News & Blog

Transatlantic networking for embryology specialist

Transatlantic networking for embryology specialist

A senior embryologist from Bristol Centre for Reproductive Medicine (BCRM) is back in the UK after a visit to Canada funded by prize money she was awarded for an outstanding conference presentation delivered before Covid.

Jen Nisbett, whose award-winning paper focused on how implanting frozen embryos in patients is more likely to result in a viable pregnancy than using fresh embryos in certain circumstances, used the award money to enable her to visit Mount Sinai Fertility Clinic in Toronto.

Jen Nisbett said: “The visit was a long time coming, but very much worth the wait. It was fascinating to exchange ideas and findings with the Toronto team, and very interesting to learn about some of the different approaches we each adopt.

“They are a teaching facility for the University of Toronto and a centre of excellence for teaching and research. I spent a lot of my visit at the University where training the next generation of embryologists was one of our main talking points.

“I know both sides found our comparisons instructive and thought-provoking, which is exactly what I had been hoping for.”

Jen has worked at BCRM since 2009, carrying out IVF, making observations and keeping records of how embryos develop. She remains a senior embryologist, but her new role gives her dedicated responsibility for monitoring and reporting on key performance indicators at the clinic.

She said: “It means I’ve got my finger on the pulse regarding what is succeeding in fertility treatment and the number of embryos that develop, and I’ll be feeding those statistics and other data to the management team to ensure continuous quality improvement.

“My work will enable us to keep abreast of the trends and to ensure our pregnancy rates are as good as they can be.”

Jen is one of two BCRM embryologists who have recently been promoted to new roles at the clinic.

Fellow Senior Embryologist Bonnie Dickinson, who joined in 2014, has also taken on a new dedicated role, leading BCRM’s education and training in the laboratory.

Bonnie Dickinson said: “The whole team delivers training, but my new role will ensure we are delivering high quality training for our trainees and providing them with research opportunities, which will benefit our knowledge and help improve our patients’ care.

“At a National level, I am involved in assessing trainees as part of their final assessments to become fully qualified Embryologists. It is wonderful to be involved in expanding the Embryology workforce in the UK.

“I’m also now responsible for establishing links with other departments, to further progress our service, whilst strengthening relationships with professionals such as genomics counsellors to whom we may refer our patients.”

BCRM is involved in innovative research covering a range of fertility issues and has one of the best success rates with IVF and other fertility treatments in the UK.