research has reinforced the theory that declining egg quality, rather than quantity, is the major hindrance to conception in women in their late 30s and older. While science has not delivered a magic formula to improve the quality of mature eggs, McLaughlin is researching the way oocytes, or immature egg cells, are 'woken' to be released from the ovary. The aim is that better understanding this process could lead to new ways of harvesting or prolonging the life of good eggs. "The attrition rate of eggs is very high," she says. "A female has about 1 million eggs at birth but by the time she is in her mid 30s she is down to about 20,000. By the age of 40, she will have a few thousand," she says. "She will only ovulate 400 eggs in her life, so the vast majority of them are wasted. The challenge is to find a way to a hold on to some of those good eggs longer." McLaughlin's work has established that many chemicals used in everyday items such as glues, dyes and pesticides, are potentially toxic to eggs, which can further frustrate the efforts of older mothers to conceive.There are increasing numbers of women in their 30s who are having difficulty producing a sufficient number of good eggs to conceive. The evidence suggests that this may be influenced by lifetime exposure, probably at very low levels, to environmental toxicants," she says. Exposure to these chemicals is a consequence of living in the modern world and McLaughlin says little can be done to reduce women's susceptibility. But the research underpins the importance of her work in trying to extend the life of healthy oocytes and improve outcomes for couples trying to conceive later in life. Professor Eileen McLaughlin researches in collaboration with the Hunter Medical Research Institute's (HMRI) Pregnancy and Reproduction Program. HMRI is a partnership between the University, Hunter New England Local Health District and the community.
Gerald P. Schatten, PhD Professor Gerald Schatten is Director of the Pittsburgh Development Center, Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Cell Biology, Bioengineering and Director of the Division of Developmental and Regenerative Medicine. Dr. Schatten has directly trained 50 doctoral and postdoctoral fellows, along with several MD, MD-PhD, and DVM trainees. He is active in advanced research training and was the founding director of the FRONTIERS IN REPRODUCTION, the premier reproduction training vehicle for MD and PhDs. Dr. Schatten is currently President of UNESCO’s International Cell Research Organization. With extensive funding from the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Schatten is the recipient of an NIH MERIT, and earlier a Research Career Development Award, was honored by the Czech Academy of Sciences with their Purkinje Medal of Science, elected as a Delegate of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, a Mentor Awardee of the American Society for Cell Biology, Elected Australian Society for Reproductive Biology President’s Lecturer, awarded the Daniel Mazia Award from Stanford University, and a Doctor HonorisCausa (Honorary Doctorate) from the University of Nova Gorica, presented by the President of the Republic of Slovenia, among other honors. His 300 papers on stem cells, regeneration, fertilization, cell biology, development, infertility, assisted reproductive technologies, as well as strategies for rectifying past injustices in scientific careers, have appeared in premier journals including Nature and Science. Dr. Schatten is also an eloquent advocate for research in reproduction, development, regeneration and stem cells.
Biostatistician, currently based at the Centre for Biostatistics at University of Manchester. his PhD looked at methods to analyse complex sequential data in IVF. During my MSc Statistics, He was told that he did not even 'understand what statistics was' and that my 'writting could be improved'. Hopefully He now have at least some idea what statistics is and have managed to improve my writting to a reasonable level. Interested in finding collaborators who, recognising the implications of research for patients, would like to do good quality work.
Corporate Lab Director Dr. Swain is the laboratory director of CCRM. He is board certified as a High-Complexity Clinical Laboratory Director and responsible for oversight of laboratory operations. Dr. Swain obtained his BSc from Hillsdale College in his native Michigan, his MSc in Animal Science from Purdue University and his PhD Molecular and Integrative Physiology from the University of Michigan. Dr. Swain is also actively involved in research focused on improvement of in vitro culture conditions. Studies range from very basic in nature to translational research aimed at improving existing means of treating infertility. Jason E. Swain, PhD, HCLD is the Corporate Laboratory Director of the CCRM IVF Laboratory Network, overseeing a growing network of 10 clinical IVF laboratories in North America. Dr. Swain is responsible for laboratory design, protocol/procedure implementation, as well as staff training and ongoing quality control monitoring for the network embryology, andrology and endocrinology laboratories. He is also an Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Rutgers University as well as at the University of Minnesota. Jason completed his BSc at Hillsdale College in his native Michigan, his MSc in Animal Science at Purdue University, his PhD in Molecular & Integrative Physiology at the University of Michigan. Dr. Swain has published more than 38 peer‐reviewed articles, authored several book chapters and contributed to various other publications within the field of assisted reproduction. His primary research interests include pursuit of methods to improve in vitro embryo culture conditions through reduction of environmental stressors via modification of both the physical and chemical culture environment. Dr. Swain has given numerous regional, national and international invited lectures on various topics related to the IVF laboratory. He is the Editor‐in‐Chief of the Journal for Clinical Embryology, Associate Editor for the Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics, sits on the editorial board for 6 journals and acts an ad hoc reviewer for 19 others.
