Speakers

We have invited experts within the field of ART from all over the U.S. and abroad to give exciting, educational lectures. 

 

Dr. Elizabeth Grill is Director of Psychological Services at the Ronald O. Perelman and Claudia Cohen Center for Reproductive Medicine and is Associate Professor of Psychology in the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Medicine, and Psychiatry at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. 

She is also an Assistant Attending Psychologist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.  Dr. Grill is experienced as a counseling psychologist and medical researcher with a special focus on the emotional aspects of infertility, IVF treatment, third party reproduction, oncofertility, fertility preservation, sexual dysfunction, and stress and infertility.

She served as Chair of the Mental Health Professional Group and served two terms on the Content Review Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.  

She is President Elect for the Society for Sex Therapy and Research and Secretary for RESOLVE, the National Infertility Association.  

 

Dr. Grill is an editorial reviewer for peer reviewed journals, the author of numerous articles and book chapters, has lectured worldwide to patient and medical audiences and has participated in media interviews related to the emotional aspects of reproductive medicine. She is also the co-founder and co-owner of FertiCalm and FertiStrong, self-help fertility support apps for men and women.

 

Melissa Brisman graduated Valedictorian from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, and graduated with honors from Harvard Law School. 

Melissa, is the owner of the surrogate mother agency, Reproductive Possibilities, and is considered to be a true pioneer in the field who advocates for changes in the law, in addition to doing lectures to physicians, potential parents, universities, and lawyers around the world.

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She has served as a professional member of Resolve, Path2Parenthood, ABA, ASRM and AAARTA. Melissa has also written many book chapters and authored numerous articles on the subjects of gestational carriers and reproductive law.

 

Awards

2017 Advocacy Award from P2P (Path to Parenthood)

2015 Infertility Hero Award and the 2004 Star of Resolve Award. 

2010 Assisted the Taiwanese government to draft surrogacy legislation
2006, Her law firm, Melissa B. Brisman, Esq., LLC was named as a finalist for the prestigious 2006 Forbes Enterprise Award.

Melissa joined government officials and other attorneys in lobbying for legislation in New Jersey in 2012 to promote and regulate compensated surrogacy. In May 2018 these efforts were realized when NJ Governor Phil Murphy signed the New Jersey Gestational Carrier Act.

 
 

As the founder and former CEO of Cryos International (1987-2017, Ole is a 1984 graduate in Marketing and Business Administration (HD) at Aarhus Business School. After Ole had a dream about freezing sperm in 1981 – he made a self-sperm study for several years which ultimately resulted in the founding of Cryos in 1987. Besides the entrepreneurial work building up the process for sperm storage, mainly for cancer patients, the donor corps was established in 1990.

The fundamental knowledge of sperm, the high quality, the high selection of donors, and the professional approach to services, marketing, logistic, and more made Cryos a success and a leader in the field. Today Cryos is an international organization with more than 100 people working helping to supply donor sperm and eggs from >1,300 donors to more than 100 countries having resulted in approx. 75,000 pregnancies and has made Cryos the largest sperm bank in the world, according to Guinness Book of World Records. The ethical, legal, genetic, and market issues related to sperm donation have been among Ole’s main interests, resulting in several international publications and presentations.

 

Tony Anderson is a multi-site laboratory director for Aspire Fertility as well as the founder of EmbryoDirector IVF Academy USA. Anderson started his career in the bovine laboratory in 1990 at Granada Biosciences and made it to the human laboratory in 1992 at IVF America in Livingston, New Jersey. In 1992 he moved to North Carolina to work at Presbyterian Hospital with Klaus Wiemer. In 2009 Tony took on the challenge of a new start up in San Antonio at RMATX. That facilty has grown to two IVF centers, and two satellite centers. Anderson has been an early adopter and pioneer in blastocyst embryo transfer, cryopreservation, and biopsies for genetic testing.

