Dr. Kira Bacal was born in the United States and received her bachelor’s in math and biology from Amherst College. She attended Baylor College of Medicine where she earned a PhD in molecular physiology and biophysics and a medical degree, as well as a Masters in Public Health from the University of Texas. She trained in both Emergency Medicine and Aerospace Medicine, and was in the US Air Force Reserves. She worked at NASA-Johnson Space Center in the Office of Space Medicine’s Medical Informatics and Health Care Systems, designing medical systems for use in space. Dr Bacal also worked in health policy at the US Senate and at Ohio University before emigrating to New Zealand in 2007. She now serves as the deputy head of one of New Zealand’s two medical programmes as well as working for a medical assistance company. Dr Bacal also has personal experience with reproductive technology in two different countries – all four of her children were conceived through IVF with a donor. She regards this area of medicine as one where the nexus of policy and practice is particularly visible and can provoke fascinating dialogues, just like aerospace medicine does.