The WFI embryology team are trained in the most advanced IVF techniques using state of the art equipment and constantly meet and exceed the highest standards of quality, safety and patient care as required by the HFEA.

The WFI Andrology team operate the only ISO15189 accredited diagnostic andrology service within an IVF setting in Wales and are justifiably proud of this achievement.

Many of WFIs scientists hold academic posts in Cardiff, Cardiff Metropolitan and Swansea Universities where they undertake research and teaching. The team publish regularly at national and international conferences on a wide variety of subjects. The WFI laboratories are recognised training facilities and members of the team also provide expert advice to regulators, assessment bodies and publishers.

 

Victoria Thomas (Tori) - Deputy Lab Manager - Neath Port Talbot

Tori started her career in Embryology in 2006 in London and trained and qualified in two of the busiest and most successful IVF clinics in the UK at IVF Hammersmith in London.  She moved to South Wales in 2013 and has been the Deputy Laboratory Manager at WFI Neath since it’s opening.  Tori is the training officer for the WFI Embryology team; she is involved locally and nationally with training clinical scientists across the UK and is passionate about inspiring reproductive scientists of the future.

She is embryo biopsy qualified (for pre implantation genetic testing), State Registered with the Health and Care Professionals Council and a Diplomate member of the Royal Collage of Pathologists.  She studied and completed her Masters in Professional Science while working at WFI and has close links with the research team in Swansea University where she is an Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer.  She has presented research at national and international conferences.

Tori describes being an Embryologist as the best job in the world and she amazed every day by the beauty of watching embryos develop.

 

Eleri Middleton - Embryolegydd Clinigol/Clinical Embryologist

Fe astudies i ym Mhrifysgol Sheffield, a graddio yn 2011 gyda Gradd Meistr ym Mioleg Moleciwlar y Gell a Geneteg. Fe weithiais i fel Technegydd Labordy, yn Labordy Diagnostic Moleciwlar Ysbyty Arthofaol Caerdydd cyn dechrau fel Ymarferwr Embryoleg yn Leicester Fertility Centre yn 2012. Dechreuais fel Embryolegydd o dan Hyfforddaint yn 2013 cyn ymgymhwyso fel Embryolegydd Clinigol yn 2016. Yn ystod fy hyfforddaint fe ddatblygais diddordeb arbenning yn y defnydd of Dechnoleg Cynorthwyedig Atgenhedlu ym maes cadwraeth anifeiliaid. Roeddwn i’n ffodus dros ben i allu gweithio a theithio gyda tîm rhyngwladol o’r Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research Berlin, sydd yn arloesi’r defnydd o IVF i achub y Rhino Gwyn Gogleddol rhag ddifodiant.

 

Fe ymunais a WFI yn 2017 ar ôl penderfynnu symud yn ôl i Gymru, ac fel siaradwr rhugl yn y Gymraeg dwi’n mwynhau gallu defnyddio fy iaith gyntaf yn y gwaith bob dydd. Mae Embryoleg i fi yn gyfuniad perffaith o wyddoniaeth ymarferol a gofal cleifion, a dwi’n teimlo braint i weithio fel Embryolegydd Clinigol sy’n edrych ar ôl gametau ac embryonau gwerthfawr ein cleifion.

 

I completed my undergraduate studies at The University of Sheffield, and graduated with a Masters in Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in 2011. I worked as a Laboratory Technologist in the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory in The University Hospital of Wales before gaining a role as an Embryology Practitioner in Leicester Fertility Centre in 2012. I became a Trainee Embryologist in 2013 and qualified as a Clinical Embryologist in 2016. During my training I took a special interest in the use of Assisted Reproductive Technologies in animal conservation. I was extremely fortunate to work and travel with an international team based at The Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research Berlin, who are pioneering the use of IVF to save the Northern White Rhino from extinction.

I joined WFI in 2017 after deciding to move back to Wales, and as a fluent Welsh speaker I have enjoyed having the opportunity to use my first language day to day in the work place. Embryology is for me, a perfect combination of scientific practice and patient care, and I feel extremely privileged to work as a Clinical Embryologist looking after patient’s precious gametes and embryos.

 

Felicity Heath - Embryologist

I have enjoyed working as a member of the WFI team for several years. I originally qualified in chemistry and biochemistry and went onto research in drug delivery for DNA therapeutics as a postgraduate. I was inspired to work in a field where science was harnessed to improve peoples’ lives and joined WFI as an embryology practitioner. After having the opportunity to take up the embryology training program, I achieved a Post Graduate Certificate in Embryology in 2017. I have since continued to gain further experience in the field and feel privileged to work with a dedicated team striving to provide the best treatment possible to the patients we serve.