2007 MD. Aarhus University
1999 Upper secondary school-leaving examination
April 2015-present Post doc, Dep of Clinical Biochemistry/Clinical Institute, Aarhus University Hospital
Oct 2014-march 2015 Medical Doctor, Dep of Clinical Biochemistry, Aarhus University Hospital
April 2013- sept. 2013 Post.doc. Fertility Clinic/Clinical Institute, Aarhus University
Jan 2010 - marts 2013 PhD scholar Aarhus University
Nov. 2009 – dec. 2009 Research assistant, Fertility Clinic/Clinical Institute, Aarhus University
June 2007 – okt. 2009 Internship, Region Midt, Randers (Medicine, Surgery, General Practice)
Aug. 2003- juli 2004 Pre-graduate scholarship at Institute of Medical Biochemistry, Aarhus University
May 2005-Feb 2006 Maternity Leave
July 2008 - March 2008 Maternity leave
Awards and nominations
Awarded a SapereAude post doc grant from the Danish Council for Independent Research, Ministry of Higher Education 2014. Awarded the Aarhus University Research Foundation (AUFF) PhD prize 2014, Winner of the Fogh-Nielsen prize competition (Awarded for excellent achievements in PhD research), Health, Aarhus University 2013, shortlisted for best abstract at ESHRE (European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology) 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th annual meeting (first author), Nordic InfuCare Research Grant 2012
Academic degrees and Scientific production
PhD from Aarhus University based on the dissertation “Human embryo development and viability assessed by time-lapse imaging”. 1st author of 11 papers, co-author of five and last author of two papers published in international peer-reviewed journals. Author of two book chapters (one in press). H-index 9 (Scopus). Associate Editor for Human Reproduction. Reviewer for several international journals including Human Reproduction and Fertility and Sterility. Certified among the top 10% of the reviewers in Human Reproduction 2013. Several oral presentations (peer reviewed abstracts) at international meetings including ESHRE and ASRM.
Invited speaker at the Alpha Scientist in Reproductive Medicine biannual meeting (2016), American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) annual meeting (2015), In Vitro Fertilization and embryo transfer, organized by the office of continued medical education, UCLA School of Medicine (2015), Il centro de medicinadellariproductione, Catania (2015), ISIVF, 18th World IVF Congress of In Vitro Fertilization (2015) (company symposium), Nordic IVF-Laboratory Society 2015, Nordic Fertility Innnovation, Stockholm (2014), ESHRE 30th annual meeting pre-congress course, 5th DVR congress, (2013) 25th annual Meeting Belgian Society for Reproductive Medicine (2012), Fertilitech Company Symposium, ESHRE 26th annual meeting (2011)
Member of the evaluation committee for R&D in Estonia, appointed by the Estonian research Council 2015. Member of the Organizing Committee PhD day 2016, Aarhus University, Coordinator of medical education, KBA AUH (2014), Organiser of workshops at the 6th and 7th ORPHEUS meeting (Organization for PhD education in Biomedicine and Health Sciences in the European System), Vice chair and member of FP Forum Aarhus University (2012) Board member of the PhD Association, Health, AU (2010-2012), Member of the PhD-council, Health, AU (2011), Member of the planning committee for 3rd Annual Meeting Translational Medicine AU (2011).
BSC (Hons) PhD (Stirllng) PGDipLATHE (Oxon) SFHEA FRSB CBiolCSciTeach
DIRECTOR OF THE MSC IN CLINICAL EMBRYOLOGY. PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/GROUP LEADER
• Lecturer in Medicine, Trinity College, Oxford
• Lead for Testicular Cryopreservation Research
• Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
• Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology
• Divisional Audit Sub-Committee
• Tutor (Divisional Skills Training Programme)
BIOGRAPHY: he graduated from the University of Stirling (Scotland) with a Bachelors degree in Biological Science and a PhD in Reproductive Physiology and Endocrinology. Since leaving Scotland in 1994, his research has predominantly involved pharmacological, physiological and molecular aspects of both male and female reproduction utilising a variety of biochemical and molecular approaches. I have held post-doctoral positions at Brunel University, Queen Mary University London, Imperial College London, and University College London. In 2002, I moved to the Department of Pharmacology in Oxford, and in 2008 joined the Nuffield Department of Women's and Reproductive Health (NDWRH) as Director of the MSc in Clinical Embryology. I am a member of the British Fertility Society, the Society for Reproduction and Fertility, the British Andrology Society, and the Royal Microscopy Society. I have acted as Senior Editor for four academic book volumes.
TEACHING PHILOSOPHY: I have a keen interest in the pedagogy of teaching and student learning. I hold a Postgraduate Diploma in Learning & Teaching in Higher Education (PGDipLATHE) from the Department of Education, University of Oxford. I gained Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy in 2011 and was promoted to Senior Fellowship in 2016. I also hold Chartered Science Teacher Status with the Royal Society of Biology.
RESEARCH INTERESTS: Historically, my research has involved the molecular mechanisms of oocyte activation at fertilisation, with special emphasis on how such mechanisms may impart effect upon male fertility. Activation of the egg at fertilization is a fundamental developmental event and in mammals is associated with a rise in intracellular egg calcium that manifests as a series of characteristic oscillations. Current research strongly suggests that the protein responsible is a sperm-specific phospholipase C with distinctive properties, PLCζ. My team investigates how PLCζ, and other sperm proteins interacting with the oocyte at fertilisation, might be related to certain types of male infertility including oocyte activation deficiency, total fertilisation failure, or recurrent ICSI failure. Current emphasis includes the potential role of oocyte proteins which interact with PLCζ and other sperm proteins in order to induce activation. Other projects are developing nanoparticle- or exosome-mediated systems to deliver engineered protein constructs, or other molecular agents, into mammalian gametes or embryos. Such methods could provide a useful tool for studying the role of sperm-specific proteins during fertilisation and early embryogenesis, and may provide an effective means of delivering targeted clinical agents. Additional projects concern the potential adverse effects of clinical procedures upon sperm protein structure and function, and are exploring the application of infra-red laser technology in assisted reproductive technology and investigative reproductive science. My team also collaborates with the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust on a project which aims to help young people at risk of developing infertility, for example those undergoing aggressive radio/chemotherapy for childhood cancers. My team provides specific research support/initiative for a clinical programme which aims to cryopreserve testicular tissue from young boys prior to aggressive clinical treatments which may influence sperm production. An additional project, led by Professor Graham, seeks to evaluate how cytoplasmic movements in the early human embryo might serve as potential markers of clinical viability.