Anderson completed his undergraduate studies at Oklahoma State University in Animal Science, and Master's in Clinical Embryology studies at Leeds University under the direction of Professors Alan Handyside and Helen Picton. His studies focused on cryopreservation and non-invasive methods of predicting euploidy in early embryos. Anderson completed his doctoral studies at a Nova Southeastern University, a private university in South Florida. His doctoral studies focused on the comparison of cryopreservation methods for oocytes, as well as pre-implantation genetic screening (PGT) of embryos for optimized outcomes.

 
 

For over two decades, Dr. Stevenson has been a nurse, scholar and patient advocate for the promotion of infertility healthcare quality and access. She has worked to raise professional and public awareness about the hidden infertility epidemic and health inequities through research that has focused on the experience of men with severe male factor infertility, stress during infertility-conceived pregnancies, and fertility preservation.


Using a team science approach, Dr. Stevenson has disseminated her research nationally and internationally, and has published an international multidisciplinary infertility textbook. She regularly speaks as at medical and nursing conferences in the United States and abroad about contemporary infertility issues.

She serves on the executive board of the Nurse Professional Group within the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), and the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART). Currently Dr. Stevenson is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Health of Women, Children & Families Division at Duke University School of Nursing, Durham, North Carolina.

She completed her B.S. from Rutgers University School of Nursing (New Jersey), M.S. from Rutgers University Graduate School as a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, and Ph.D. from New York University College of Nursing.

 

Ashok Agarwal, Ph.D., HCLD, is the Director of the Andrology Center and the Director of Research at the American Center for Reproductive Medicine. He holds these positions at Cleveland Clinic, where he is a Professor at the Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University and, since 1993, Senior Staff in Urology, Ob-Gyn, Anatomic Pathology, and Immunology.​

Dr. Agarwal did his post-doctorate training from 1984-86 in Reproductive Biology under a fellowship from The Rockefeller Foundation at Harvard Medical School, Boston. He was an Instructor in Surgery and then an Assistant Professor of Urology at Harvard from 1988 to 1992. 


In 1993 Ashok was appointed by the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Ohio, as the Head of the Clinical Andrology Center, which over the years under his leadership, has become a center of excellence in the United States for the diagnosis of male infertility and fertility preservation of men with oncological conditions.​

Ashok’ team has published over 737 scientific papers and reviews in peer reviewed scientific journals. Ashok’s Hirsch index (h-index) as of December 2019 is 128 on Google Scholar, 97 on Scopus, while his citation count is 69,225 on Google Scholar. He is ranked in Scopus as the #1 author in the world in the fields of Male Infertility/Andrology and Human Assisted Reproduction, based on his number of peer reviewed publications, citation scores and h-index.

Ashok is the recipient of over 100 research grants. His current research interests are identifying biological markers of oxidative stress, DNA damage and apoptosis using proteomic research tools and bioinformatics analysis as well as preserving fertility in patients with cancer. Ashok is actively involved in laboratory and clinical studies assessing the efficacy of certain antioxidants in improving the male fertility.

Ashok was recently recognized by the American College of Embryology as the ”IVF Expert of the year for 2019” for significant contributions to human reproductive embryology.

 

Saghar Kasiri is a Healthcare professional with an Executive MBA with Distinction from Cass Business School, with a background in Clinical Embryology and Fetal Medicine, and a track record of combining medical and scientific knowledge with commercial expertise having managed departments both in the NHS and private sectors. She has received the Business Woman of the Year Award for providing an insight into the transformation of UK healthcare management.
 

Kasiri's background specialty is in Clinical Embryology and she has an MSc in Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis and Fetal Medicine, and over 23 years’ experience of working in the fertility field. She has advanced presentation skills obtained via high profile media appearances on TV, in magazines and through the internet. Kasiri has provided expert opinion as a fertility specialist on current topics at the BBC World Service and in a Channel 5 News program. She also presenting regularly on fertility issues for the past seven years (over 100 episodes), for a TV program screened by a London-based international satellite channel Manoto TV (www.manototv.com) which has been  viewed by over 20 million worldwide.

 

John Carroll’s research is (and always has been) focussed on uncovering the biology of the mammalian oocyte. After a PhD on oocyte and follicle cryopreservation, came the realisation that very little was known about the cell biology of the oocyte.

