The International IVF Initiative - i3

Session 102: Return to Cairo

International IVF Initiative

Session 102: Return to Cairo

Session 102: Return to Cairo

Tuesday, 20th September at 3pm EST, 8pm UK, 9pm CET.

This webinar is kindly sponsored by LifeAire Systems


Description: International IVF Initiative(I3)- Online Session 102-Return to Cairo
Tuesday, 20th September 2022. [ ?? mins]
Course outline/synopsis:

Leading clinical embryologists, chemical engineers and professionals from the laboratory construction sector discussed the requirements of a modern laboratory performing IVF and ART.
Prime focus was on reviewing one of the most important, published paper reporting the outcomes from an international expert meeting on the recommended technical and operational requirements within modern assisted reproduction technology (ART) laboratories.
The Cairo Consensus: DOI: 10.1016/j.rbmo.2018.02.005

With discussions on what had changed since the publication of 2017, further measures and advice were given on refurbishment, construction and methods of reducing the levels of particulates and VOCs in the laboratory environment.
The moderators were Dr. Sangita Jindal, Dr. Cihan Halicigil, Manar Hozyen and Dr. Chelsey Leisinger.

An introduction into the topic was given by Dr Jacques Cohen, reflecting on the “Cairo consensus” on the IVF laboratory environment and air quality, speaking about the events and his personal experiences surrounding the Cairo consensus meeting; also highlighting past and present publications on the importance of clean air laboratory environment.
This was followed by two other co-authors to the paper Dr Dean Morbeck and Dr Jason Swain
Dr Katy Worrilow, CEO of LifeAire, then gave a presentation about the importance of air quality, the role of ambient air, VOCs, viable and nonviable particulates in preimplantation toxicology and its impact on cellular and clinical outcomes.

After a recorded montage video of current good practices from several ART laboratories around the world, there was a round table discussion joined by Kevin D. Bomboy and Dr. Lars Johansson, experts on lab construction, where topics were discussed between the experts with interaction by LIVE questions from the audience of the online session.
Topics included the optimum time for off gassing a laboratory after refurbishment, levels and methods of measuring VOCs, suitable construction materials for the laboratory and debating the evidence of VOCs associated with poor embryo development.


Dr. Sangita Jindal
Dr. Cihan Halicigil
Manar Hozyen 
Dr. Chelsey Leisinger
with panelists Kevin D. Bomboy and Dr. Lars Johansson


Dr. Jacques Cohen, reflecting on the Cairo consensus on the IVF laboratory environment and air quality
Dr. Katy Worrilow, “VOCS, particles and contamination in the IVF lab”
Video montage: IVF clinics from around the world- design and attention to air quality
Expert discussion on lab conditions and Q and A.
Closing remarks by Dr Lars Johansson



Jacques Cohen is a reproductive biologist, laboratory product developer and high complexity laboratory director (HCLD). He is director and founder of the ART Institute of Washington, which runs the joint National Institute of Health and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center IVF program in Bethesda Maryland (USA). He is product developer and co-founder of IVFqc/Althea Science, which develops software solutions for laboratories and clinics. He was co-founder of Reprogenetics, a PGD service, now continuing as Cooper Genomics. He was a co-founder and product developer of Life-Global/IVF-Online. He has (co-)authored more than 300 publications, several textbooks and 12 patents. He is Emeritus Chief Editor of Reproductive Biomedicine Online.

He was one of the founders of Alpha – Scientists in Reproductive Medicine and one of the founders of Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis International Society - PGDIS. He is a founding member of the International IVF Initiative.

Jacques Cohen was born in The Hague, The Netherlands and graduated in Biology of Reproductive Science in 1978 at Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands. He has a Ph.D. from Erasmus University in Rotterdam (supervisor Prof. Gerard Zeilmaker), in aspects of in vitro fertilization and male factor infertility. His postdoctoral studies (1982-1985) were performed at Cambridge University (UK) and Bourn Hall Clinic (supervisor Prof Robert Edwards). Jacques Cohen has (co-)developed a number of embryological methodologies and devices: blastocyst cryopreservation, assisted fertilization, assisted hatching, preimplantation genetic testing, ooplasmic donation, single sperm freezing, CODA filtration, Global media, and GPS dishes. He currently serves on Advisory Boards of biotech startups TMRW, Kindbody, DADI and Phosphorus.



Dr. Kathryn C. Worrilow, founder and CEO of LifeAire Systems, received her doctorate in Anatomy and Cell Physiology from the University of Virginia School of Medicine. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship in Reproductive Biology and Infertility at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, working with renowned and esteemed University of Pennsylvania reproductive physiologists recognized for their work globally.
Over the last 20 years, she has served as the Scientific Director of In Vitro Fertilization Programs and has performed extensive work specific to molecular signaling between the sperm and oocyte, the contribution of the paternal genome to the embryo, and the impact of ambient air on successful human embryogenesis and preimplantation toxicology. Her work, with that of her colleagues, led to the development and design of the LifeAire Systems patented air purification technology and System, Aire~IVF®. The Aire~IVF® System delivers the most pristine air quality available for IVF environments through an in-duct system by inactivating biologicals and eliminating embryotoxic volatile organic compounds using revolutionary and proprietary air purification technologies. One of the most unique features of the LifeAire System is the extensive data supporting the design, the specificity of its design towards the human embryo and the results from over four years of clinical implementation. Dr. Worrilow has been invited to present and publish her research both nationally and internationally, and enjoys sharing the data with her colleagues.

