Governance and Leadership
The structure and mandate of the Society are defined by the By-laws under which it is incorporated, any special purposes legislation governing its mandate, the letters patent, and the governance policies and procedures enacted under the authority of the By-laws.
Goldi Gill, MBA, PhD(c) (CFAS Executive Director)
Goldi Gill is an experienced executive leader who has demonstrated excellence in strategic and operational management in multi-site for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. Her professional experience is based on a strong foundation of evidence based organizational practices, theory, and research. Goldi comes to this position having been the Executive Director of The Arthritis Alliance of Canada, a pan-Canadian assembly, where she was successful in developing and implementing strategic goals in awareness, advocacy and fund development. Prior to working with The Arthritis Alliance of Canada, she held several roles within the public and private sectors. She has a solid background in leading teams in the areas of advocacy and strategic planning. Goldi possesses a strong political acumen and is well versed in working with not-for-profit organizations and government agencies. Goldi has a high regard for continuous learning and education. Her educational background includes a degree in communications, a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) from Queen’s University and she is a candidate for a PhD in Business Psychology at the Chicago School of Psychology.
The 2021-2022 Board of Directors
The CFAS Board of Directors is a group of committed and enthusiastic volunteers who strive for the continuous improvement of our Society. Board Members govern the Society and oversee the Society’s work, meetings, and events, in keeping with the Society’s Mission, Vision and Values.
Dr. Simon Phillips, PhD (President)
Simon Phillips is a CFAS certified Embryology Laboratory Director. He has been a clinical embryologist for twenty-five years. He has a PhD in Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacology from the University of Portsmouth, a MSc in Clinical Embryology from Leeds University and a BSc in Biological Sciences from Plymouth University. He is currently the Scientific Director at OVO Fertility.
Simon has previously been the chair of the ART Lab SIG and a member of the subcommittee that wrote the CFAS ART Lab SIG standards for Canadian ART professionals as well as developing the certification program. He has been part of various advisory boards and currently advises the Quebec College des Médecins in the development of a professional status for embryologists in that province.
Simon also holds a position in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Montreal as a clinical lecturer.
Outside of work, Simon and his family enjoy spending time in their sailboat during the summer months.
Dr. Sony Sierra, MD (Vice President)
Dr. Sony Sierra has been a Reproductive Endocrinologist and Infertility since 2006. She completed residency at the University of Toronto, and then went on to a fellowship program at the University of British Columbia in GREI. During her fellowship, Dr. Sierra was trained in Recurrent Early Pregnancy Loss at the University of Chicago, under the mentorship of Dr. Mary Stephenson.
She is currently a physician in the practice, a partner at TRIO Fertility and the Deputy Medical Director, along with Dr. Ken Cadesky. In addition to her busy fertility practice, Dr. Sierra and Dr. Carl Laskin run the Recurrent Pregnancy Loss program at TRIO Fertility. This program continues to be the largest program in Canada focused on the investigation and management of recurrent pregnancy loss.
Dr. Sierra is also an Associate Physician at Women’s College Hospital where she specializes in Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, and is an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the University of Toronto. She enjoys her participation in teaching and training in undergraduate medical program, residency, and fellowship programs in both Gynecologic Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility and Maternal Fetal Medicine.
Sara R. Cohen, LL.B. (Treasurer)
Sara R. Cohen, LL.B. is a fertility law lawyer based in Toronto, with clients throughout Canada and beyond. Sara is the founder of Fertility Law Canada at D2Law LLP where her entire practice is devoted exclusively to the practice of fertility law. She regularly acts for intended parents, surrogates, donors, cryobanks, hospitals, distributors and fertility clinics on a wide range of fertility law issues.
Prior to her career as a fertility lawyer, Sara practiced commercial litigation and public law at Canada’s then largest law firm.
Sara was recently named by Canadian Lawyer Magazine as one of the Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers in Canada. She is the President of Fertility Matters Canada, past co-chair of the Ethics and Law Special Interest Group of Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society, and an adjunct professor of reproductive law at Osgoode Hall Law School. Sara co-chaired Canada’s first national symposium on fertility law in Canada, is one of two international members of the executive council of the Assisted Reproductive Technology Committee of the ABA’s Family Law Section, and is a fellow of the American Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys (AAAA). Sara has given expert testimony on third party reproduction and legal parentage issues at Queen’s Park for the Standing Committee on Social Policy, and has been invited by the Ontario and Canadian government to confer on various fertility and parentage related legal issues.
Sara has been published on issues relating to reproductive law in the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada, Huffington Post, BioNEws, and Lawyers Weekly and a frequent contributor to The Globe and Mail on fertility law issues. She is an in-demand speaker, having lectured at Suffolk University Law School, University of Toronto, Osgoode Hall Law School, McMaster University, AAARTA, Canadian Bar Association, Ontario Bar Association, Law Society of Upper Canada, American Bar Association, National Family Law Program, CLEBC, and Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society. She is the winner of the 2013 Precedent Setter Award and a Clawbie Award for her blog about fertility law in Canada.
Dr. Prati Sharma, MD (CPD Director)
Dr. Sharma received her Obstetrics and Gynecology and REI training in the United States from two centers of excellence in New York City, Cornell and Columbia University Medical Centers. She combines her love for research in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility with “patient-centered” clinical practice, to provide the utmost care for patients. Dr. Sharma is a graduate of the Seven-Year Accelerated BS/MD Medical Program in New Jersey (University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-UMDNJ), after which she pursued her Specialty Residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Cornell University Medical Center. She became American Board Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN) in 2007. Dr. Sharma then pursued further sub-specialty training in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at one of North America’s largest and well-known IVF centers: The Center for Women’s Reproductive Care at Columbia University Medical Center. There, she completed a three-year Fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) and became American Board Certified in REI in 2011. During her training, Dr. Sharma received several commendations and awards for her teaching abilities from both junior residents and faculty, including the Chief Resident Teaching Award and AAGL Laparoscopy Award for Excellence in Surgery from Cornell University.
