Session 3: Artificial Intelligence in ART
Host / Moderator Dr Liesl Nel-Themaat & Alex Parker
Introduction to AI in ART
Dr. Dean Morbeck
AI and Embryo Selection
Dr. Alejandro Badiola-Chavez
AI in PGT-A Decision-Making
Dr. Mike Large
Dr. Dean Morbeck
Dean Morbeck is the Scientific Director at Fertility Associates New Zealand, Sunfert International Fertility Centre, and an Honorary Lecturer at the University of Auckland. He oversees science in IVF clinics throughout New Zealand and Malaysia that annually perform >4000 fresh cycles. Prior to moving to NZ, Dean was an Associate Professor at the Mayo Clinic. He has a keen interest in quality of care, as evidenced by his publications on media composition and laboratory KPIs. He completed his MBA in 2015, which he is putting to use to improve both the science and patient experience at Fertility Associates and Sunfert. Dean is a shareholder of Fertility Associates and is on the Advisory Boards of Apricity, ARTCompass, The World Egg Bank and Vivoplex
Dr. Alejandro Chavez-Badiola
Sr. Director of Research & Development - Genomics, CooperSurgical
Mike was born and raised in Southeast Wisconsin. He earned is Baccalaureate of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. He was awarded the Dean’s Distinguished Fellowship for a project investigating gonad development in Caenorhabditis Elegans, using in vivo RNA interference.
He then went on to join Bert O’Malley’s Molecular and Cellular Biology program at Baylor College of Medicine, where he earned his PhD with Franco DeMayo. His graduate work focused on the intersection of progesterone and growth factor signalling, and their role in endometrial receptivity.
While finishing his work there, he was recruited by Mark Hughes of Genesis Genetics to open a Research and Development PGS laboratory in Houston, Texas. Mike quickly rose to prominence as a technical expert and was instrumental in the adoption and implementation of Next Generation Sequencing in Genesis Genetics labs across the world. Shortly after being acquired by CooperSurgical, he was promoted to Director of Genomic Laboratories, overseeing PGT-A testing for approximately 1,000 patients per month for two years. He was then promoted to his current role, leading research efforts in Genomics. His team recently lead and continues to develop state-of-the-art analytical methods for interrogating Reproductive Genetics.
Dr. Liesl Nel-Themaat Ph.D., HCLD. (ABB)
After completing a postdoctoral fellowship studying post-implantation embryos at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX, she worked as a clinical embryologist at Reproductive Biology Associates in Atlanta. She moved to Colorado in 2011 to work at Colorado Reproductive Endocrinology.
Dr. Nel-Themaat is involved in teaching fellows about reproductive lab sciences. She also participates in collaborative research and has published several original, peer reviewed research articles. Dr. Nel-Themaat is active on several local and national professional committees. She currently serves as the Vice President for the Society of Reproductive Biologists & Technologists (SRBT), is on the Membership Committee of the College of Reproductive Biology (CRB) and is on the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) Practice Committee. Dr. Nel-Themaat also co-founded and served as the first president of the Colorado Association of Reproductive Technologists (CART) for four years.
She enjoys an active, outdoors lifestyle with her husband and two children.
Alex is the newly-appointed CEO of Kustodian, a hardware and software company specialising in cryo-temperature tracking. He has been involved in the fertility industry for three years. Previously, Alex managed research and development teams at a quantum computing company in Vancouver, Canada. He earned his Masters in Mathematics from the University of Leeds.