The International IVF Initiative - i3

Session 95: AI, Under the Hood

International IVF Initiative

Session 95: AI, Under the Hood

Session 95: AI, Under the Hood

Tuesday, 24th May at 3pm EST, 8pm UK, 9pm CET
This session is sponsored by IVF 2.0


Description: International IVF Initiative I3- Online Session 95-AI, Under The Hood-May 24, 2022
Course outline/synopsis:
Authors of a recent review article on artificial intelligence, Dr. Charles Bormann and Dr. Irene Dimitriadis co moderated a 90-minute course with colleague Olcay Ocali on deliverable AI solutions in the assisted reproduction technology laboratory.
An introduction by Dr. Jacques Cohen talked about the use of AI already in many other fields of medicine, offering examples and references while stating that AI in an IVF setting is still in its infancy.
He also mentioned concerns and recent guidelines such as transparency, accountability and inclusion that should be central to AI use in medicine.
Dr. Gerardo Mendizaba Ruiz, drawing from his practical experience developing and using AI devices for embryo ranking before embryo selection and also AI to assist the sperm selection prior to ICSI highlighted recent developments in the field. Finally, Dr. Alejandro Chavez Badiola spoke of how AI might influence the decisions of a scientist and discussed the merits of implementing AI as a necessary tool to improve success.
The session was joined by panelists Giles Palmer and Lizeth Barrientos who participated also, together with the speakers and moderators, on the round table discussion centred around AI and from the questions posed by attendees.

Dr. Charles Bormann, Dr. Irene Dimitriadis and Olcay Ocali with panelists Lizeth Barrientos and Giles Palmer

Introduction by Dr. Jacques Cohen
Artificial Intelligence- Lessons from Other Disciplines in Medicine

AI at work: The Mexican Experience
Dr. Gerardo Mendizaba Ruiz

Making your Mind up
Alejandro Chavez Badiola

Round Table Discussion


Charles is a reproductive physiologist by training and the Director of the Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital. His clinical responsibilities are focused on managing the ART laboratory and assisting infertile couples conceive by ensuring the safety of their gametes and embryos in vitro, and the provision of optimum conditions for their nurture in culture. These responsibilities require administering stringent quality control and quality assurance programs and implementation of quality improvement programs to maintain the highest standards of care at the forefront of this rapidly evolving field. His specific research interests are using deep-learning AI-technology to help individualize patient care and assist in clinical/laboratory decision making.


Irene Dimitriadis, MD is a ABOG certified OB/GYN and fellowship-trained reproductive endocrinologist and infertility (REI) specialist at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Fertility Center. A native of Greece, she received her medical degree from the University of Athens and completed her OB/GYN residency at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. She completed her clinical fellowship in REI at MGH. She subsequently joined the faculty at Harvard Medical School as an instructor of OB/GYN & reproductive biology. She is also the Medical Director of Third-Party Reproduction at the MGH Fertility Center.

Her clinical interests include caring for women with infertility, recurrent pregnancy loss, congenital uterine anomalies, polycystic ovarian syndrome, fibroids, uterine polyps, endometriosis and premature ovarian insufficiency, as well as women interested in fertility preservation, preimplantation genetic testing and third-party reproduction. She participates in the care of women requiring assisted reproductive technologies (ART), including ovulation induction and IVF.

Dr. Dimitriadis is also actively involved in research. She has authored articles and presented research projects at national and international conferences. Her prior research has focused on understanding how environmental factors can affect the reproductive system and she was a part of the NIEHS funded EARTH study, collaborating with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Most recently, her research is geared towards understanding and applying the use of deep-learning AI-technology in ART with the goal of individualizing patient care and improving ART outcomes. She loves teaching trainees and believes educating is imperative in moving the field forward.


Olcay Ocali is an embryology supervisor at Boston IVF where he performs all aspects of embryology and gives training on micromanipulations such as ICSI and embryo biopsy. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree at Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey.