 

Since this time John has made contributions to understanding many aspects of oocyte including, cytoplasmic changes necessary for fertilization, control of the meiotic cell divisions, oocyte polarity, and the role and regulation of mitochondrial function. More recently his work has focussed on the reasons oocytes are so susceptible to ageing, resulting in increased rates of aneuploidy and failure to support early embryo development.

Currently, John is the Inaugural Director of the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute and Dean of Biomedical Sciences at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.

 

He obtained his PhD in 1991 from the University of Adelaide before moving to the MRC Experimental Embryology Unit in London to work with David Whittingham. John moved to University College London (UCL) in 1996 with an MRC Fellowship and as Lecturer in Physiology. In 2004 John was appointed Professor and Head of Department of Physiology, becoming Associate Dean and Director of the UCL Division of Biosciences in 2007.

 

In 2012, after over 20 years in the UK, John returned to Australia to join Monash University.

 

Corey Burke has worked in the reproductive industry for over 20 years. Working as an andrologist and embryologist he has helped thousands of couples achieve their dream of becoming parents. Over the years he has run embryology, research, and diagnostic laboratories.
 

In 2005 Burke was trained in the relatively new technology of vitrification of embryos and oocytes. This technology produced increased survival rates with embryos and for the first time allowed oocytes to be effectively and efficiently cryopreserved.

Over the next fourteen years he started several fertility preservation programs and worked as a training consultant for a large commercial donor egg bank. He has vitrified tens of thousands of oocytes resulting in hundreds of children.


Serving on the American Association of Bioanalyst Legislative Committee, two FDA workshop committees, and the scientific advisory board of a large biotechnology company, Burke is an industry thought leader.
 

 In 2014 he joined Cryos International as Tissue Bank Director and established Cryos International's first donor egg bank. As Tissue Bank Director, he is responsible for the safety and quality of donors and donor gametes as well as the scientific direction and quality assurance of Cryos International's egg banks around the world.

Dr Juliana Cuzzi is a human genetics specialist with more than a decade of successful experience in preimplantation genetic testing. Juliana’s PhD thesis resulted from a partnership between University of Sao Paulo - Brazil and University Autonoma de Barcelona -Spain and generated data for several arti cles published in high impact journals, including Fertility and Sterility and Human Reproduction.

Juliana has an extensive background in reproductive genetics, having held positions in Latin America as Lab Director, Senior Scientific Advisor and Business Development Director.  In September 2019, she moved to the United States from Brazil to continue her focus on preimplantation genetics as Medical Science Director for Igenomix US & Canada..

 

 
 

Céline Jacques received the Diploma in Signal Processing engineering from IMT Atlantique (ex-Telecom Bretagne) a famous French engineering school and a research master’s degree from the University of Rennes in 2015. Then she received the Ph. D. degree in computer science from Sorbonne University in 2019 for her work about the use of machine learning for the automatic transcription of drum in a music piece.

 

She recently joined Apricity as a Data Scientist in order to work on the use of machine learning to improve and understand assisted reproductive treatment. 

 

 

Anne-Bine Skytte is a specialist in clinical genetics, she obtained her medical degree from Aarhus University and her Ph.D. degree at the University of Southern Denmark.

 

She has been the Head of the outpatient clinic of genetic diseases at Aarhus University Hospital and associate professor at the department of Biomedicine and epidemiology at Aarhus University for several years. Her main clinical focus has been on reproductive genetics and hereditary cancer syndromes. 

Skytte enjoys teaching and supervising medical students and young doctors. She has co-authored more than 40 international peer-reviewed articles.

 

She is currently the Scientific Director at Cryos International focusing on getting a broader understanding of third party reproduction, and combining her research knowledge with the clinical experience, to continuously develop the company's  understanding of the scientific field of a broad range of fertility issues.

 

 

Dr. Ben Davies received his Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Edinburgh where he first encountered gene engineering techniques at the Centre for Genome Research.

 

After a postdoc at the Charité Hospital Berlin, he moved into commercial biotech, working as scientific director for a start-up company based at the University Hospital Hamburg - Eppendorf.

 

Davies is currently an associate professor at the University of Oxford where he runs the genome engineering research group at the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics.