The International IVF Initiative - i3

Session 57: A Discovery of Sperm

International IVF Initiative

Session 57: A Discovery of Sperm
Session 57: A Discovery of Sperm
Session 57: A Discovery of Sperm
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Load image into Gallery viewer, Session 57: A Discovery of Sperm
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Session 57: A Discovery of Sperm

Tuesday 30th March, 2021.

A session about male infertility, microsurgery and recent developments and new insights into fertility preservation in boys.


Dr. Peter Nagy and Giles Palmer


"Surgically Removed Sperm, a Global View"
Dr. Sherman Silber

"Fertility Preservation in Boys: Recent Developments and New Insights"
Aude Braye 

with panelist, Professor Ellen Goossens



For over 46 years Dr. Silber has originally developed all of the most popular fertility treatments used all around the world today.

He performed the world’s first microsurgical vasectomy reversal, as well as the first testicle transplant, in the 70’s and now in the current century, the world’s first ovary transplant. He was the first to develop the TESE and MESA techniques for retrieving testicular and epididymal sperm in azoospermic men. He headed the clinical MIT team that first mapped and sequenced the Y chromosome in infertile men and discovered the now famous DAZ gene for male fertility. His research includes also the study of reproduction and fertility in zoo animals and endangered species. Most recently he has perfected the preservation of fertility for cancer patients with ovarian freezing and transplantation and thereby figured out how to extend the reproductive biological clock of women. He has helped pioneer minimal ovarian stimulation to reduce IVF costs and eliminate complications while maintaining the very highest success rate, even in older women. He heads the clinical team on the CHOSE project to transform skin biopsy cells into eggs and sperm in humans. He has even recently answered the age-old question of why the dinosaurs went extinct by extending his research on male infertility and the Y chromosome, discovering that the change in earth temperature 65,000,000 years ago led to the birth of a skewed male/female sex ratio.

Dr. Silber has treated many thousands of infertile couples who travel to St. Louis daily from all over the world. His patients come from every state in the U.S.A., all over Europe, South America, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

He is the author of five medical textbooks, five best selling books for the layman and more than 250 scientific papers on human infertility and reproduction.

Dr. Silber went to medical school at the University of Michigan, did post-graduate training at Stanford University, and then again at the University of Michigan. From 1967 to 1969, he provided medical care via the U. S. Public Health Service to Eskimos, Indians, and Aleuts. Then he taught at the University of Melbourne Medical School in Australia, and later at the University of California Medical School in San Francisco. He is a scientific collaborator at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, at the Kato Clinic in Tokyo, and at the University of Kyushu in Japan, and is a full professor at the University of Amsterdam, and at Sun Yat Sen University Medical School in China. His major clinical medical practice is at St. Luke’s Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri.


Aude Braye studied Biomedical Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium. For her master's thesis, she studied the long-term culture of human testicular cells at the Biology of the Testis research group. After graduation, she worked for two years as a medical lab technician for the laboratory of Medical Assisted Reproduction at the Centre for Reproductive Medicine of the Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel in Belgium. In December 2016, she rejoined the Biology of the Testis research team as a PhD student investigating how a testicular tissue biopsy procedure performed at young age for fertility preservation may affect the pubertal development and fertility of cancer patients and Klinefelter Syndrome patients.


Professor Dr Ellen Goossens has a PhD in Medical Sciences. She undertook postdoctoral training in male fertility preservation at the laboratory Biology of the Testis at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. She became lab coordinator in 2012.
Ellen Goossens is affiliated to the faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel as full professor and exchange coordinator for students in Biomedical Sciences. She has published more than 90 papers and 8 book chapters and lectured at many congresses. She was awarded the prize of the Royal Belgian Academy for Medicine in 2011 for her work on prevention of infertility after chemo- or radiotherapy. Her research on testicular tissue cryopreservation and male fertility preservation has been translated to the clinic. She is basic science officer of the Special Interest Group Andrology of the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology.



Dr. Nagy is the Scientific and Laboratory Director at Reproductive Biology Associates (RBA), in Atlanta, USA (since 2002). He obtained his MD (1986) and his Ob&Gyn specialty degrees (1996) at the Semmelweis Medical University in Budapest. He obtained his PhD at the Free University of Brussels (VUB) in 1997 on development of ICSI procedure. Dr. Nagy has acquired a distinctive knowledge and experience on embryo science, including novel viability assessment methods. He has also investigated the basic and clinical aspects of cryopreservation and, developed with his team a highly efficient, proprietary protocol in 2006 for oocyte vitrification that has contributed to the development of “My Egg Bank”, the first vitrification based and of the largest donor oocyte cryo-bank in North- America.
Dr. Nagy is member of several national and international professional societies, including ASRM, ESHRE, Alpha. He is also board member of the International Society for Fertility Preservation (ISFP) and of the Alliance for Fertility Preservation (AFP) and past Chair of Alpha Scientist in Reproductive Medicine (ALPHA). Dr. Nagy is a reviewer of several medical journals, and currently he is section editor of RBMonline, past Section Editor of Human Reproduction. He has been an invited speaker in several hundreds of meeting/congresses in over 50 countries across the world. Dr. Nagy is author or co-author of over 200 publications, including several dozens of book chapters and five books.


Giles Palmer is the executive director of the International IVF Initiative and has been a clinical embryologist for over 25 years. He has been both lab manager and clinic director, skilled in laboratory, business and quality management.
After graduating in Genetics at Leeds University, UK he worked as a research officer at London's Hammersmith Hospital's acclaimed IVF unit working with Professors Lord Winston and Alan Handyside. In the following years he has worked mainly in Greece while consulting in several countries including Iceland, Nigeria and the Balkan states.
His early collaboration with St. Sophia's Children's Hospital (Athens University) resulted in the first births in Greece following embryo-biopsy and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis.
He has published in leading scientific journals on a variety of topics including pre-implantation genetic testing for Cystic Fibrosis and B-thalassaemia, Morphokinectics and Quality Management. He is a HCPC clinical scientist and has been accredited with Senior Embryologist Status by ESHRE. More recently he has become a consultant and product developer in a wide range of areas within the industry.

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