 

Sarah Evans - Embryologist

My career in embryology started during my undergraduate studies.  As part of my degree, I completed a sandwich year at the Centre for Reproductive Medicine (CRM) Coventry working as a trainee Andrologist. It was an incredible experience, allowing me to use my scientific knowledge alongside providing patient care and left me in no doubt that embryology was the career I wanted to follow. I graduated in 2010 from the University of Warwick, with a Bachelor’s degree in Molecular Genetics and returning to CRM Coventry.  In 2011, I moved to South Wales working as an embryology practitioner before taking the opportunity to embark on my embryology training and I was awarded the Certificate in Clinical Embryology in 2016.  Having been a member of the team at the Wales Fertility Institute since it opened, I have enjoyed being a part of the development of the service alongside developing my career and look forward to what we can continue to achieve for our patients.  

 

Lauren Powis - Trainee Embryologist

After completing a period of work experience at the Wales Fertility Institute back in 2014 I have always been passionate about Embryology as it gives a perfect mix of laboratory work alongside patient interaction.  I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Genetics at Swansea University in 2018 and then went on to become a Reproductive Technologist in Andrology at the Wales Fertility Institute.  I worked within Andrology for 2 years developing my skills and knowledge of the specialty before being successful in gaining a place on the Scientist Training Programme in Embryology.  This includes a master’s degree in clinical science alongside clinical training and completion of a portfolio. I love my role as a Trainee Embryologist and am excited by the skills and techniques that I am learning every day.  I feel truly privileged to be able to help our patients on their fertility journey.

 

Sophie Davies  - Trainee Embryologist

I am a trainee Clinical Embryologist at Wales Fertility Institute, and have an undergraduate degree in Biomedical Science from Cardiff University and a Masters in Reproduction and Development from University of Bristol. Before joining the team in 2019, I worked in a research laboratory dedicated to improving assisted conception techniques from a clinical point of view. I have continued my research alongside clinical work within WFI focussing on ways to improve semen quality with minimal lifestyle changes. I am looking forward to gaining more experience and expanding my skills further so that I can make a positive impact on our patients at the clinic, and the field of assisted conception as a whole.

 

David Sanders - Andrology Laboratory Manager

David is the Andrology Laboratory Manager for Wales Fertility Institute, Cardiff has worked within the service since 2012. His job includes ensuring there is an effective diagnostic and post-vasectomy semen analysis service for GP’s and hospitals, as well as providing sperm cryopreservation. Originally trained as a Biomedical Scientist in Microbiology, he has 25 years of experience of providing semen analysis in a DGH setting in addition to my experience of working within a specialist fertility unit. Recently he has become a Clinical Scientist via the equivalence route.

He is currently Deputy Chair of the Association of Reproductive and Clinical Scientists (ARCS) and Chairs their Andrology SIG.

Within his role David works with a diverse group of patients including those who are storing for treatment, oncology patients, including teenagers, and transgender patients. As part of this, he is involved with our local Haematology/Oncology group. This group is made up of doctors, nurses and scientific staff, to look at referral pathways and other options to streamline the fertility preservation process for male and female oncology patients.

In addition, he is an andrology technical assessor for UKAS, assessing to ISO 15189 and ISO 17043 and the Andrology representative to the Technical Advisory Committee for UKAS. He is also Honorary Senior Lecture for Cardiff Metropolitan University, providing reproductive science lectures for the PTP Biomedical Science degree course.

David is the All Wales Andrology lead supporting the current LIMS will be supporting the procurement of the next generation LIMS system for Wales.

 

Peter Ashley - Andrologist Cardiff

I am a state registered Biomedical Scientist. I qualified with an Applied Biology honours degree at Liverpool, and a Master’s degree from Cardiff. I joined the fertility clinic in 1998 as an andrologist – analyzing the male side of infertility. Prior to this I had worked in the Diabetes Research Unit and Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at UHW, in research roles. I have always enjoyed the patient contact aspect of my role, meeting patients for their semen analysis appointments. More recently I have been involved with the sperm freezing service we provide, for oncology and other patients needing fertility back-up prior to their treatment. I have seen many changes to our service over the last 20 years, as we constantly look to improve the outcome for our patients. I feel honoured and fortunate to be involved in such a rewarding, important and unique part of the health service.       

 

Danielle Allen - Trainee Clinical Andrologist

I am a Trainee Clinical Andrologist at Wales fertility Institute in Cardiff. I completed a BSc in Biomedical science in 2016 and began my career as an Associate Practitioner in Histopathology and Andrology at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. After 2 and a half years in this role, I was successful in gaining a place on the Scientist Training Programme in Andrology and joined the team here at WFI. As a Trainee Clinical Scientist, my role is not only to carry out diagnostic semen analysis, post-vasectomy analysis, and cryopreservation but, to bridge the gap between the laboratory and clinical elements of patient's journeys when visiting the clinic. Although I thoroughly enjoy the practical laboratory elements of my role, the direct patient contact provides me with the opportunity to see how my work impact's the lives of patients, making the role even more rewarding. Once I have completed the Scientist Training Programme, I hope to continue working alongside groups of highly skilled individuals such as those here at WFI, whose aim is to help patients overcome infertility whilst providing outstanding patient care.