Our speakers

    Our one-day conference will be presented by 13 leading expects from the industry. On this page you can learn more about this years speakers. More speakers will follow soon, so stay tuned!


    Gary Harton at The Cryos Symposium

    GARY HARTON 

    Dr. Harton received his Bachelor of Science degree from James Madison University and his Ph.D. at the University of Kent, Canterbury, UK. His thesis title was "Facilitating the widespread use of preimplantation genetic diagnosis and screening through best practice and novel technology development".  

    After 20+ years serving in various roles, including both clinical laboratory and management positions, he began his commercial career performing Business Development and Market Development roles with two prominent genetics companies, a fertility start up and a large reference genetics laboratory. Gary has been involved in a number of exciting breakthroughs in the field of reproductive genetics including performing the first clinical preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) for an autosomal dominant disease (Marfan syndrome) and performing the first clinical PGD for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).  In addition, Dr. Harton was involved in the team that pioneered non-disclosing Huntington disease PGD where a patient at risk for HD could ensure that their children were free from the mutation without discovering their own HD status.  He was also involved in the team that discovered and patented Karyomapping, a revolutionary new technology allowing practically any genetic defect to be diagnosed in embryos using one single array-based test.  

    Dr. Harton is certified by the American Board of Bioanalysis (ABB) as a Technical Supervisor, in Molecular Diagnostics and is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) as well as the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), and Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis International Society. Dr. Harton is currently a member of the board of directors for PGD-IS, and a member of the Special Advisory Group for UK-NEQAS which performs external quality assessment schemes for preimplantation genetics.  He has also served as Chair of the Steering Committee for the ESHRE PGD Consortium and has been an author on numerous peer reviewed scientific articles, abstracts and book chapters as well.  Dr. Harton holds teaching positions at the Eastern VA Medical School (Norfolk, VA), the University of Kent (Canterbury, UK) and Bryant University (Smithfield, RI).


    SHEELA ALI at The Cryos Symposium

    SHEELA ALI

    Dr. Ali has been a part of human IVF since 2008. Since then she completed her master's degree in Clinical Embryology and Andrology at the Jones Institute of Eastern Virginia Medical School in 2013 and her PhD in Developmental Biology from the University of North Texas in 2018. During her graduate studies, her research focus was on E-Cadherin and its role in trophectoderm grafts from sibling embryos as well as the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and predictive modeling to aid in identification of critical values in IVF treatments. AI application in IVF would allow for efficient real-time aid in the clinical decisions process for factors such as maximum allowable gonadotropin doses to optimize outcome. She is certified as a High Complexity Laboratory Director, Clinical Consultant and a Technical Supervisor by the American Board of Bioanalysts. She has served as a panelist for NASA's space biology research program as well as worked with the United Nations as an expert reviewer for proposals submitted related to the PCR testing platforms for SARS-CoV-2. She is currently the Vice President of Science and Innovation at Progenesis and serves as the Laboratory Director for IVF laboratories in Frisco, TX and San Francisco, CA. She has serves as a scientific advisory board and committee member for College of Reproductive Biology (CRB), SRBT, ASRM and EmbryVu genetics laboratory.She enjoys traveling and discovering different cultures as the time allows. 


    Melissa Brisman at The Cryos Symposium

    MELISSA BRISMAN

    As an attorney, Melissa Brisman first started helping couples become parents of babies in 1996. She was her own first client, guiding and directing the process in which she and her husband became parents of twin boys, and later a daughter, all carried by a gestational carrier. Attorney Brisman has been instrumental in creating the law in many states regarding naming genetic parents on the original birth certificates of their children delivered via surrogacy. Her expansive knowledge and experience has allowed her to create an agency staff that is prepared to successfully help parents build their family. Melissa is considered a true pioneer in this field who advocates for changes in the law in this area and lectures to physicians, potential parents, universities, and lawyers around the world.


    TRYSTAN REESE 

    Trystan Reese is a transgender writer and fertility activist who calls Portland home. After spending two decades on the frontlines of this generation’s biggest fights for LGBTQ justice, his trans pregnancy journey launched him onto the global stage, where he put his narrative messaging skills to good use. During his pregnancy, Trystan partnered with major media outlets, including CNN, NBC, People, and Buzzfeed, to bring his message of love and resilience to the mainstream. His award-winning first book, How We Do Family, was released in the summer of 2021. His children’s book, The Light of You, was released in September of 2022. He partners with fertility clinics across the globe to increase their ability to support, understand, and welcome LGBTQ and other diverse patients into their work.


    Emma Grønbæk at The Cryos Symposium

    EMMA GRØNBÆK 

    Emma Grønbæk is donor conceived. She was born in Denmark in 1996 after her parents had gone gone through 6 years of fertility treatment. Her two younger sisters are twins and were conceived with the use of ICSI without a donor. Emma has always known about the help her parents received to have her and want to communicate the importance of early disclosure. Emma is very open about her conception story and share it publicly to support people in similar situations. Her story is positive and full of love and today she share it on her blog, her Instagram @donorchild and in her work at Cryos.