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.
Rebecca King - - Embryologist
I decided embryology was the career I hoped to go into after shadowing my aunt, who worked at Oxford Fertility Unit, when I was in my first year at University. I returned to work as a receptionist the following Easter and summer. I achieved a First Class BSc in Human Biology at Loughborough University in 2012. Afterwards, I completed my Masters in Assisted Reproduction Technology at the University of Nottingham. In 2013, I began the STP Embryology Training Programme at WFI. I was delighted to begin my embryology career in Wales. After three years I became a State Registered Scientist and achieved a Masters in Reproductive Science. I’ve now been qualified nearly five years and now help with the training of current STPs. For the last few years I’ve been researching how embryos thaw and I was lucky enough to present some of our stats at the Fertility Conference at the start of 2020.
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.
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.