LifeAire Systems is dedicated to improving patient care. Although the proprietary System was developed specifically for the human embryo, LifeAire Systems is excited and positioned to offer their technology to improve patient care along the continuum of care, to infants in the NICU, the child in the PICU and the elderly in long term care. The LifeAire System’s proprietary technology has been tested and confirmed to provide a 9-log reduction of airborne pathogens responsible for hospital acquired infections in operating rooms, intensive care units, burn units, pharmacies, and long-term care facilities, thereby improving patient outcomes and healthcare economics while reducing overall cost.

The team at LifeAire Systems is proud of the contribution its air purification technology is making to provide clean, contaminant-free air for health, wellness and life.

Based in Pennsylvania, LifeAire has been closely supported by Ben Franklin Technology Partners for several years, benefiting from the organization’s support for entrepreneurial development in the state.

As an advocate of science education and the role of science in our community, she enjoyed her position on the Board of Trustees of The Da Vinci Science Center in Allentown, PA. Dr. Worrilow’s career has always involved a great deal of teaching and she has enjoyed her participation as an Adjunct Professor with the Emerging Health Professionals Program at Pennsylvania State University Lehigh Valley.


Sangita Jindal earned her PhD in Physiology from the University of Toronto, Canada and became a high-complexity lab director in 1997. For the last 21 years, Dr. Jindal has been on the faculty at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York as Professor and Laboratory Director in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Women’s Health. She has mentored grant-supported translational research projects for a number of trainees at academic programs, and is also an off-site lab director of private and academic IVF labs across the country. Dr. Jindal serves on the ASRM Practice Committee, she was Co-President of the Society for Reproductive Biologists and Technologists (SRBT) in 2011, and is currently President-Elect for the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology or SART.


Cihan Halicigil MSc., Ph.D., HCLD (ABB) after following an academic career including the degrees in BSc. in Biology (METU/ Ankara/Turkey) and MSc. And Ph.D. degrees in Biotechnology (2001) (METU/Ankara/Turkey), Cihan Halicigil joined to the Hacettepe University, Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynecology IVF unit in 2001. He had his second MSc. From Leeds University in Clinical Embryology (2005).
Since 2001, He has been involved over 12000 fresh cycles, and over 6500 frozen embryo transfer cycles. He has trained more than 40 clinical embryologists and IVF laboratory directors. He has directed Florence Nightingale Gayrettepe IVF laboratory and Acibadem Maslak IVF Laboratory back in Turkey during 2003-2015. Also, he has built or refurbished 17 IVF laboratories. He is an AAB certified high complexity laboratory director (HCLD) since 2017. After moving to USA in 2015 to start the Carolinas Fertility Institute program in Winston-Salem, NC. Between 2015 and 2019 we achieved over 75% Cumulative Live Birth Rates for patients <35 which are the top pregnancy rates per CDC and SART in USA. Currently (Since 2020) he is the Laboratory Director of Yale Fertility Center and faculty at Yale University in Dept. Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences Yale University School of Medicine/USA.


Manar Hozyen (MSc.) is an ESHRE certified senior clinical embryologist working at Ganin fertility center in Egypt, one of the leading IVF centers in the Middle East.
She graduated from the faculty of science, (Biotechnology/Bimolecular chemistry) department, Cairo University, then completed her Master degree of “Biotechnology and bioengineering in IVF and in human based research” excellent with honours at University of Messina, Italy.
Manar has more than eight years of experience in the ART field, and she is well equipped with the knowledge of IVF lab quality control, work ethics, technical work and troubleshooting.
She has many published abstracts presented at different international conferences, written full articles and a book chapter and is an invited reviewer.
Manar has a good knowledge about biostatistics analysis understanding and calculations and is passionate to be involved in scientific research related to ART field.


Chelsey Leisinger, PhD, HCLD/CC earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Iowa State University, and her Master’s degree at the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in reproductive physiology. She obtained her PhD in biomedical and veterinary medical sciences, with a focus on reproductive physiology, at Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine.
Over the years she has worked with several domestic species including cattle, sheep, alpacas, and horses. For the past 10 years Dr. Leisinger has been working in human IVF and is currently a laboratory director at Ovation Fertility. She is also an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine where she assists in the education of graduate students and the operation of an ART lab for domestic animals.


Kevin Bomboy acts as an engineering manager heading the industrial/ high tech market.
He is registered in 40 states as a mechanical engineer and manages projects for clients that utilize clean rooms, high tech laboratories and pharmaceutical production. Mr. Bomboy is Vice President and  has been with STV Incorporated, a full service architectural/engineering firm for 38 years and has specialized in high tech projects for 35 years.



Lars Johansson, Ph.D., has over 30 years of experience in human assisted reproductive technology (ART), working as a Clinical Embryologist, Lab Director and Director of Embryology at CooperSurgical.

Throughout his career, he has developed specialties in improving outcomes through the optimization and troubleshooting of techniques, selecting disposables and equipment, and reducing the exposure of the culture media, gametes and embryos to environmental toxins—authoring several book chapters on the subject. He has also been actively involved in the research, design and development of new equipment for human ART.

In addition, Dr. Johansson developed training laboratories in Denmark and India and has lectured—and trained—embryologists in thousands of ART clinics and many international reproductive congresses worldwide. This global experience has given him a deep understanding of total quality management (TQM) and the need for standardization of techniques, which facilitates troubleshooting.

He holds a Ph.D. in Developmental Biology and had scholarship for post-doctoral education at CEHD in Monash, Melbourne, under the supervision of reproductive medicine pioneer, Professor Alan Trounson.

Video montages from around the globe including Prof Barry Behr, Kings Fertility, London, Dr. Chelsey Leisinger, Next Fertility Nordic with Samantha Wake and Karin Rosenstein.


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