Olcay had his training in IVF at Yale University Fertility Center where in the Andrology Lab, he also had a chance to work with Dr. Gabor B. Huszar who was the inventor of a novel approach for an improved ICSI sperm selection (PICSI). Olcay later worked at FCNE where he was mentored by embryo grading pioneer Lynette Scott, Ph.D. In Boston IVF he also participates in the research studies with the guidance of another embryology pioneer Denny Sakkas, Ph.D.


Lizeth Barrientos, Laboratory Supervisor of Oma Fertility, is an embryologist and Bio-Pharmacological Chemist.

Lizeth’s passions are implementation of new technologies in the IVF laboratory that can make the lab team to work more efficiently. She believes that AI in IVF is no longer in the future. It’s here and is going to stay because it will improve the outcomes in the lab to give hope to the IVF patients.

Her work in IVF began in one of the most recognized centers in New York City, New Hope Fertility Center, where she completed all her IVF training. She went to Mexico to NHFC - Guadalajara to be the lab director of one of the first MINI-IVF centers, in the country. She was the Laboratory Consultant at NHFC – Mexico City where she participated and was directly involved in the construction of one of the best IVF Laboratories in Mexico.

Subsequently, she moved to San Diego, California to work as a laboratory supervisor at Hanabusa IVF, where she learned the meticulous laboratory standards and protocols. At the same time, she was also the embryologist lead of Asian Egg Bank.

Lizeth earned her M.Sc. degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM), and hold a B.Sc. degree from the University of Guadalajara.


Giles is a clinical embryologist, skilled in laboratory, business, and quality management. After graduating in Genetics at Leeds University, UK he worked as are search officer at London's Hammersmith Hospital's acclaimed IVF unit working with Professors Lord Winston and Alan Handyside. In the following years he worked as laboratory manager and clinic director in IVF clinics in Greece while consulting in several countries including Iceland, Nigeria, and the Balkan states. His research collaboration with St. Sophia' s Children's Hospital (Athens University) resulted in the first births in Greece following embryo-biopsy and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis. He has published in leading scientific journals on a variety of topics including pre-implantation genetic testing for Cystic Fibrosis and B-thalassaemia, Morpho-kinetics, and Quality Management. He is a certified HCPC clinical scientist in the UK and has been accredited with Senior Embryologist Status by ESHRE. More recently, Giles, has become a consultant for IVF clinics, Institute of Life, Athens and Nordica Fertility Centre in Lagos and product developer in a wide range of areas within the industry. He is the executive director for this non profit global educational project in Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART), the International IVF Initiative.


Dr. 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.


Gerardo Mendizabal received the B.E. degree in electronic engineering in 2003, the M. Sc. degree in computer science and industrial mathematics in 2007, and the Ph. D. in computer science from the University of Houston, U.S.A. in 2012. He is currently a research scientist at the University of Guadalajara, México. His current research interest include artificial intelligence, deep learning, big data, pattern recognition and computer vision. Moreover, he is the head of product development at IVF 2.0. where he is in charge of conceptualizing and designing AI based assistants that can enhance the decision-making during IVF procedures.


Since 2018, Founder and Scientific Director at IVF 2.0 UK LTD, a biotech company, committed to the advancement of reproductive medicine.

Founder and Chief Medical Officer at the New Hope Fertility Mexico since 2009

Appointed as Professor and Research Coordinator, Clinical Sciences Division, Health Sciences, Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico (2007)

Training in Reproductive Medicine at the Hewitt Centre for Reproductive Medicine, Liverpool Women’s Hospital (2005-2007)

Entered in the British General Medical Council (GMC) Registry in 2005

Received the Highly Skilled Specialist Sponsorship by The British Council (2004)

Training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Hospital Civil, Guadalajara. Appointed as Chief Resident in Obstetrics and Gynaecology twice in this period (2000-2004)

Graduated with Honours from Medical School at Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico (1998).


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