Industry Leaders Join to Form OvaTools Training Institute

The Ovatools Andrology & Embryology Training Institute now offers training modules designed to enhance critical laboratory skills in a highly focused and supervised learning environment.

Current trends indicate that many laboratory directors and embryologists are retiring in the next decade, adding to a rising number of U.S laboratories that are already consistently short staffed. Additionally, many new U.S. Assisted Reproductive Technology laboratory staff members are college graduates with little to no scientific or clinical medicine experience. This lack of technical experience and skills translates to on-the-job training that is both expensive for employers and detracts from overall patient care.

Recognizing this industry concern they developed the Ovatools Andrology & Embryology Training Institute to meet the growing needs of IVF laboratories across the country. “Our goal is to provide Andrology & Embryology training to existing and aspiring laboratorians, with the goal of closing the skills gap in a growing area of need for the ART community,” explained Dr. Kathleen A. Miller D.H.Sc., Vice President of The Ovatools Training Institute. “The Ovatools Andrology & Embryology Training Institute will complement academic and theoretical knowledge with the best technical, hands-on training available today through concise, one-week training modules.”

Meet Our team

Dr. Kathleen Miller,  D.H.Sc

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Team leader specializing in assisted reproduction technologies. The author of more than 100 abstracts and papers on fertility and assisted reproduction technologies, Dr. Miller is well known for research advances in the field of blastocyst culture, and pre-implantation genetics as well as a leading expert in laboratory management, quality improvement programs, and single embryo transfer.

Her state-of-the-art designed laboratories at Billings Clinic, University of Alabama, Advanced Reproductive Medicine and Gynecology’s Fertility Institute of Hawaii, Aurora Reproductive Care in Saskatoon, Coastal Fertility Center in Charleston, SC, UNC Fertility Center in Chapel Hill, NC, SpringCreek Fertility in Dayton, Ohio and Family Fertility Center at Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston continue to deliver exceptional pregnancy rates and cutting edge technologies.

Dr. Miller is actively involved in research projects relating to many areas of assisted reproduction. As Scientific and research director at IVF Florida, she is actively involved in research projects at the University of Miami, Florida International University and Florida Atlantic University. At IVF Florida, she continues to work on time-lapse technology to select embryos that have the best chance of developing into a successful pregnancy and birth.

Gary D. Smith, Ph.D., H.C.L.D. (ABB)  

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Professor in the Departments of Ob/Gyn, Physiology, and Urology at the University of Michigan. He is Director of MStem Cell Laboratories and oversees the United States leading Disease-Specific Human Embryonic Stem Cell production program aimed at understanding how congenital birth defects develop, progress, and discovery of novel ways to treat or cure diseases such as Adrenoleukodystrophy, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Huntington’s disease, and Spinal muscular atrophy. He is also the Co-Director of the Reproductive Sciences Program at the University of Michigan. Prior to joining the University of Michigan Dr. Smith was on faculty at The University of Chicago.

Since 1995, Dr. Smith has been Scientific/Laboratory Director of Andrology, and/or Embryology at University of Chicago, University of Michigan, Huntington Centers for Reproductive Medicine of Brazil, Reproductive Gynecologist Inc. of Ohio, and Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine. In 2002, Dr. Smith co-founded one of the Nation’s first Fertility Preservation Program integrated within the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center to provide seamless reproductive care for male and female cancer patients and survivors. His pioneering works on oocyte maturation / vitrification, semen cryopreservation, embryo culture, and non-invasive embryo analysis and selection have been supported by the National Institutes of Health, United States Department of Agriculture, Lance Armstrong Foundation, and Coulter Foundation.

Dr. Smith has published over 80 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 20 book chapters. He is Board Certified as a High Complexity Laboratory Director (AAB) in both Andrology and Embryology. Dr. Smith is very active in Assisted Reproductive Technology education, surveillance, and information dissemination through committee service on the Infertility National Action Plan Committee. Division of Reproductive Health (DRH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services, USA and the Michigan Infertility Advisory Committee.