Our speakers

    Our one-day conference will be presented by 12 leading expects from the industry. On this page you can learn more about this years speakers. More speakers will follow soon, so stay tuned!



      Jonathan Shoag, MD is a urologist at University Hospitals and an associate professor of urology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He is also a member of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Centerand an adjunct clinical professor of urology at Weill Cornell Medicine. Dr. Shoag specializes in the care of patients with prostate, bladder, kidney and testicular cancer. 
      Dr. Shoag is the recipient of a Damon Runyon Physician-Scientist Training Award, an American Urological Association Research Scholar Award, a Vinney Scholars Award and an NIH R21 grant. He is a co-investigator on a national PCORI grant and the Cleveland African American Prostate Cancer Project. His work thus far has yielded first author publication in journals including The New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA Oncology, JCI and JCO. His current work is focused on using large data to better diagnose, treat and understand the biology of prostate cancer. 
      Dr. Shoag was born and raised in the greater Cleveland area. He earned his undergraduate degree in biology at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He then went on to Harvard Medical School, where he was in the Harvard–MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST) program and graduated magna cum laude. He completed his general surgery internship, urology residency and urologic oncology fellowship at New York Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell during which time he earned his master's degree and served as an Instructor in urology. 

      Gary Harton at The Cryos Symposium


      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).

      BILL Vernier


      Bill Vernier have over 30 years’ experience in human embryology, andrology, and state-of-the-art IVF lab techniques. He holds a M.Sc. in Human Reproductive Biology from Imperial College, University of London and is certified by the American Board of Bioanalysis as an Embryology Laboratory Director, ELD (ABB). Trained in the U.S., U.K., and Australia with some of the most well-respected people in our field. Currently (since 2000), he is IVF Laboratory Director for San Diego Fertility Center performing approximately 3000+ cycles per year. He is also the co-founder of World Embryology Skills and Training (WEST). He has been a member of ASRM/SART since 1991. Other professional organizations include SCARB (Founder), SRBT, ABB.

      SHEELA ALI at The Cryos Symposium


      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 served 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. 



      Mr., 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 Mr. Burke was trained in the relatively new technology of vitrification of embryos and oocytes. This technology produced increase 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. Mr. Burke has vitrified tens of thousands of oocytes resulting in thousands of children. Mr. Burke has published several papers in peer reviewed journals and presented at numerous scientific meetings. Most recently he has been at the forfront of research involving SARS-CoV-2 and reproduction. He has served on the American Association of Bioanalyst Legislative Committee, two FDA workshop committees, and the scientific advisory board of a large biotechnology company, Mr. Burke is an industry thought
      leader. In 2014 Mr. Burke joined Cryos International as Tissue Bank Director and established Cryos Internationals first donor egg bank. As Tissue Bank Director, Mr. Burke is responsible for the safety and quality of donors and donor products as well as the scientific direction and quality assurance of Cryos egg banks around the world.



      Craig R. Sweet, M.D., a Reproductive Endocrinologist, is board certified in Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility and Obstetrics & Gynecology. He is the Medical Director for Specialists in Reproductive Medicine & Surgery, P.A. (SRMS), and Embryo Donation International, P.L. (EDI). Dr. Sweet has been in private practice in Fort Myers, Florida, for over 31 years, performing embryo donation for 21 years. 
       Dr. Sweet’s current research areas include embryo donation, embryo abandonment, final cryopreserved embryo disposition decisions, and reproductive ethics. 
       Originally from Milwaukee, Dr. Sweet earned his Bachelor of Arts in psychology & biology from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He graduated with honors (Alpha Omega Alpha) from medical school at Southern Illinois University (S.I.U.) School of Medicine, where he also completed a residency in Obstetrics & Gynecology. Dr. Sweet received further training in Reproductive Endocrinology, Infertility, and Genetics at the Medical College of Georgia. 
       Dr. Sweet served in the Florida Medical Association’s Committee on Ethical & Judicial Affairs. He currently serves on both the Adult and Child Subcommittees of the Lee Memorial Health Systems (LMHS) HealthPark Ethics Consultation Groups. He is also an Approved Expert Witness for the Expert Witness Committee for the Florida Board of Medicine. 
       Dr. Sweet is the Chairman of the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (SREI) Internet Technology Committee, creating its first physician-members-only online forum for Reproductive Endocrinologists. He has served on the SREI Board of Directors for the past five years. He also moderates LinkedIn’s Embryo Donation Network of nearly 900 professionals worldwide. 

      Melissa Brisman at The Cryos Symposium


      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 at The Cryos Symposium


      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.



      Allan is Professor of Andrology in the Department of Oncology and Metabolism at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom. His research interests include aspects of male fertility and has published over 200 research papers, book chapters and review articles on the topic. He is a former Secretary (2005-2010) and Chairman (2012-2015) of the British Fertility Society as well as the Editor in Chief of the BFS journal Human Fertility from 2015-2021. In addition, Allan is an accomplished science communicator and broadcaster. Recent TV programmes include Me, My Brother and our Balls (2020), Alex Jones – Fertility and Me (2016), Britain’s Secret Code Breaker (2011), Donor Unknown (2011), The Great Sperm Race (2009), The Truth About Food (2007), Make me a Baby (2007) and Lab Rats (2004). In 2016 he was awarded an MBE by the Queen for services to Reproductive Medicine. You can follow his general musings about science, fertility and the life of an academic on Twitter and Instagram @allanpacey. 



      Ted Tollner received his doctorate from UC Davis in Molecular, Cellular and Integrated Physiology with an emphasis in Reproductive Biology. He has been a researcher in the field of sperm biology, sperm cryobiology, and primate fertilization at UC Davis for over 30 years. He has published in Nature, Science, Human Reproduction, Biology of Reproduction, Fertility and Sterility, among other peer-reviewed biomedical journals.  Dr. Tollner served as chair of the biology department at William Jessup University, as laboratory director for California IVF Fertility Center and California Center for Reproductive Medicine, and as a technical adviser to numerous companies and organizations.  He is co-founder and head of research and development of Reprovantage Laboratories, which specializes in developing new technologies and services for male fertility preservation.  



      President and owner of Unilab, a laboratory that was established in 1988 as a specialized reproductive lab that is also FDA registered to perform donor testing for their clients.
      Unilab is a reference laboratory that has specialized in reproductive and endocrine diagnostic testing since 1988. The rich history and experience of Unilab begins with the founder, Dr. Julio M. Cortes, Sr. Dr. Cortes had over 40 years’ experience in reproductive and endocrine testing dating back to his time at the Worchester Foundation, where, he and his wife, were offered to participate in a clinical trial for the first fertility drug called Pergonal. Julio Cortes Jr. was one of the first babies born using this new fertility drug. This inspired Dr. Cortes to pursue the science of testing for reproductive hormones. He established Unilab
      in 1988, began testing for reproductive hormones and later, in 2005, Unilab began to offer FDA donor testing to its clients.
      With Julio Cortes Jr. at the helm, Unilab has been testing reproductive donors for IVF doctors and clinics across Florida for over 22 years. Over the years, Unilab has experienced many changes in the donor testing landscape.
      Julio Cortes Jr. will share his experiences over the years in the FDA donor testing laboratory and will give his professional insight to the testing process.

      Emma Grønbæk at The Cryos Symposium


      Emma Grønbæk is donor conceived. She was born in Denmark in 1996 after her parents had 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 shares it publicly to support people in similar situations. Her story is positive and full of love and today she shares it on her blog, her Instagram @donorchild and in her work at Cryos.