STRATEGIC RESEARCH AREAS: Male infertility, fertilisation, oocyte activation , sperm biology and PLCzeta
Nanoparticle- and exosome-mediated delivery systems for gametes and embryos
Infra-red laser technology and assisted reproductive technology
Fertility preservation - testicular cryopreservation
SOURCES OF GROUP FUNDING: Our research has been funded by a variety of internal sources (Medical Research Fund, EPA Cephalosporin Fund) and external sources (The Royal Society, Wingate Trust, Wellcome Trust, EPSRC Pathways to Impact Scheme, The Higher Education Academy, European Commission, The Rosetrees Trust, The Daphne Jackson Trust, The British Andrology Society). Our DPhil students have been very successful in securing competitive funding from a number of internal scholarship schemes (Clarendon, Graduate School, Cyril and Phyllis Long) and external scholarship schemes (Ministry of Higher Education - Malaysia, Chancellor's Scholarship - Universiti of Brunei).
After a Master’s degree in Biology in 1996 at the University of Bologna, Italy, LodovicoParmegiani completed his postgraduate specialization (PhD) in Biochemistry and Clinical Chemistry in 2000 at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy. In 2008 he received certification as Senior Clinical Embryologist from the European Society for Human Reproduction & Embryology (ESHRE). In his career he has developed and optimized devices and methods for clinical embryology and has published almost one hundred papers and book chapters in this field. His current research interests are cryobiology, gamete selection and micromanipulation. He is editor for many international scientific journals. He is member of the Executive Committee and the Scientific Director of Italian Embryology Society (SIERR). Lodo is a highly sought embryologist specialized in tutoring for handson workshops and he has organized and chaired many congresses, symposia, and workshops. Furthermore, he is consultant for IVF lab design, equipment and management. In addition, he is currently advisor for companies in the IVF field. He holds an international patent for: ”device and method for sterilizing liquid nitrogen by ultraviolet radiation”. He is currently the Laboratory Director at the Reproductive Medicine Unit, GynePro Medical Centers in Bologna, Italy.
Areas of Expertise
Vitrification, Cryobiology, Liquid Nitrogen sterilization, ICSI, IMSI, PICSI, sperm selection, hyaluronic acid
Professor of Development and Stem Cell Biology at University of Cambridge. Trying to build life from stem cells to understand it better.
is a Polish/British developmental biologist. She is Professor of Mammalian Development and Stem Cell Biology in the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience and Fellow of Sidney Sussex College at the University of Cambridge
Zernicka-Goetz was born in Warsaw, Poland. She received her Master of Science degree (summa cum laude) in developmental biology (1988) and her PhD degree in the developmental biology of mammals (1993) from the University of Warsaw with one year (1990–91) spent at the University of Oxford.
Career and research
After obtaining her Ph.D., Zernicka-Goetz spent two years as a post-doctoral EMBO fellow with Professor Sir Martin Evans in the Wellcome Trust / Cancer Research UK Institute (now the Gurdon Institute) in Cambridge. In 1997, she started her independent group in the Gurdon Institute where she was a Lister Institute Senior Research Fellow (1997-2002) and subsequently a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow. In 2014, she moved her laboratory to the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience of the University of Cambridge. In 2007, she was awarded a readership and in 2010 a professorship at the University of Cambridge. She was elected a member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation in 2007, a fellow of the British Academy of Medical Sciences, 2013, and a foreign member of Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016.
Zernicka-Goetz carried out her Ph.D. studies with AndrzejTarkowski (Warsaw) and Chris Graham (Oxford) and her post-doctoral training with Sir Martin Evans (Cambridge). Upon setting up her independent group in 1997, she studied the mechanisms regulating early mammalian development. To do this, she was first to establish RNA interference in mammalian cells to determine cell fate in the mouse embryos.At that time, she also began to trace the origins and destinies of cells in the preimplantation mouse embryo that let her to discover that cell fate specification begins earlier than expected, an unexpected discovery but subsequently validated by her group and others. She found that this development of cell identity begins with heterogeneity in epigenetic regulation at the 4-cell stage that directs a molecular cascade establishing cell polarity, position and fate. Her recent development of systems permitting both mouse and human embryogenesis during implantation and early post-implantation stages in vitro allowed her to reveal that mouse and human embryo remodelling at implantation is done autonomously by the embryo. She uncovered the mechanism underlying embryo remodelling between the blastocyst and gastrula stages that has led to a change in the textbook model. Her demonstration of the self-organisation of human embryos developing in vitro until day 13/14, gastrulation, has provided an unprecedented opportunity to study human development at previously inaccessible and critical stages. This discovery was hailed as the people’s choice for the scientific breakthrough of 2016 by Science magazine. The knowledge she gained through her work on how the embryo develops during the blastocyst to gastrula transition, allowed her to mimic these developmental processes with different types of stem cells in vitro. This led her to the pioneering success of constructing embryo-like structures from pluripotent embryonic and multipotent extra-embryonic (trophoblast) stem cells in a 3D scaffold of extra-cellular matrix proteins in vitro.These "synthetic embryos" recapitulate the natural architecture of the embryo and their patterns of gene expression leading to the specification of the germ layers and germ cells. This system allowed her to identify signalling pathways responsible for morphogenesis of stem cells into embryos. Together these models bring outstanding potential for understanding development and for regenerative medicine.
