The International IVF Initiative - i3

Session 69: The Embryo in Culture

International IVF Initiative

Session 69: The Embryo in Culture

Session 69: The Embryo in Culture

Tuesday 22nd June, 2021. 3PM EST/ 8PM GMT / 9PM CET

Sponsored by Cook Medical


Shaista Sadruddin and Dr Magdalena Depa-Martynow with Professor Yves Menezo


Dr. Roger Sturmey: The Embryo in Culture- Metabolism

Dr. Jason Swain: The Embryo in Culture- Culture Conditions

Dr. Kay Elder: The Embryo in Culture: Imprinting, Oxidative Stress and Epigenetic Homeostasis


Roger Sturmey is a jointly appointed Senior Lecturer of Reproductive Medicine at the Hull York Medical School and at the University of Manchester. He is interested in studying metabolic function at the nanoscale of individual embryos and how this links to embryo physiology, and has subsequently applied these interests to somatic cells and stem cells. His laboratory studies oocytes and embryos of domestic species; notably bovine, porcine and equine, in addition to work on human embryos in collaboration with the Hull IVF clinic. His research has identified key metabolic adaptations of early embryos in response to nutritional and physiological challenges, informing the debate on maternal health around conception. His group has also developed a novel model of the female reproductive tract which has provided new insight into the formation of reproductive tract fluid. He is the Basic Science Officer for the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology Embryology Special Interest Group, as well as a Board Member of the Association of Embryo Technology in Europe, the UK data collector for the International Embryo Transfer Society, a tutor on the National NHS STP embryology programme and a member of the Association of Reproductive & Clinical Sciences (ARCS) Scientific Advisory Committee. When not working, he coaches two childrens’ football teams, is a fully qualified SCUBA diving instructor and is a passionate supporter of the greatest football team in the world – Aston Villa.


Jason E. Swain, PhD, HCLD is the Corporate Laboratory Director of the CCRM IVF Laboratory Network, overseeing a growing network of 11 clinical IVF laboratories in North America. He is responsible for laboratory design, protocol/procedure implementation, as well as staff training and ongoing quality control monitoring for the network embryology, andrology and endocrinology laboratories. Jason also oversees quality control of the CCRM Donor Egg Bank. Dr. Swain is an Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Rutgers University as well as at the University of Minnesota. He completed his BSc at Hillsdale College in his native Michigan, his MSc in Animal Science at Purdue University and his PhD in Molecular & Integrative Physiology at the University of Michigan in the lab of Dr. Gary Smith, PhD, HCLD. He then had clinical embryology training with Thomas “Rusty” Pool in San Antonio, TX, before becoming a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of OB/GYN and IVF lab director at the University of Michigan. Dr. Swain has published over 45 peer-reviewed articles, edited and authored several book chapters and contributed to various other publications within the field of assisted reproduction. Dr. Swain has served on various committees for ASRM, ESHRE, PCRS and other organizations focused on assisted reproduction. He has given numerous regional, national and international invited lectures on various topics related to the IVF laboratory, is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics, sits on the editorial board for 6 journals and acts an ad hoc reviewer for over 25 others. His primary research interests include pursuit of methods to improve in vitro embryo culture conditions through reduction of environmental stressors via modification of both the physical and chemical culture environment.


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.
In her current role as Senior Research Scientist at Bourn Hall, she co-ordinates research collaborations with academic research establishments and provides information and counselling for patients who wish to donate gametes or embryos to research.


Professor Yves Ménézo is a biochemist who obtained his PhD in applied biology from the University of Lyon. He received his Doctor of Science in 1979. He became Director of Research at the National Institute of Agronomical Research in France in 1983, Associate Professor at the Louisiana State University between 1987 and 1993, and then Head of the Assisted Reproduction and Genetics unit at the Merieux Foundation. He has been a consultant for the European Economic Community, and developed several patents on culture media and hormone treatments. He has authored more than 250 publications and book chapters and has received several awards such as laureate of the French Academy of Medicine and gold medal of the Institute Dexeus


Shaista is a clinical embryologist with over eight years of experience in patient management, laboratory skills, and quality management. Her career passions include training, educating, and empowering young professionals to continue to strive towards success and improving the field of ART for the future. Shaista graduated magna cum laude from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. She received her Master’s Degree in Reproductive Clinical Sciences from The Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School. There she conducted research on the validity and consistency of NGS testing on mosaic and aneuploid embryos; and was bestowed the Georgeanna Seegar Jones, MD Award for Academic Achievement in the Reproductive Clinical Sciences. She is currently a senior embryologist at the Atlanta Center for Reproductive Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. Shaista is a founding member of the International IVF Initiative. In her spare time, Shaista enjoys long walks, desserts, books, and traveling.


Magdalena is an experienced embryologist. She was working more than ten years at Division of Infertility and Reproductive Endocrinology, Department of Gynecology, Obstetrics and Gynecological Oncology Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poznan, Poland. Her interest at that time was predictive value of zygotes and early embryo assessment.
Magdalena received her Ph.D. at the Karol Marcinkiewicz University of Medical Sciences in Poznan in Poland. She was working on the determination the molecular basis of male infertility by indication of mRNA sperm transcripts and PRM1 and PRM2 proteins, which may influence on quality of human sperm, fertilization ability and early development of zygotes and embryos. She is an author of a numerous publications related with clinical embryology and assisted reproductive techniques.
Magdalena did a Canadian Executive Master of Business Administration study and obtained a diploma of ESG University of Quebec at Montreal UQAM and the Warsaw School of Economics SGH. She joined Reproductive Health, COOK Medical where, as a Clinical Specialist, she is combining scientific expertise with commercial knowledge in supporting both embryologists and internal company recipients.


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