The International IVF Initiative - i3

Session 54: Intuitive Embryology

International IVF Initiative

Session 54: Intuitive Embryology


Tuesday 9th March, 2021. 3PM EST/ 7PM GMT / 8PM CET

Talks and discussions on daily laboratory management and thinking outside the box.

Moderators: Dr. Thomas (Rusty) Pool and Manar Hozyen with Dr. Julius Hreinsson


"Low, Low, Low! Tricky Sperm Counts and How to Prepare Them"
Graham Wright

"New Lab Equipment & New Results: What’s Important?"
Prof. Barry R Behr

"How to Prevent Your Lab From Going Viral! Infectious Diseases & Handling Tips"
Dr. Sangita Jindal

"Biopsy Loading Made Easy"
Dr. Liesl Nel-Themaat


I have a degree in microbiology from Bristol University.
I began working in IVF in 1985 at a clinic in London, which became the Hallam Medical Clinic.
There I was trained by Jacques Cohen. I later followed him to RBA in Atlanta, where I’ve been since 1987.
There was a brief stint in Spain in between.


Professor Behr graduated from University of Nevada-Reno with honors and earned his Ph.D. with emphasis in Reproductive Physiology in 1991, board certified as High Complexity Laboratory Director in 1994.
Dr Behr was the first non MD President of the Pacific Coast Reproductive Society and has been appointed as program chairman of several professional meetings. Dr. Behr was the former President of the American Association for Bioanalysts for 2015-2016. He is the director of the IVF/ART laboratory at Stanford University and is the Faculty Advisor for the Transgenic, Knockout and Tumor Model Center.
In the 90’s Dr. Behr developed a culture medium for embryo culture to the blastocyst stage, which has improved pregnancy rates, implantation rates and reduced the risks of multiple gestation in IVF. He was also the co-inventor of an embryo selection technology that was featured in Time Magazine's Best of Everything as 8th place in the top 10 Medical Breakthroughs of 2010. Dr. Behr has been widely recognized for his research nationally and internationally. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters.


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.


Dr. Liesl Nel-Themaat joined CU Advanced Reproductive Medicine in 2016. She is the IVF Lab Director and an assistant professor in the department of ObGyn at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Stellenbosch University in South Africa and received her Ph.D. in assisted reproduction from Louisiana State University under Dr. Robert Godke. Her graduate studies focused on advanced reproductive technologies in endangered species at the Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans.
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.


Thomas B. (Rusty) Pool, Ph.D., HCLD(ABB) is the Scientific Director of the Fertility Center of San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas, USA, a position he has held for 34 years. Prior to this, he was an Associate Professor of Cellular and Structural Biology at the University of Texas Medical School in San Antonio where he worked on culture and cryobiology of non-human primate embryos. He is board member of the Pacific Coast Fertility Society and serves on the editorial boards of Fertility and Sterility and the Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics. His research interests have centered upon the physiology of the preimplantation human embryo and improvements to embryo culture technology.  


Manar Mohamed Hozyen (MSc.) is a senior embryologist at Ganin fertility center in Egypt, one of the leading IVF centers in the Middle East. She graduated from faculty of science (Biotechnology/Bio-molecular chemistry) department, Cairo University, then completed her Master degree of “Biotechnology and bioengineering in IVF and in human based research” with honors at the University of Messina, Italy.
She has more than Six years of experience in the ART field, and she is well equipped with the knowledge of IVF lab quality control, work ethics, technical work and troubleshooting.
Manar has many published abstracts presented at different international conferences and invited as a reviewer for many research papers.
She has passion for scientific research related to ART field and has a good knowledge about biostatistics analysis and calculations.
She is currently working on many research projects related to embryo culture optimization,



Julius has a BSc in Biology from the University of Iceland and a PhD in Medical Science from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. His thesis work focused on in-vitro maturation of oocytes, culture of ovarian follicles and cryopreservation. Active in human embryology since 1991, Julius has worked as a laboratory director in both university and private clinics as well as working as a consultant embryologist and auditor for the Swedish and Danish Boards of Accreditation. He has been ESHRE certified as a senior clinical embryologist since 2008.

Julius has frequently presented research data at international congresses, courses and meetings and is currently a guest lecturer in embryology courses at the Karolinska Institute and the University of Toronto. He has chaired the Swedish Society of Reproductive Medicine and has authored over 40 research papers and book chapters.



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