Translational studies: Zernicka-Goetz's work brings insight of great value to the IVF clinic. Her group have shown that sperm entry induces actomyosin-driven cytoplasmic flows that are predictive of successful development to birth in the mouse. This provides an opportunity to identify quantitatively and non-invasively the healthiest embryos to transfer to would-be-mothers in IVF. Stimulated by the finding of placental cells with abnormal chromosome complements (aneuploid cells) in her own pregnancy, she began to study the consequence of aneuploidy upon development in a mouse model. Her lab generated an experimental model to find that aneuploid cells arising during embryogenesis in the mouse embryo become eliminated by apoptosis in embryonic but not extra-embryonic tissues. This gives insight into why mosaic aneuploidy identified by chorionic-villus-sampling can be tolerated in human pregnancies. Through public engagement the potential impact of Zernicka-Goetz's work is now becoming widely recognised.
Awards and honors
• International Foundation IVI Award for the Best Basic Research in Reproductive Medicine, 2017
• Foreign Member of Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences, elected 2016
• Winner of the People’s Vote for Scientific Breakthrough of the year 2016 by Science magazine
• Fellow of British Academy of Medical Science, elected 2013
• Anne McLaren Memorial Lecture Award, International Society of Differentiation, 2008
• Member of European Molecular Biology Organisation, elected 2007
• Young Investigator Award, EMBO (2001-2004)
• Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship (2002-2008, 2008-2013, 2013–2018)
• Lister Institute of Preventative Medicine Senior Research Fellowship (1997-2002)
• EMBO Long-term Fellowship for post-doctoral studies at the University of Cambridge (1995-1997)
• Best Ph.D. thesis Award, Polish Ministry of Education, 1994
• Promising Young Scientist Prize, Foundation for Polish Science, 1993
IVF Scientist Supervisor
Speciality: IVF Laboratory
IVI Clinic Valencia
Training: Graduated in Biological Sciences.
FPI scholarship from the Conselleríad'EducacióiCiencia, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine from the University of Valencia. Pre-doctorate fellowship at St. Mary's Hospital, Manchester University. Doctor "cum laude" in Biological Sciences. European Doctor Degree from the University of Valencia. Master's Degree in Research Methods: Design and Statistics, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona. Care activity:Co-director of the Andrology Lab at IVI Valencia (2000-2004) Teaching activity:Head Professor of the Master's Degree in Biotechnology of Reproduction, University of Valencia.
Awards and merits:American Society of Reproduction Award (1999). Three Awards from the American Society of Andrology (2007, 2009 and 2011). Two Awards from the Spanish Fertility Society (SEF) (2000 and 2001). One international patent.
Research and scientific activity:
Áreas de embriología e infertilidadmasculina. Publicaciones: 81 artículos en revistasinternacionales y 40 artículos de libros, 225 comunicaciones a congresosinternacionales. Trestesisdoctoralesdirigidas y actualmentedirección de 8 doctorandosdelprograma de Biotecnología, Facultad de Biología.
Marta Shahbazi is an Associate Faculty Member who works with Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz to evaluate the literature relevant to their research interests.
Marta completed her BSs in Biology and MSs in Molecular Biomedicine at the University Autonoma of Madrid. She did her PhD at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) under the supervision of Dr Mirna Perez-Moreno, working on microtubule binding proteins that regulate cell-cell adhesion in the epidermis.
Marta joined Magda's group in 2014 to work on tissue patterning in postimplantation mouse development.
The development of an embryo takes place through a series of cell fate decisions and morphogenetic movements. Cell lineage specification events progressively restrict cellular fates, from the pluripotent cells of the early embryo to the highly differentiated cell types found in the adult organism. On the other hand, collective cellular movements shape tissues and sculpt the future body. Alterations in these processes result in embryo lethality or congenital malformations. Despite great advances on understanding the genetic basis of cell fate decisions, how these genetic changes are coordinated at the tissue level to drive the morphogenesis of the embryo is still a mystery. My current research focuses on understanding how changes in tissue architecture are coordinated with a progressive restriction of development potential during early mouse and human embryo development.
MATTHEW “TEX” VERMILYEA, PHD, HCLD
Meet the Scientific Director of Texas Fertility Center’s IVF Labs Dr. Matthew David (Tex) VerMilyea was born in Laredo, Texas and graduated 3rd of his class from United High School. He obtained early acceptance into Cornell University in Ithaca, New York where he played football and pole-vaulted. His interests in reproductive physiology began during his undergraduate studies at Cornell, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science, Cum Laude with Distinction in Research.
From his early experiences in the theriogenology laboratories at Cornell, Tex quickly found his forte in embryology and has since gained various experiences from around the world. Tex received his PhD in Epigenetics from The University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom. He then continued his professional preparation by completing post-doctoral fellowships in the chromatin and gene expression laboratories at the Institute of Biomedical Research in Birmingham, UK. He was later fortunate to be selected as a research fellow for the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science where he completed a second fellowship in the Laboratory of Mammalian Molecular Embryology at the RIKEN Institute in Kobe, Japan. Determined to maintain his foundation in genetic and molecular research, he chose to return to clinical human in-vitro fertilization (IVF) in order to hone his skills and develop a career as an accomplished embryologist. Upon his return to the United States, he was employed as an embryologist at Shady Grove Fertility in Maryland where he undertook intense training and soon became the lead Embryology Research Scientist and Senior Embryologist. At that time, Shady Grove was the largest full-service infertility service provider in North America.
Tex soon obtained Board Certification as a High Complexity Laboratory Director and Clinical Consultant from the American Board of Bioanalysis. Tex has previously served as the Director of Assisted Reproductive Technologies and Andrology Laboratories at Penn Fertility Care at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. He was appointed as an Instructor in the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the Perelman School of Medicine at Penn.
Tex and his wife Lucy and 1-year-old daughter Hailey Rose recently relocated from Auckland, New Zealand where he served as the Scientific Director of Fertility Associates of New Zealand. He provided scientific guidance regarding the implementation of cutting-edge technologies and research throughout five IVF laboratories located in New Zealand and multiple clinics in Asia. Tex is keen to now provide his experiences and expertise to patients seeing services as Texas Fertility Center and Ovation Fertility. Being a reputable leader in this ever-changing field of assisted reproduction, Tex continuously finds it rewarding when patients are successful at bringing home a healthy child.
Dr.Alikani started her work in the field of assisted reproduction in 1983 while she was completing her Master’s degree in developmental biology. Her long career includes appointments at The Center for Reproductive Medicine at Cornell University Medical Center-New York Hospital in New York, USA (1989 - 1995), and the Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Science at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in New Jersey, USA (1995 - 2004), where she worked alongside Dr. Jacques Cohen and the clinical teams to establish these laboratories as two of the leading laboratories in the United States. She completed her PhD studies in 2006 through Monash University’s External PhD program, under the mentorship of Professor Alan Trounson, and local supervision of Professor Steen Willadsen. Following graduation, she worked as a Senior Research Scientist (2006 – 2011) and undertook several novel research projects including derivation and cryopreservation of normal and abnormal human embryonic stem cells. Dr.Alikaniis currently an editor of Reproductive Biomedicine Online, holds positions as Laboratory Director as well as clinical consultant for ART laboratories in New York and New Jersey, USA, and serves on the Executive Board of Alpha Scientists in Reproductive Medicine. She has authored and co-authored more than 70 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on the laboratory aspects of assisted reproduction and lectured extensively around the world on ART-related topics. Her research interests include division dynamics in mammalian eggs and embryos, fragmentation and other abnormalities of human embryo development in vitro, and improving IVF laboratory performance and IVF outcomes.
Dr. Bedaiwy is Professor and Division Head, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility, UBC Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Dr. Bedaiwy received his medical degree from Assiut University School of Medicine, Egypt where he graduated Valedictorian, summa cum laude.
Dr Bedaiwy completed: •Residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University Hospital Case Medical Center, CWRU, Cleveland, Ohio, USA •Fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the University Hospital Case Medical Center, CWRU, Cleveland, Ohio, USA •Fellowship in Minimally Invasive Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio, USA •Fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility in the Division of Reproductive Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada •PhD from the University of Maastricht, the Netherlands for his work on ovarian tissue cryopreservation and transplantation Dr. Bedaiwy is a prolific author with over 200 publications, including 104 peer-reviewed publications. He is best known for his work in endometriosis, ovarian transplantation, in vitro fertilization (IVF) and minimally invasive surgery (MIS). His interests include IVF, MIS, robotic surgery, fertility preservation in cancer patients, and endometriosis. He is also the Associate Editor of the Human Reproduction Journal which is the official journal of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE). Dr. Bedaiwy has had a career-long interest in high quality medical care, research and education. His research interests include IVF, MIS, robotic surgery, fertility preservation in cancer patients, and endometriosis.
Specialist in Endocrinology EAA Certified Androlog and PhD, Department of Growth and Reproduction, Juliane Marie Center
Male infertility; impaired semen quality; testosterone deficiency; gynaecomastia; idiopathic hypogonadotropichypogonadism; Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia; Klinefelter Syndrome
Main research areas
Since 1996 NielsJørgensen has undertaken and coordinated Danish and international scientific projects focussing on the testicular function of more than 12,000 men from the general populations, selected fertile or infertile men. ). Besides describing the acutal testicular function (semen quality and endocrine function) these studies have also focussed on addressing the impact of exogenous exposures, life style and genetic factors on testicular function.
Impact of life style, genetic factors and exogenous exposures on testicular function. Long term concequences of impaired testicular function Methods for assessment of semen quality. Treatments of male infertility.
Norbert Gleicher, MD, FACOG, FACS
Dr. Gleicher grew up in Vienna, Austria, where he initiated his medical studies at Vienna University Medical School. After preclinical years, he switched to Tel Aviv University’s Sackler School of Medicine in Israel, where he graduated and completed a year of rotating internship. He then moved to New York City for a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology, and a fellowship in reproductive immunology at Mount Sinai Medical Center. As Chief Resident he was awarded the Dr. Solomon Silver Award in Clinical Medicine, given annually to "that younger member of The Mount Sinai Hospital and Medical Center staff who best exemplifies the ability to apply the advance in research to the practice of clinical medicine."
Upon graduation, Dr. Gleicher was appointed to the medical school faculty of Mount Sinai School of Medicine as Assistant Professor, in the department as Head of the Division of Reproductive Immunology and given responsibility for all student and resident education in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Two years later he moved to Chicago as Chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Mount Sinai Hospital and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Immunology/Microbiology at Rush Medical College. He held these positions for 10 years until his resignation in 1990, when he started to concentrate on development of the Center for Human Reproduction (CHR), which he founded in 1981. Since 1990 Dr. Gleicher has held a variety of academic professorial appointments at Chicago Medical School and, after his move back to New York City, at New York University School of Medicine and Yale University School of Medicine. Since 1999 he is President, Medical Director and Chief Scientist of CHR-New York and President of the not-for-profit Foundation for Reproductive Medicine. He also holds an appointment as Guest Investigator at Rockefeller University and Professor (Adj.) at Medical University Vienna.
Dr. Gleicher has published hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific papers, abstracts and book chapters in reproductive endocrinology and infertility, relating to medical complications in pregnancy and to the immune system in reproduction. He served as founding Editor-in-Chief for the American Journal of Reproductive Immunology (AJRI), and for 30 years of the Journal of In Vitro Fertilization and Embryo Transfer, in 1992 renamed Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics (JARG), now the 2nd official organ of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). He in addition served as editor and/or editorial board member on many other medical journals, and edited a number of major textbooks. Currently, he serves as Academic Editor for PLoSONE, and is a member of multiple editorial boards. In 2009, Dr. Gleicher was invited to give the prestigious bi-annual Patrick Steptoe Memorial Lecture to the British Fertility Society, as recognition of his contributions to advancements in reproductive endocrinology and infertility.
