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The Advisory Board

Mr. Giles Palmer

Executive Director,

International IVF Initiative

Giles Palmer is a clinical embryologist, skilled in laboratory, business and quality management with over 30 years of experience. After graduating in Genetics at Leeds University, UK he worked as a research 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 preimplantation 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, AI, IoT, laboratory 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 The International IVF Initiative, a non-profit global educational project for the Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) community and Director of Global communications for IVF2.0, a UK based Artificial Intelligence company specialising in IVF processes. He is also part of the task force created by ESHRE to examine and accredited clinics that provide Clinical embryology training.
 

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Dr. Sofia Gameiro

Reader,

Cardiff University

Sofia Gameiro is a health psychologist working in the field of infertility for over 15 years. Her work has focused on supporting fertility patients through the treatment challenges they face and also in adjusting when treatment does not result in children.

She is particularly interested in the cognitive and motivational aspects that drive patients through multiple cycles of treatment and how we can ensure their resilience in following through with valued-based treatment plans.

She has chaired the only evidence-based guidelines for psychosocial care for infertility and MAR (sponsored by ESHRE), chaired the ESHRE SIG-Psychology group, acted as associated editor for Human Reproduction and Fertility & Sterility, provided consultancy to patient charities, industry and governmental bodies, co-produced evidence-bases resources for fertility patients and staff, and delivered multiple talks in scientific and educational initiates all over the world.

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Dr. Alejandro Chávez-Badiola

Founder and CPO,

Conceivable Life Sciences

Alejandro Chávez-Badiola is an accomplished physician-scientist at the intersection of reproductive medicine and technology. After graduating with honours from the University of Guadalajara Medical School (1999), he completed his Obstetrics and Gynaecology residency training in Mexico (2004). That year, he obtained a prestigious Highly Skilled Specialist Sponsorship from The British Council. He entered the British General Medical Council Registry in 2005 to pursue training at the Hewitt Centre for Reproductive Medicine in Liverpool (2005-2007). A PhD candidate (Genetics, University of Kent), Dr Alejandro held a professorship in Gynaecology at his Mexican alma mater, where he was also Research Coordinator for Clinical Sciences, bridging his twin passions for hands-on medical practice and pioneering scientific investigation.

This dedication to advancing patient care through technology has led Dr Alejandro to establish New Hope Fertility Mexico, two premiere IVF clinics, and co-found IVF 2.0, an AI startup optimising IVF outcomes. In 2022, he co-founded and serves as Chief Product Officer of Conceivable Life Sciences, a reproductive technology startup leveraging automation to democratise access to IVF. Throughout his prolific career, Alejandro has distinguished himself as an internationally recognised leader at the forefront of applying cutting-edge technologies to push scientific boundaries in reproductive medicine worldwide.

Research interests/Technical expertise: 

Automation, embryology, reproductive medicine, infertility

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Prof. Darren Karl Griffin

Professor of Genetics,

University of Kent

Professor Darren Griffin received his BSc and DSc degrees from the University of Manchester and his PhD from University College London. After postdoctoral stints at Case Western Reserve University and the University of Cambridge he landed his first academic post at Brunel University, before settling at the University of Kent, nearly 20 years ago.

 

He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists, the Royal Society of Biology and the Royal Society of Arts and is President of the International Chromosome and Genome Society. A world leader in cytogenetics, he performed the first successful cytogenetic PGT and played a significant role in the development of Karyomapping, an approach he now applies to cattle and pigs. He has co-authored ~400 scientific publications, mainly on the cytogenetics of reproduction and evolution, recently providing insight into the karyotypes of dinosaurs.

 

He is a prolific science communicator, a part time TV presenter and an enthusiastic proponent of interdisciplinary research endeavour. He has supervised over 40 PhD students to completion and his work appears consistently in the media. He runs a vibrant research group including a programme of externally supervised students and maintains commercial interests relating to the outcomes of research findings.

Research interests/Technical expertise: 

Cytogenetics, Preimplantation embryo development, Reproduction, IVF

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Prof. Eamonn Gaffney

Professor of Applied Mathematics,

University of Oxford

I studied mathematics at The University of Cambridge, UK, culminating in a PhD in Theoretical High Energy Physics. I subsequently pursued a Wellcome Trust Post-Doctoral Training Fellowship at the Wolfson Centre for Mathematical Biology Oxford, working on applications of mathematics to the life sciences.

 

This was followed by a faculty position at The School of Mathematics, University of Birmingham, UK, where my interests in sperm mechanics and dynamics initiated.

 

I returned the University of Oxford and the Wolfson Centre for Mathematical Biology in 2006 and I have active research programmes applying mathematics across a number of areas of the life sciences, with a particular interest in all aspects of the sperm flagellum beat.

Research interests/Technical expertise: 

Sperm Mechanics and Dynamics, Mechanism based modelling in the life sciences

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Prof. Karl Swann

Chair of Reproductive Cell Biology,

Cardiff University

Karl Swann completed his BSc Degree and the PhD in the Physiology Department at UCL studying fertilization in sea urchin eggs. After postdocs in Japan and St George’s Hospital Medical School studying fertilization in hamsters and mice, he was appointed as a lecturer in the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology at UCL in 1994. In 2004 he moved to Cardiff University as the Chair of Reproductive Cell Biology. He is now based in the School of Biosciences.

 

In the 1990s Karl Swann first described the existence of a soluble sperm protein that could trigger Ca2+ oscillations in mammalian eggs. He pioneered the theory that the sperm activates the egg by introducing a soluble sperm protein after gamete fusion. This mechanism of egg activation is now widely recognized as the way the sperm causes egg activation and initiates development.

 

His lab first showed that the principal mammalian sperm factor is a phospholipase C (PLC). Then in collaboration with Tony Lai in Cardiff University he helped demonstrate that the factor is a PLCzeta. He continues to work on egg activation and aspects of mitochondrial metabolism in mammalian eggs.

Research interests/Technical expertise: 

Oocyte activation / intracellular Ca2+ / mitochondria / Imaging microscopy / PLCzeta

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