The International IVF Initiative - i3

Session 43: Back to Basics-with a Twist

International IVF Initiative

Session 43: Back to Basics-with a Twist

Session 43: Back to Basics-with a Twist

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Tuesday 1st December, 2020. 8PM GMT / 9PM CET / 3PM EST

This session is kindly sponsored by Hamilton Thorne, Inc

Moderators: Dr. Mina Alikani  and Andrew Thomson with panelist Richard E. Slifkin

Cumulus evaluation, oocyte competence and miRNA
Dr. Alison Bartolucci


Slow developing embryos on day 7: are they worth it?
Dr. Carlos Hernandez-Nieto

Multiple vitrification-warming and biopsy procedures on human Embryos
Dr. Anick De Vos


Dr. Alison Bartolucci

Alison is the Director of Laboratory Operations at the Center for Advanced Reproductive Services at the University of Connecticut. Prior to becoming a “UCONN Husky” in 2012, she started her embryology career in 1999 at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and then at Fertility Centers of New England in Reading, MA. Alison obtained a Master’s of Science degree in Clinical Embryology and Andrology from Eastern Virginia Medical School in 2005 and returned to EVMS almost 15 years later where she received her PhD in Clinical Reproductive Sciences in November 2019. Under the mentorship of some of the “greats” in our field, Alison has acquired a distinct interest for oocyte and somatic cell communication, embryo morphology, and optimizing quality in the clinical IVF lab. 
Alison is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and the New England Fertility Society and served on the SART executive council as the SRBT laboratory representative from 2014-2017. She has been an invited speaker at multiple conferences across the country, presenting on topics involved in improving laboratory outcomes and strategies for monitoring key performance indicators in the laboratory. She has first and co-authored multiple peer reviewed articles on embryo morphology predictors of embryo potential and most recently published work performed for her thesis on microRNA-21 in human cumulus cells. eading to the utilization of surgically retrieved spermatozoa in these men. In men with high DNA fragmentation,
Alessandra has been successful in achieving high clinical pregnancy rate by selecting spermatozoa through a microfluidic device yielding the highest portion of progressively motile cells characterized by the highest genomic integrity. Using the Next Generation Sequencing, she is currently assessing the gene expression profile of spermatozoal RNA and Proteomics in men with idiopathic infertility. Alessandra is dedicating her carrier to introducing new bioassays and to devise new treatment strategies to alleviate male infertility..

Dr. Carlos Hernandez-Nieto

Dr. Hernandez-Nieto is a Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Specialist and Associate Director of Clinical Research at Reproductive Medicine Associates of New York at Mount Sinai Health System in New York City where he completed his clinical fellowship. He earned his medical doctorate at the University of San Luis Potosi (UASLP) School of Medicine. He completed his residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) School of Medicine. Dr. Hernandez-Nieto has been recognized as member of the Mexican National Researchers Registry (SNI/Conacyt) and member of the Iberoamerican Research Network in Obstetrics, Gynecology and Translational Medicine.
His professional interests include assisted reproduction techniques, fertility preservation, endometriosis, diminished ovarian reserve, preimplantation genetic testing and reproductive genetics. He also is a member of many professional societies including the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists (AAGL) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Dr. Hernandez-Nieto has published multiple scientific abstracts and articles in peer-reviewed journals in the fields of reproductive endocrinology, infertility and minimally invasive gynecological surgery. He has presented at national and international conferences and has received academic awards by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.


Dr. Anick De Vos

Anick De Vos ia an ESHRE certified Clinical Embryologist at the Centre for Reproductive Medicine in Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel, Brussels, Belgium.
With an academic degree in Biology, a Master in Medical and Pharmaceutical Research, and a PhD at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Medical Sciences, she is dedicated to laboratory procedures and activities within the fertility laboratory since 1996. She has a special interest in early embryonic development and preimplantation genetic testing.
Co-author of 12 book chapters on the topic of oocyte and embryo manipulation, author and co-author of 55 scientific papers in peer reviewed journals.


Dr. Mina Alikani

Mina obtained her PhD in 2006 from Monash University under the mentorship of Professor Alan Trounson. She is certified as a High Complexity Clinical Laboratory Director (HCLD) and Clinical Consultant (CC). During more than 35 years as a Clinical Embryologist, she has focused on improving IVF laboratory performance and outcomes via meticulous practice, detailed observation, embracing of new and bold technologies, and teaching and training of others to do the same.
Mina has lectured worldwide on ART topics and has authored and co-authored more than 80 articles and book chapters on laboratory aspects of assisted reproduction. She is an editor of RBMO and an Editorial Board member of Fertility and Sterility. She serves on the Executive Board of Alpha Scientists in Reproductive Medicine and the Scientific Advisory Board of TMRW Life Sciences.
Mina lives in New York, and since 2019 has held the position of Senior Director of Laboratories of Northwell Health Fertility, where she runs a state-of-the-art facility that she helped design and equip. She is now keenly providing mentorship to the next generation of ART laboratory professionals.


Andrew Thomson

Andrew Thomson is a Consultant Clinical Embryologist and the Scientific Lead at London Women’s Clinic Wales and Bristol covering three laboratories in Cardiff, Swansea and Bristol.
Andrew has an active research and academic profile. He is soon to appointed to “Fellow” Status of the Royal College of Pathologists; the highest accolade achievable in the UK for reproductive scientists. He is the training officer for students on the national Scientist Training Programme, an assessor for the National School of Healthcare Science and the workplace supervisor for a PhD student in a collaboration between LWC and Cardiff University whilst also lecturing the University of Bristol.
His current research interests include investigating the various effects of cryopreservation on eggs/embryos and developing artificial intelligence for embryo selection. He has presented research multiple times both nationally and internationally and was recently awarded the Claire Gillott prize for outstanding contribution to LWC Wales.
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Richard E. Slifkin

Rick Slifkin, TS(ABB) graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from NYU in 2006, and began his career in embryology that same year. Starting as an assistant in the embryology laboratory, he has continued his career with RMA of NY where he is now the Embryology Associate Laboratory Director. With a strong interest in PGT, he helped transition RMA of NY from day 3 biopsies to trophectoderm biopsies over a decade ago, and he now regularly performs over 4000 trophectoderm biopsies each year. He enjoys training the next generation of embryologists, and has a dedication to optimizing lab operations. In addition to his clinical work, he has also coauthored multiple peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts and dozens of abstracts in the pursuit of increasing the success of ART. 
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