He is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and of the American College of Surgeons, and, in addition to many other societies and professional organizations, a member of the ASRM and the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE). In demand as a speaker, Dr. Gleicher travels extensively worldwide, while maintaining his role in clinical patient care and research at CHR-NY, and as one of the most prolific scientific writers in the specialty. While located in Chicago, Chicago Magazine repeatedly listed him amongst “best physicians” in reproductive endocrinology and infertility. Since his return to NYC, he was repeatedly one of only a handful of reproductive endocrinologists in New York City listed by the New York Times Magazine on its “Super Doctors” list, as chosen by peers. Dr. Gleicher speaks German, Hebrew and Polish.
Professor Richard Anderson
Elsie Inglis Professor of Clinical Reproductive Science
BSc(Hons), PhD, MB. ChB, MRCOG, MD, CCST, FRCOG, FRC(Ed)
Head of Section, Obstetrics and Gynaecology (University of Edinburgh)
Women are born with a finite number of germ cells (GC), which cannot be replaced. Understanding of how female reproductive potential is established is thus central to knowledge of human fertility and its disorders, how early development might impact on adult function, and to any attempt to alter its regulation. We have now established a programme of studies which address not which factors might be relevant to these processes in the fetal ovary and directly address their functional roles and interactions in the human. These studies are informed by animal data, although often requiring refinement to translate both growth factor expression patterns and function to the human. Our work has included GC development leading up to primordial follicle formation, as the essential structures underpinning female fertility. We also study earlier stages in GC and gonadal development, when GCs are proliferating rapidly and subsequently entering meiosis. This is itself a key event both limiting further GC proliferation and being the first stage towards ensuring correct oocyte chromosomal arrangement for successful fertilisation and embryo formation. Understanding of both intrinsic and extrinsic GC factors regulating proliferation and survival, and the regulation of entry into meiosis is crucial for a fuller picture of how the ovary develops. Together with Dr Evelyn Telfer, we are developing recent advances in laboratory techniques to support human oocyte development in vitro from primordial follicles through antral stages to full maturation, meiotic resumption and potentially analysis of developmental potential. These laboratory-based studies are complimented by clinical studies addressing reproductive function in women with accelerated follicle loss from cancer therapies. These studies will improve understanding of the impact of chemotherapy on ovarian function to determine the mechanisms of this toxicity, explore clinical assessment methods, and to allow improved patient information.
Current research projects
Human ovarian development
Development of ovarian cryopreservation for fertility preservation
Regulation of human follicle growth
Effects of chemotherapy on oocyte and follicle development
Regulation of the HPG axis by kisspeptin and neurokinin b.
Systematic investigation of the effect of chemotherapeutic agents on the ovary using an ovarian follicle culture system. Norah Spears (PI), Evelyn Telfer, Richard Anderson and Charlie Gourley. MRC 2011-2014.
Developmental and meiotic potential of oocytes derived from human ovarian germ line stem cells. Evelyn Telfer and Richard Anderson. MRC 2013-2016.
1/07/08-30/06/11 MRC Experimental Medicine G0701682 Kisspeptin antagonists as novel regulators of reproductive function and as potential therapeutics for hormone dependent pathologies. With RP Millar.
1/08/2009-30/07/2011 World Health Organisation and CONRAD Project A25165 Sperm suppression and contraceptive protection provided by norethisteroneenanthate (Net-En) combined with testosterone undecanoate (TU) in healthy men.
2010-14. Medical Research Foundation; A prospective study of gonadal toxicity and ovarian tissue cryostorage for fertility preservation in young women with Hodgkin Lymphoma. Investigators PWM Johnson, RA Anderson, G Galea, B Mead.
1/04/2010-31/03/2013 MRC project grant G0901839 Activation of human ovarian follicles and derivation of competent oocytes. With EE Telfer and KJ Thong.
1/05/2011-17/02/2017 MRC Programme grant Establishment and loss of reproductive lifespan in women.
1/06/2010-31/05/2010 Medical Research Scotland Fellowship award (Dr AJ Childs). Establishing reproductive potential: regulation of germ cell development in the human fetal ovary.
1/04/2011-31/03/2016 Medical Research Council Centre grant Establishment of MRC/University of Edinburgh Centre for Reproductive Health With PTK Saunders, HOD Critchley, JE Norman.
Jackie Young (PA)
Recent awards for research group
2016 ESHRE Basic Science oral communication prize: ‘ABVD chemotherapy for lymphoma affects number and morphology of primordial follicles in the adolescent and adult ovary.’ McLaughlin M, Kelsey TW, Wallace WHB, Anderson RA, Telfer EE.
2016 ESHRE Basic science poster prize shortlist: ‘"Neurokinin B receptor antagonism suppresses ovarian follicle growth and delays ovulation in healthy women’. Skorupskaite K, George, JT, Anderson RA. 2016 Kelsey Grieve Larry Ewing Memorial Trainee Travel Fund Award and 2016 USDA–NIFA–AFRI Merit Award, SSR annual meeting.
2016 Dr K Skorupskaite Endocrine Society Outstanding Abstract Award, ENDO 2016. 2016 Dr K Skorupskaite Best Young Clinician award, British Fertility Society annual meeting. 2015 Dr J George Clinical Endocrinology Trust Prize, best clinical abstract. 2015 Dr J George Clinical science prize, ESHRE annual meeting. 2015 Dr R Rosario Travel award for XVIth International Workshop on the Development and Function of the Reproductive Organs, Munster. 2015 Dr J George Endocrine Society Outstanding Abstract Award, ENDO 2015. 2015 Dr K Skorupskaite Trainee award to attend ENDO 2015. 2015 Dr K Skorupskaite Travel award to COST Training School in ‘Neuroendocrine Control of Reproduction’, Prato, Italy. 2015 Dr K Skorupskaite ‘Kisspeptin-10 enhances the effects of positive estrogen feedback on LH and FSH secretion in women’. Selected SE Scotland trainee presentation for Annual Scottish O&G consultants meeting, Dunkeld; subsequent prize abstract award. 2014 Dr CE Dunlop ‘Scrambling an ovary to make and egg: the isolation, characterisation and in vitro culture of ovarian stem cells’. Selected SE Scotland trainee presentation for Annual Scottish O&G consultants meeting, Dunkeld. Principal collaborators
Scottish Government Children and Families Directorate, ‘Gamete group’ member and Chair, ‘Fertility preservation’ committee (from 2016)
British Fertility Society guideline group ‘Establishing protocols for fertility preservation in young women
Working Group Lead of the Subcommittee of the FIGO Work Group on Reproductive and Environmental Health. Scientific Advisory Committee, Contraception Discovery and Development Branch, National Institute for Child Health and Development, USA (from 2005) Chair, NICHD CDDB data monitoring and safety committee (from 2008) WHO Research Group in Methods for the Regulation of Male Fertility (from 1999) Chair, ‘E-Freeze’ trial TSC (from 2015) ‘Got-It’ trial TSC (from 2015) Data management Committee ‘Eggcell’ trial (from 2016) RCOG Scientific Advisory Committee member 2006-2012 Chair, RCOG Scientific Advisory Committee 2009-2012 ESHRE guideline group; ‘Primary Ovarian Insufficiency’ member 2011-2015 HFEA Multiple Births group RCOG representative, 2011-2013 British Fertility Society Policy and Practice Committee 2006-2013 ESHRE Task Force on Fertility Preservation 2011-2015 Scottish Multicentre Research Ethics Committee 2006-2012
Assistant Professor and senior clinical embryologist at Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam, An important focus of his research in past years has been Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS). In 2007, publication of his randomized controlled trial on PGS in the New England Journal of Medicine started a fiercely debated controversy on the use of PGS as it showed that the technique lowered pregnancy rates after IVF instead of increasing pregnancy rates.
Sharon Mortimer PhD became a Clinical Embryologist in 1985, working at the Royal Women’s Hospital, Melbourne, Australia then the Foothills IVF Programme in Calgary, Canada. She then became a consultant in IVF as Director/Secretary of Mortimer Scientific Consulting Pty Ltd, and was Managing Director of GenARTech Pty Ltd, a laboratory supply company. She was the Laboratory Director at the Genesis Fertility Centre, the commissioning Scientific Director of the Pacific Centre for Reproductive Medicine, and is currently the Scientific Director of the Grace Fertility Centre in Vancouver. Since 2010, she has been a full-time consultant with Oozoa Biomedical Inc., in the areas of systems design and application in ART laboratories, and in research communications.
As a result of her personal experience with a complicated, high-order multiple pregnancy, she has promoted the concept of single embryo transfers since 1991 and her goal is for all IVF labs to have the competency to achieve this. She is the co-author of Quality and Risk Management in the IVF Laboratory, which has become a standard textbook in clinical embryology training, and has authored or co-authored over 40 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters and 100 conference presentations, and been an invited speaker at clinical and scientific conferences in North America, Europe, South Africa, the Middle East, and Australia. She is an active member of 10 professional societies, and was the Chair or co-Chair of the ART Lab SIG of the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (2002–2007), and was a member of their Professional Standards Sub-Committee which developed the certification standards for ART Lab professionals in Canada.
STACEY MISSMER, ScD
Brigham And Women's Hospital
Associate Professor, Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, Harvard Medical School Associate Professor, Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School Of Public Health Director of Epidemiologic Research in Reproductive Medicine, Obstetrics, Gynecology, Reproductive Biology, Brigham And Women's Hospital Director, Growing Up Today Study, Channing Laboratory of Network Medicine, Brigham And Women's Hospital Associate Scientist, Division of Adolescent Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital Scientific Director, Boston Center for Endometriosis, Obstetrics, Gynecology, Reproductive Biology, Brigham And Women's Hospital
Stacey Missmer, ScD. received her Bachelors degree in Biology from Lehigh University and her Master and Doctor of Science (Sc.D.) degrees in Epidemiology from Harvard School of Public Health. She joined the faculty of Harvard University as an Instructor in 2003 and was promoted to Assistant Professor in Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology at Harvard Medical School and of Epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health in 2006 and to Associate Professor in 2012. From 2012 until August 2016, Dr. Missmer was the faculty lead for the Reproductive, Perinatal and Pediatric Epidemiology (RPPE) concentration in the Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Also during these years, she was the Director of Epidemiologic Research and the Fellowship Research Director for the Division of Reproductive Medicine and also the Director of the Growing Up Today Study in the Channing Division of Network Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. In 2016, Dr. Missmer was the first faculty member to be endowed through Michigan State University’s Global Impact Initiative and is currently Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology in the College of Human Medicine.
