The International IVF Initiative - i3

Session 38: The Plastic Blastocyst

International IVF Initiative

Session 38: The Plastic Blastocyst

Session 38: The Plastic Blastocyst

Tuesday 27 October, 2020. 8PM GMT / 9PM CET / 3PM EST
Moderators: Dr. Denny Sakkas & Sangita Jindal, PhD, HCLD
Embryonic Diapause: the Real Arrested Development.
Professor Bruce Murphy

The Curious Case of Lactate, a Blastocyst and an Endometrium
Professor David Gardner

Blastoids: Modeling Early Development and Implantation with Stem Cells.
Dr. Nicolas Rivron

Dr. Bruce Murphy

Dr. Bruce D. Murphy earned his BSc (Biology) and MSc (Physiology) at Colorado State University. He was awarded a PhD in reproductive biology (University of Saskatchewan), where he continued on the Biology faculty. In 1985 he founded the Reproductive Biology Research Unit in the Department Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Medicine and served as Director until 1991. From 1991 to 2013 he was Director of the Centre de recherche en reproduction, Université de Montréal where he currently holds a joint appointment Département de obstetrique-gynecologie, Faculté de médecine. He has held visiting appointments at Cornell University, and at the Institute of Genetics, Cellular and Molecular Biology, Louis Pasteur University, Strasbourg, France and the School of Biosciences, University of Melbourne. He founded the Réseau Québécois en Reproduction (Quebec Reproduction Network, RQR) that is currently funded by federal and provincial grants. This network coordinates collaborations, sponsors symposia and provides training funds to 80 researchers in the province of Quebec. He was founder of the Canadian Consortium in Reproductive Biology,and chaired of the Institute of Human Development Advisory Board and Standing Committee in Reproductive Biology. He was Treasurer of the Society for the Study of Reproduction (SSR) 2000-2009, and served as President of that Society in 2015-2016. He is on the editorial board of five journals and served as Editor-In-Chief of Biology of Reproduction, 2009-2013. Dr. Murphy’s laboratory has been continuously funded since he began as an independent investigator for studies of diapause and embryo implantation and for investigation of ovarian function. He is author of more than 250 scientific publications on these topics and has been a plenary and symposium lecturer at several international conferences. Among the awards he has received are the SSR Distinguished Service Award, the Pfizer Award for Research Excellence and the CFAS Award for Excellence in Reproductive Medicine. He received the SSR Trainee-mentoring award and the CRCQ Mentor of the Year award in 2014. He was elected to the Argentine Academy of Agricultural Science in 1988, as a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences in 2006, and is Laureate of the Fonds du Québec (2009). He has trained more than 60 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, most of whom continue working in the field of reproductive biology.

Professor David K. Gardner, FAA

David is the Scientific Director of Melbourne IVF and a Distinguished Professor in the School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne.

He completed his PhD (1987) at the University of York. In 1988 he moved to Harvard Medical School, after which he moved to Monash, Australia, in 1989. In 1997 became the Scientific Director of the Colorado Centre for Reproductive Medicine in Denver, where his work on human embryo culture conditions revolutionised how human IVF is performed today with the introduction of blastocyst transfer.

In 2007 he was appointed Professor at the University of Melbourne and promoted to the level of Distinguished Professor in 2018. He has published over 285 papers and chapters and has edited 15 books, and is one of the mostly highly cited scientists in Reproductive Medicine, with over 25,000 citations and an H Factor of 91.

In 2017 in recognition of his many significant contributions to reproductive sciences he was elected as a Fellow into the Australian Academy of Science (FAA) and further was the recipient of the Distinguished Researcher Award from the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.

Dr. Nicolas Rivron

Nicolas Rivron is a stem cell biologist originally trained as an engineer (e.g. polymer physics, microsystems, self-organization of vascular networks). He currently leads the laboratory for synthetic development at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology, Austrian Academy of Science, in Vienna (Austria). His laboratory created the blastoid system, the first model of the conceptus that comprised the three founding cell types and implanted upon in utero transfer

Dr. Denny Sakkas

Dr. Denny Sakkas

Dr. Denny Sakkas received his undergraduate training at the University of Melbourne, Australia and received his Doctorate of Philosophy at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.

Dr. Sakkas has been the Laboratory Director of IVF units in Switzerland and England and has aided numerous groups in establishing their own IVF units around the world. He has extensive experience in clinical IVF and reproductive research. He is internationally recognized, having organized conferences and workshops on reproduction related topics, and is frequently invited as a speaker at major conferences worldwide. He has published more than 200 manuscripts and chapters in the field of fertilization, early embryo development and male infertility. He serves on the Editorial Board of leading journals and has been extensively funded in his career, He leads a productive research team investigating many aspects of basic and translational reproductive biology.

Dr Sakkas is Chief Scientific Officer at Boston IVF and consults to a number of clinics and startup companies in the area of IVF. He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Yale University School of Medicine.

Previous and current positions include; Chief Scientific Officer at Molecular Biometrics Inc.; Associate Professor at the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the Yale University School of Medicine ; Director of Assisted Reproductive Treatment Laboratories of the Yale Fertility Center.



Sangita Jindal earned her PhD in Physiology from the University of Toronto, Canada and became a high-complexity lab director in 1997. Dr. Jindal has served on the faculty at New Jersey Medical School-Rutgers, and for the last 19 years has been on the faculty at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York as an Associate 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 was President of the Society for Reproductive Biologists and Technologists (SRBT) in 2011, and currently serves on the SART Executive Council and on the ASRM Practice Committee.

Close (esc)


Members get free stuff and can stay up to date with the latest sessions from I3.

Become a Member

Age verification

By clicking enter you are verifying that you are old enough to consume alcohol.


Shopping Cart

Your cart is currently empty.
Shop now