ART Lab SIG
To view the ART Lab SIG Guidance document pertaining to IVF Labs and the COVID-19 Pandemic, click here.
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
The ART Lab hosts an exam every year in early June, to verify Andrologists and Embryologists are up to CFAS standards. For more information about this exam and the related log book, click here.
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 (Hons), MSc
Chair, ART Lab SIG
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.
Jason Au, BSc, MSc- Vice-Chair
Jason Au is the Laboratory Supervisor at PCRM Burnaby. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Chemistry from the University of British Columbia and his Masters in Clinical Embryology from the University of Leeds. Jason has a special interest in embryo morphokinetics and the application of artificial intelligence in the laboratory setting. With a strong focus on research, he is currently pursuing his PhD in Reproductive Clinical Science at Eastern Virginia Medical School. 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.
Siamak Bashar, MLT, MSc, PhD - Secretary
Siamak Bashar currently works as a Senior Embryologist, Researcher, and PGS specialist at the CReATe Fertility Centre in Toronto, Canada since 2006. He graduated with a Master of Science (M.Sc), majoring in Reproductive Immunology and Endocrinology from the Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Guelph (2004). Prior to this, he completed the Assisted Reproductive Technology Post Graduate program from The Michener Institute in 2001. Since 2005, he has been a member of the CFAS ART Lab SIG and he was also an Executive member of ART Lab SIG for two years (2014-2016).
Dr. Bashar has tremendous experience performing the following assisted reproductive techniques: retrieval, embryo culture, embryo assessment, embryo transfer, media preparation, embryo and sperm cryopreservation, oocyte, Day 3 and blastocyst vitrification, assisted hatching, ICSI, conventional IVF, TESA, PESA, quality assurance, and quality control. In addition, he is participating in various research projects which focus on Andrology, Embryology and Molecular Biology of reproduction. On top of this, he also trains IVF laboratory staff and medical students. As a Senior Embryologist, he is involved in preparing the laboratory for CFAS certification, Health Canada regulations, quality control and quality assurance implementation.
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.
Anam Ovais - SIG Executive Member
Anam Ovais completed her bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (2009 Gold Medalist) from the University of Waterloo (UW), and her Masters’ degree in Clinical Embryology from the University of Oxford in 2011. Ms. Ovais’ Master’s research in the assessment of nano particles as a novel delivery system for gametes furthered her interest in infertility.
Unique opportunities like professional development through the co-op program at UW, and cross-continent exposure to a multitude of areas such as fertility preservation, ethics surrounding ART, scientific critique, as well as exposure to few of the global experts in ART, has not only humbled her, but also fueled her appetite for learning. Ms. Ovais has a special interest in the development of a more holistic program for new lab professionals.