Stacey Missmer joined the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) Research Group at Harvard University in 1998 initially as a member of Dr. Susan Hankinson’s hormonal markers of breast cancer discovery team. Since then she has been the senior endometriosis investigator with the NHS Research Group. In 2007, Dr. Missmer joined the International Endogene Consortium as the US Principal Investigator - combining resources for GWAS discovery of endometriosis with Australia PI, Dr. Grant Montgomery and UK PI, Dr. Krina Zondervan. In 2012, Dr. Missmer co-founded the Boston Center for Endometriosis with Dr. Marc Laufer, and serves as the Scientific Director where she designed and leads the Women’s Health Study: from Adolescence to Adulthood (A2A) - a multi-hospital and population-based cohort with longitudinal data and biologic sample collection. In 2014 as a member of the World Endometriosis Research Foundation (WERF) Board of Directors, she conceived of and became Co-Principal Investigator with Dr. Zondervan of the Endometriosis Phenome and Biobanking Harmonization Project (EPHect). Dr. Missmer is currently the Chair-elect of the Endometriosis Special Interest Group and also Chair of the Nutrition Special Interest Group for the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). Formerly an Associate Editor, she is a member of the Statistical Advisory Board for Human Reproduction and currently serves on the Data Safety and Monitoring Board of the NIH Reproductive Medicine Network (RMN). Author of more than 200 peer reviewed publications, reviews, and book chapters, her research has focused on causes, consequences, and discovery of modifiable factors related to reproductive health.
Much of Dr. Missmer’s research has focused on identifying factors that affect the risk of endometriosis – particularly among young women and girls. Her research team has confirmed or identified variation in the population-based incidence of endometriosis associated with in utero exposures and early life body size, exercise, and dietary intake. Dr. Missmer’s team has been critical in considering validity of study design and analytic approaches, since we are hindered by a potentially large pool of undiagnosed and underserved women and girls given the diagnostic difficulties for endometriosis. In addition, her research suggests that girls and women with endometriosis may be a “high risk” group for autoimmune disease, cardiovascular disease, and specific cancer types – reinforcing the importance of longitudinal discovery. Critical to this discovery is defining and validating endometriosis heterogeneity by applying precision medicine methods that have successfully revolutionized our understanding risk, treatment, and prognosis among cancer subtypes.
This lifecourse and subgroup-centric approach also applies to Dr. Missmer’s second area of research – predictors of infertility, access and response to infertility treatment, and the longterm health of women with infertility. In 1998 she joined Dr. Dan Cramer’s multi-site study of predictors of in vitro fertilization (IVF) outcomes, assuming the role of Principal Investigator in 2006. Within this cohort of nearly 3000 couples undergoing IVF, this team has explored the relations between diet, physical activity, cigarette smoking and caffeine and alcohol consumption on successful conception and livebirth. She has also led the design and analyses for clinical studies of IVF outcomes with Drs. Catherine Racowsky and Elizabeth Ginsburg of the Center for Infertility and Reproductive Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Within the Nurses’ Health Study II, her team has evaluated demographic and lifestyle characteristics influencing infertility treatment seeking and exposure patterns. Finally, she continues to collaborate with Dr. Barbara Luke, the senior Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) epidemiologist, in studies of the relations between infertility, infertility treatment and cancer risk.
DF/HCC PROGRAM AFFILIATION
Cancer Epidemiology, Member
TomerAvidor-Reiss is an Associate Professor at the University of Toledo. His lab is studying how the subcellular organelles centriole, centrosome, and cilium are formed, function, and involved with diseases such as infertility. His lab discoveries include: a new type of centriole – the proximal centriole-like (PCL) in sperm cells; that sperm centriole must be modified to function in the zygote; that Asterless/Cep152 is essential for centriole duplication; that S-CAP complex of PCM proteins is essential for PCM formation; and that tubulin function as a switch protein in centrosome assembly. Tomer has a major interest in inspiring students at all levels to do research, and you are welcome to contact him with any questions you might have in the area. Before joining the University of Toledo, Tomer was at Harvard Medical School in Boston where he was an Assistant Professor and started studying the centrosome. Before that, he was in the University of California San Diego where he performed his Postdoc studies on how the cilium is formed. Before that, he was in Weizmann Institute of Science, in Rehovot, Israel, studying the mechanism of opiate addiction and obtained his Ph.D. Before that, he was at the Hebrew University, in Jerusalem, Israel. There he studied how cells released neurotransmitters to communicate with other cells and obtained his M.Sc. in biochemistry with distinction. There, he also got his B.Sc. All of us started our life as a single cell (the zygote) that was produced when the sperm fertilized the egg. This cell contained all the information to create an adult made of trillions of cells. Most of these adult cells must have two structures known as the centrioles, which are essential for building the cell’s antenna (the cilium) and skeleton (cytoskeleton) as well as for proper cell division. How the zygote got its first two centrioles is a mystery and is the focus of our research. Also, we study the role of the sperm centrioles in infertility.
• Consultant/Senior Lecturer and subspecialist in Reproductive Medicine & Surgery, Guy’s & St. Thomas’ Hospital and King’s College, London.
• Head of Fertility Services and Director of Assisted Conception Unit & Centre for Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis.
• Member of the Human Fertilisation& Embryology Authority (HFEA) Board.
• Executive Officer of the British Fertility Society.
• Chair of the Scientific and Clinical Advances Committee of the HFEA.
• Chair of the RCOG National Clinical Studies group in Reproductive Medicine & Surgery.
• Member of the RCOG Research Committee
• Expert advisor to the National Institute for Health Care & Clinical Excellence (NICE).
• Deputy Director of Subspecialty Training Programme in Reproductive Medicine & Surgery.
• Principal Investigators/clinical adviser of several NIHR funded research grants.
• Published widely (>150 Peer reviewed articles) on different aspects of Assisted Conception, Reproductive Medicine & Surgery in major medical journals including NEJM, Lancet, BMJ and Nature Cell Biology, Nature with national and international experience in research degrees supervision and assessment.
• Ex Associate Editor of RBM online Journal.
• Invited speaker on fertility and assisted reproduction in numerous national and international conferences. Expert in fertility service development and service review.