The ART Scientists Group was formed on September 28, 2002 at the CFAS meeting in Quebec, and an interim committee (Sharon Mortimer, Rod Bycroft and Marie-Claude Léveillé) was appointed to investigate whether the Group would become a CFAS Special Interest Group. At its next meeting on November 8, 2003, the Group voted unanimously to form a SIG. The aim of the ART Lab SIG is to foster consistent improvement in assisted conception outcomes in Canada by promoting the ongoing education of all ART laboratory scientists, and by encouraging practical cooperation between ART Laboratories. Membership Benefits Joining the ART Lab SIG gives you the opportunity to:

  • influence the direction of your profession in Canada
  • network with other ART lab scientists from across Canada
  • stay up to date with issues and events that affect ART lab scientists across Canada and the world

How to Join
You need to be a member of the CFAS in good standing, and be interested or involved in the delivery or direction of ART Lab services. If you would like more information, please contact:

Alexander Lagunov, BSc(H), MSc
Chair ART Lab SIG 2016 – 2019

ART Lab Special Interest Group – Executive Team

Alexander Lagunov, MSc - Chair


Having an early involvement in the ART Lab certification processes in Canada, Alexander is dedicated to furthering his support and expertise in this process towards completion.  He is also aiming to establish other key standardized laboratory directives/guidelines in the realm of Quality Management and Quality Improvement sectors of the lab, governed by the ART Lab SIG.

Currently employed as Laboratory Director of CCRM Toronto/Hannam Fertility, his professional experiences will be of considerable value to the SIG, amongst which include several start-up operations of ART laboratories, in addition to ongoing cutting edge research in the field of Clinical Andrology and Embryology.

Alexander is truly passionate about the future growth and development of our profession in Canada.

Navid Esfandiari, PhD - Vice Chair


Dr. Navid Esfandiari is Director of Embryology and Andrology Laboratories at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC), and an Associate Professor of Ob-Gyn and Pathology at Geisel School of Medicine in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

Navid received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from University of Tehran and completed his residency and PhD in Reproductive Immunology in Medical Sciences University of Tehran in 1994. Subsequently he completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship at the Departments of Urology and Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, in Cleveland, Ohio.

Prior to joining DHMC, Navid was the Director of Embryology, Andrology and Immunoassay Clinical and Research Laboratories at Toronto Centre for Advanced Reproductive Technology (TCART) for 12 years (2002-2014).

Dr. Esfandiari has been a faculty member since 1994 and has lectured and taught Reproductive Immunology, Embryology, and Assisted Reproductive Technology to graduate students, residents, and fellows. He takes great pride in his embryology team members, many of whom are currently well-known ART Laboratory Directors. The REI fellows associated with him are successful fertility practitioners all around the world.

Navid was an executive ART SIG board member at CFAS from 2003-2006. He is certified as ART Laboratory Director, by the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (CFAS). In addition, he is a member of the American, Canadian, and European Societies for Reproductive Medicine and is board certified through the American Association of Bioanalysis as a High Complexity Laboratory Director (HCLD) as well as an Embryology Laboratory Director (ELD).

Dr. Esfandiari has an extensive research background with more than 100 publications in the field of human reproduction and fertility. He is an editorial board member of several top ranked medical journals including Fertility and Sterility and Journal of assisted reproduction and genetics (JARG).

Jason Au, MSc - Secretary/Treasurer


Jason is the Laboratory Supervisor at PCRM-Burnaby, where he has worked since 2008. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Chemistry from the University of British Colombia in 2005 and more recently his Masters in Clinical Embryology from the University of Leeds, in 2014.

Jason has a special interest in embryo morphokinetics and in preimplantation genetic diagnosis. He is an enthusiastic and energetic person who is eager to contribute to CFAS in order to foster and encourage a new generation of Embryologists and Andrologists.

Pat Chronis-Brown, MSc - SIG Executive Member


Pat Chronis-Brown has been a clinical embryologist since 1997. Prior to that, she worked in  andrology, cord blood banking, and as a Research Technician with the Ministry of Environment  and with Drs. Armand Keating and John Trachtenberg at Toronto General Hospital conducting prostate cancer research. Pat holds a BSc degree from Ryerson Polytechnical University and a M.Sc. in Clinical Embryology with distinction from the University of Leeds. Pat joined the Reproductive Biology Unit at Toronto General Hospital in 1989, performing phlebotomy and endocrine assays. From 1990 to 1997 she worked as an Andrology Technologist and started her IVF training by freezing embryos in 1993. In 1997 she transferred to the Embryology Lab full-time and has  since remained  in the field of reproductive technology until present, becoming a Senior Embryologist in 2010 and Laboratory Manager in 2014. She has over 25 years of experience in the field of Assisted Reproductive Technologies and has been instrumental in the  development and implementation of new techniques in the lab and the  training and mentoring of  new trainees. She has received numerous awards and recogntions in oocyte cryopreservation and warming techniques. She has co-authored abstracts that have been presented nationally and internationally, reviewed abstracts, and serves on the Mount Sinai Fertility Ethics and Embryo Donation Committee. Pat is a long-standing member of the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (CFAS), and was certified as an Embryologist by the CFAS in 2014.

Joanna Greer, MSc - SIG Executive Member

Nina Kahlon - Junior SIG Executive Member


I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Guelph in the Biomedical Sciences program in 2013. In my fourth year, I set out to gain some research experience by completing a project in the Cancer Biology field. After graduating I was interested in continuing with research, however in a different field. I began my Master’s degree in Reproductive Biotechnology in Dr. Allan King’s lab at the Ontario Veterinary College. My project involved creating bovine embryos by using in vitro fertilization and exposing them to varying doses of Bisphenol A (BPA). We observed the effect of BPA on embryo development by assessing the effects on apoptosis and epigenetic modifications. Throughout my Master’s, I completed a placement at a fertility clinic and attended conferences that introduced me to the world of infertility and ART. In May 2016 after graduation, I started working as an Embryologist at Mount Sinai Fertility. It has been a great learning experience and I look forward to growing my skill set each day.