The International IVF Initiative - i3

Session 121: Trace Elements

International IVF Initiative

Session 121: Trace Elements

Session 121: Trace Elements

Tuesday, 19th September (3 pm EDT / 8 pm UK / 9 pm CET)

The IVF webinar on Tuesday, September 19th, 2023, focused on traceability and quality control in in vitro fertilization procedures. Maintaining detailed records and inventory is critical for IVF labs to ensure traceability and quality assurance at each step. Proper traceability provides benefits like reduced errors, better documentation, and increased accountability.

The webinar had four moderators: Eros Nikitos, Dr. Lodovico Parmegiani, Michelle Mena, and Edel Rocher. There were three main presentations. Dr. Jean M. Popwell discussed 24 hour quality control and monitoring IVF lab results in real-time. Dr. Gianfrancesco Capuano covered traceability techniques to improve quality assurance and patient safety, such as database management and scanning systems to track eggs, sperm and embryos. Steve Rooks presented ways to reduce variability in IVF lab workloads week-to-week using smart spreadsheets and AI, allowing for better staff planning and allocation.

Key topics included inventory management, database best practices, scanning systems for traceability, reducing manual work for embryologists through analytics, and planning staffing levels based on workload variability. The webinar provided useful insights for IVF professionals on improving organization, minimizing errors, enhancing documentation, and increasing accountability through traceability and quality control. There was also a Q&A session for the audience to ask questions.


Eros Nikitos

Senior Clinical Embryologist-Founding Member and Laboratory Director ''Institute of Life IASO'' Athens, Greece.

Dr. Lodovico Parmegiani

Lodovico (aka Lodo) is Head of Embryology for NextClinics International (a network of ART centres), IVF Laboratory Director at the Next Fertilty GynePro in Bologna, Italy and advisor for biotech companies. He has invented, developed and optimized devices and methods for clinical embryology, and published almost 100 papers and book chapters in this field. Lodo is a Key Opinion Leader in ART. He is Founder of Nterilizer, an innovative Start-up in Italy for research, development, and manufacturing of sterile gases for healthcare and food production.

Michelle Mena

Michelle is a registered nurse and certificated specialist in human reproduction medicine. A dedicated patient and client advocate with a strong background in customer support and sales processes.
She completed the “Mastering Sales: A Toolkit for Success” course by Northwester Kellogg University (Feb 2021), as well as “Be an Entrepreneur Seminar” by Alfredo Culebro & Robert Kiyosaki (2018), and Nurse Certificate Course in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility by ASRM (2015).
She is currently undergoing a certification on the Fundamentals of Clinical Embryology in the IVF Laboratory imparted by prestigious University UNAM in Mexico. Her current work in IVF 2.0 is being the primary link and first contact to clients and potential customers assisting them during the complete process, identifying and evaluating client needs. Michelle is a caring and reliable person with a reputation for building a great rapport between medical providers and patients.

Edel Rocher

Edel Rocher is a Scientific Product Expert at IMT Matcher.
She has been working as Clinical Embryologist for more than seven years around the world, and combines both of her passions, learning from different ART systems and getting to know different environments and cultures.
Her journey started with an internship at the age of 21 in a public hospital in Italy, where she had learnt the basics of Reproductive Science. Afterwards she started training in Clinical Embryology in Ireland, continuing and gaining experience in London. In the middle of this journey, she had been lucky to travel all the way to the other side of the world to experience and live in wonderful Australia, where she met influential people in the IVF field.

Dr. Jean M. Popwell

Jean Popwell, PhD, HCLD, is the Laboratory QA/QC Director for Inception Fertility LLC, where she facilitates network laboratory projects and provides oversight in maintaining Prelude laboratories performance goals. After graduating with a PhD in Reproductive Physiology from NC State in 1999, she began work in 2000 as an embryologist at Pacific Fertility Center. During this period, she became certified for both a TS and HCLD, in 2002 and 2004 respectively by the American Board of Bioanalysis.
An interest in expanding her experience and interests propagated involvement in other opportunities as a biopsy trainer and lecturer for Natera, Irvine Scientific and Illumina, helping embryologist learn Day 5 culture systems and trophectoderm biopsy across the US and other countries. Jean also worked as an off-site Laboratory Director for 2 years and provided IVF lab consulting to other laboratories regarding their overall quality management systems and procedures.
Jean strives to remain involved in both local and national organizations that support embryologist educational and professional needs and has provided support as Vice President, President, and Past President in these organizations. Currently, she is the President of Southwest Embryology Summit (SWES).
In 2021, Jean became the Laboratory QA/QC Director at Inception Fertility and strives to maintain and support laboratory directors in their efforts toward successful patient outcomes.

Dr. Gianfrancesco Capuano

Dr. Capuano is a licensed Clinical Embryologist with over twelve years in Reproductive Medicine and a background in Prenatal Genetics that recently joined IMT Matcher as a Scientific Product Expert. Originally from Italy, he has worked in renowned IVF Units including the University Hospital of Naples where he was the Leader Embryologist, and manager of the Andrology section, ensuring adherence to regulations. He has an extensive expertise in all the main techniques in Clinical Embryology, including but not limited to embryo biopsy and cryopreservation of gametes and embryos. He also made significant contributions at Orchid Fertility in Dubai, a leading laboratory in UAE, accredited by the College of the American Pathologists and also at Create Fertility St. Paul’s in London, UK. He gained as well valuable insights during his time at Cornell University’s Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility in New York. He pursued in 2020 his PhD at the University of Naples, conducting research on the “Effects of Volatile Organic Compounds on Early Embryo Development” and spent for his research one year at IVI Valencia in Spain. He's now part of development team at IMT Matcher, leveraging his extensive experience and expertise to further advance the capabilities and the functionality of the Matcher witnessing and traceability system.

Steve Rooks

"I am passionate about helping others achieve more than they believed possible.

I began my career as a process engineer and would have continued down that path if not for a mentor’s advice 30 years ago: that I could achieve more by applying my engineering mindset to business. I have since created value across many different industries as a consultant, an executive, and a private equity portfolio advisor. In all cases, results have come by helping others achieve more than they imagined possible, largely by engaging and enabling them to identify and fix issues in their way, and fully realize growth and savings opportunities.

I spent the last few years as COO of The Fertility Partners, focused on helping our clinic partners achieve more by improving the experience, efficiency, economics and effectiveness of IVF for their patients. I will continue to apply my 30 years of experience to support that mission within fertility".



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