Session 4: SARS-CoV-2 and IVF Revisited
Host / Moderator Dr Jacques Cohen & Dr. Dara Berger
A round table discussion to answer some of the many questions from "IVF in the time of COVID-19".
Dr. Kay Elder
Following an academic career that included degrees in biochemistry (BSc, University of St Andrews), molecular biology (PhD, University of Colorado Medical School) and medicine (MBBChir, Cambridge), Kay Elder joined the Bourn Hall team as Clinical Assistant to Patrick Steptoe in 1984, directing the Out-Patient Department from 1985-1987 before joining the IVF lab as Senior Embryologist. Prior to medical studies in Cambridge, she was a research scientist at Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London. In 1989 she initiated and directed a program of Continuing Education for IVF doctors, scientists and nurses for the next 16 years, during which time she helped to set up and run two Master’s degree programs in Clinical Embryology. Kay was appointed Deputy Editor to Bob Edwards for the journal RBMonline from 2005. She has published 8 textbooks for IVF students, and continues to mentor and tutor postgraduate students of Clinical Embryology at the University of Leeds, as well as teaching medical students at Cambridge University. In her current role as Senior Research Scientist at Bourn Hall, she co-ordinates research collaborations with academic research establishments and provides information and counsels patients who wish to donate gametes or embryos to research.
Dr. Lodovico Parmegiani
Lodovico (aka Lodo) is Head of Embryology for NextClinics International (a network of ART centres), IVF Laboratory Director at the GynePro Medical Centers in Bologna, Italy and advisor for biotech companies. He has invented, developed and optimized devices and methods for clinical embryology. Lodo is a Key Opinion Leader in ART. He is Founder and CEO of Nterilizer iSRL, an innovative Start-up in Italy for research, development and manufacturing of sterile gases for healthcare and food production.
Dr. Pavlo Mazur
Dr Mazur was born in 1988 in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Between 2005-2009 he studied at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv/ Institute of biology in the Department of Virology From 2010 through 2011 Dr Mazur attended the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv/ Institute of biology/ Department of General and Molecular Genetics.
Since 2011 Dr Mazur has worked as an embryologist at the Clinic of Reproductive Medicine ‘Nadiya’.
Dr. Alan Parker
Reader in Translational Virotherapies at Cardiff University / Prifysgol Caerdydd. Has a long standing interest in virology and how this can be applied to cancer therapies using "oncolytic" adenoviral based vectors ("virotherapy"), that stems back to his PhD (in Gene Therapy from CRUK Institute for Cancer Studies at the University of Birmingham,.)
leading an expanding and talented group developing bespoke virotherapies for oncology applications.
Skilled in Molecular Biology, Virology, Cell Culture, Scientific Writing, and Western Blotting and with a strong profile of peer reviewed publications in leading international journals.
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. Alison Campbell
Alison Campbell is the Group Director of Embryology at CARE Fertility, where she leads 12 embryology laboratories and a team of 80 Scientists, in the UK and Ireland. Alison has around 25 years experience in the field in Reproductive Medicine. Alison has played a key role in establishing and integrating new laboratories. Her current role involves driving standards, best practice and leading research and development across the CARE group. Alison is an experienced Clinical Embryologist, a Diplomate of the Royal College of Pathologists, a member of the Alpha Scientists in Assisted Reproduction Executive Board and a member of ARCS and ESHRE.
Dr. Kimball Pomeroy
Dr. Pomeroy is the scientific director for The World Egg Bank as well as an off-site laboratory director. He has lectured at many scientific meetings and post-graduate courses and has coauthored papers dealing with risks of cross-contamination of microbes during storage of tissue in liquid nitrogen, the usefulness of embryo morphology in predicting pregnancy and the source of microbial contamination during embryo culture.
Kimball O. Pomeroy received a Ph.D. in Animal Physiology at Colorado State University, and then was a post-doc at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. At the Salk Institute, Dr. Pomeroy was a molecular biologist and worked with Dr. Glen Evans on the Human Genome Project (chromosome 11) and did work in the production of transgenic animals.
He was trained in Bristol, England as a human embryologist and worked as a consultant for several projects in Mexico, Nepal, China, Bolivia, and the Bahamas. He has served as a member of the SART Executive Board, Chair of the Reproductive Laboratory Technician’s Group, Chair of the College of Reproductive Biology, and a founding member of both the Regulatory Task Force and the Southwest Embryologist Summit.
Recently, he has focused his studies on what happens when cryotanks fail and is studying how oocytes regulate their pH.
Dr. Jacques Cohen
Jacques Cohen is a reproductive biologist, laboratory product developer and high complexity laboratory director (HCLD). He is director and founder of the ART Institute of Washington, which runs the joint National Institute of Health and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center IVF program in Bethesda Maryland (USA). He is product developer and co-founder of IVFqc/Althea Science, which develops software solutions for laboratories and clinics. He was co-founder of Reprogenetics, a PGD service, now continuing as Cooper Genomics. He was a co-founder and product developer of Life-Global/IVF-Online. He has (co-)authored more than 300 publications, several textbooks and 12 patents. He is Emeritus Chief Editor of Reproductive Biomedicine Online. He was one of the founders of Alpha – Scientists in Reproductive Medicine and one of the founders of Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis International Society - PGDIS. He is a founding member of the International IVF Initiative.
Jacques Cohen was born in The Hague, The Netherlands and graduated in Biology of Reproductive Science in 1978 at Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands. He has a Ph.D. from Erasmus University in Rotterdam (supervisor Prof. Gerard Zeilmaker), in aspects of in vitro fertilization and male factor infertility. His postdoctoral studies (1982-1985) were performed at Cambridge University (UK) and Bourn Hall Clinic (supervisor Prof Robert Edwards). Jacques Cohen has (co-)developed a number of embryological methodologies and devices: blastocyst cryopreservation, assisted fertilization, assisted hatching, preimplantation genetic testing, ooplasmic donation, single sperm freezing, CODA filtration, Global media, and GPS dishes. He currently serves on Advisory Boards of biotech startups TMRW, Kindbody, DADI and Phosphorus.
Dr. Dara Berger
Dara S. Berger has been in the field of reproductive medicine since 2009, and an IVF laboratory director since 2014. Dr. Berger is currently the laboratory director at the University of Pennsylvania’s clinical IVF program, Penn Fertility Care. She directs the embryology, andrology and endocrinology laboratories. She also performs all aspects of clinical embryology. Dr. Berger is the offsite IVF laboratory director at UNC Fertility. She holds a High Complexity Laboratory Director certificate from the American Board of Bioanalysis. In addition to her qualifications as laboratory director and clinical embryologist, she has extensive reproductive biology research experience. After receiving her Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in human genetics, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Since that time she continued her passion for research by participating in projects at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine while in New York, at UNC in North Carolina, and most recently at Penn Fertility Care in Pennsylvania. Both Penn and UNC have active academic IVF programs and Dr. Berger currently teaches REI fellows and medical students at both. She is always interested in participating in translational research and teaching opportunities.