The International IVF Initiative - i3

Session 35: COVID Strategies

International IVF Initiative

Session 35: COVID Strategies

COVID Strategies

Tuesday 29 September, 2020.
Moderators: Dr. Mina Alikani & Dr. Alison Campbell

Disinfecting the ART Laboratory
Brianna Calcavecchia

Precautions in the cryopreservation of gametes and embryos in times of Covid-19: can the cure be worse than the disease?
Dr. Nuno Costa-Borges

Physically distant but socially connected
Debbie Venier
This presentation is sponsored by CooperSurgical Fertility and Genomic Solutions

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Dr. Nuno Costa-Borges

Dr. Nuno Costa-Borges

Nuno Costa-Borges is an embryologist that has been involved in both research and clinical practice for over 18 years. As a PhD fellow of the Portuguese national funding agency for science (FCT), Nuno spent several years developing strategies to improve the efficiency of animal cloning, having accomplished the first animals successfully cloned in Spain in 2009.
After finishing his PhD at the University Autonomous of Barcelona, he joined the embryology team of IVI Barcelona, where he has worked as a clinical embryologist. Later on, he co-founded Embryotools, where he has been devoted on offering QC tests, training and consulting services to the IVF community worldwide. Additionally, as scientific director of Embryotools, Nuno has also been committed to the development of new IVF techniques,such as, the flicking method for the biopsy of blastocysts or the maternal spindle transfer technique to prevent the transmission of mitochondrial diseases or to treat infertility problems related to poor oocyte quality as alternatives to conventional oocyte donation programs. Nuno’s work has led to several peer-reviewed publications and he has been invited speaker in numerous international conferences and scientific meetings, as well as, awarded with prestigious prizes and grants. Stands out two recent awards, the congress PaperPrize of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) in 2017 and the IVI foundation award in 2019. He has produced the embryos that resulted in the world’s first baby after maternal spindle transfer for infertility.

Debbie Venier

Debbie Venier

Debbie Venier graduated from UC Davis with a BS in Animal Science and a Master’s in Reproductive Physiology. She started her career as a clinical embryologist in 1994 at Nashville Fertility Center. Subsequently, Debbie started the undergraduate embryology program at Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo. After teaching applied embryology for 10 years, she has placed over 37 clinical embryologists into the field. Her revolutionary course and training program still exists today at Cal Poly. She returned to clinical embryology 11 years ago in San Diego serving as the Laboratory Supervisor at La Jolla IVF and is currently a consulting embryologist. Her passion and skill lie in teaching embryology and training the next generation. Debbie has been training embryologists in biopsy and ICSI techniques over the last 10 years all over the world. She has been an invited speaker and trainer for companies such as Illumina, Cooper Genomics, Hamilton Thorne, Vitrolife, Southwest Embryology Society, and Eastern Virginia Medical School. She is also a board member for the Pacific Coast Reproductive Society (PCRS), and a committee member for the college of reproductive biology (CRB). Debbie is currently opening WEST (World Embryology Skills and Training Center) with her husband, Bill to recruit new embryologists to the field. When looking for an international expert trainer with the record and reputation to support it, Debbie is the best person to ensure success in her trainees.

Brianna Calcavecchia

Brianna Calcavecchia

Brianna Calcavecchia received her Bachelor's degree in Biology from Syracuse University where she developed a strong interest in genetics. She has been working in embryology for three years as associate embryologist at the Northwell Health Fertility Laboratories, New York.

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