Dr. Sharma currently practices Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at CReATe. She is an active member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons. She is also a member of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.
Dr. Marc-André Sirard, PhD
After graduate studies at University Laval on in vitro fertilization to generate the first clinical method to produce test-tubes calves in 1985, Marc-Andre went for a post-doctoral training to the laboratory of Neal First in Wisconsin to study in vitro maturation of oocytes. He came back to Québec in 1987 and became an industrial chair professor in 1990. He founded the Centre de Recherche en Biologie de la Reproduction in 1995 which has grown to include more than 100 people today. He obtained a senior Canadian Research Chair in 2000 on genomics applied to reproduction and is leading an international effort to define the normal genomic program in early mammalian embryos which has become an NSERC strategic network in 2008. He has published over 300 scientific papers and has been invited to give over 85 invited lectures in international meetings. His current research activities are focus on the influence of the ovarian environment on oocyte quality in human and large animals. Marc-Andre has been serving the Board for many years, and he was previously the Chair of the Research in Reproductive Science SIG. He has knowledge in the scientific, politic, economic context of ART in humans and has interest in the future of CFAS.
Dr. Mohamed Bedaiwy MD, PhD, FACOG, FRCSC
Dr. Mohamed Bedaiwy is currently Professor and Division Head of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Faculty of Medicine, the University of British Columbia.
Dr Bedaiwy is double board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology in obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. He is also a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
Dr Bedaiwy authored over 375 peer reviewed papers, abstracts, book chapters and videos. Dr Bedaiwy’s H index is 46 and his research was cited more than 9000 times.
Dr. Bedaiwy’s research is focused on advancing basic and clinical knowledge about endometriosis, Recurrent Pregnancy Loss, Uterine Disorders, minimally invasive surgery and fertility preservation. Dr Bedaiwy has served as Chairperson of Postgraduate courses at ASRM, WCE and the AAGL that deal with different aspects of reproductive surgery, endometriosis, and infertility enhancing procedures. Dr Bedaiwy supervised and trained more than 60 medical students, residents, clinical fellows, research fellows, Master and PhD students in the USA and Canada. Dr. Bedaiwy has been the recipient of many international awards for surgical and research excellence from different societies.
Alexander Lagunov, MSc
Alexander Lagunov has been assisting the CFAS with various projects for over 10 years as part of the ART Lab SIG group. First as a Junior Executive followed by Senior and current SIG Chair terms.
He is passionate about continuing to dedicate his time to further develop the field of ART in Canada, through commitment on the Board of Directors of CFAS.
Having an early involvement in the ART Lab professionals certification processes in Canada, Alexander is keen on assisting to guide this process towards completion for laboratory professionals in various roles. In addition, he would be honoured to increase the laboratory body representation while assisting with guidance for CFAS policies and procedures.
Mr. Lagunov's experience in building and operating the laboratories of CCRM Toronto/Hannam Fertility since conception, extensive involvement in University based collaborative clinical research and experience with ART Lab inspection and certification programs (CAP, Accreditation Canada) will collectively provide valuable knowledge to the CFAS and Board of Directors.
Alexander is truly passionate about the future growth and development of our field in Canada.
Dr. Svetlana Madjunkova MD, Ph.D
Svetlana Madjunkova holds an MD degree with honors and MSc and PhD in reproductive genetics with focus on pregnancy loss and, invasive and non-invasive prenatal diagnosis of chromosomal abnormalities, inherited disorders and blood group incompatibilities. She completed a research postdoctoral fellowship with the Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto working on cell-free and cell-based non-invasive prenatal testing and a joint clinical and research training in reproductive toxicology with the Division for Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology at SickKids Hospital in Toronto.
Dr Madjunkova is Director of Reproductive Genetics at CReATe Fertility Centre, Toronto, Canada. Her laboratory is uniquely positioned to provide advanced clinical preimplantation genetic testing, fertility related genetic testing for couples, and to translate research and implementing new genomic technologies into clinical tests. Dr Madjunkova and her team for the first time developed a test to diagnose balanced chromosomal rearrangements in embryos (PGT-SR test for couples with balanced rearrangements, NEJM 2020). The test is already in clinical use helping couples to build healthy families. She is leading a research team in many projects on improving embryo selection, preimplantation testing and further research in reproductive failure and improving outcomes in ARTs. Her main interest is in the development of novel clinically applicable technologies for non-invasive and comprehensive multi-omic assessment of embryos and fetuses. In addition she is working on assessment of the parental genetic and epigenetic contribution to developing embryo, fetus and offspring. Dr Madjunkova is leading collaborative efforts to study the effects of mosaicism on early embryo development and short and long term consequences on child development.
She has published over 40 peer reviewed papers and presented her work at over 100 National and International professional and scientific meetings. She is recipient of many awards and fellowships and is regularly invited as speaker/session chair to conferences and lecturer to undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate courses. Dr. Madjunkova is a reviewer and guest editor for a list of journals in the field, and an active collaborator on FP7 EU project, International Breakpoint Mapping Consortium-Denmark and grants funded by CIHR. She has a network of international collaborators in many fertility centers, bioinformatics groups and industry partners supporting initiatives that aim to advance the field of human reproduction.
Dr Madjunkova is co-directing the Reproductive Genetics course for the master studies program in Clinical Embryology with the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at University of Toronto, and is actively involved in reproductive genetics training for Genetic counselling students from MSc program at University of Toronto. She is actively supporting and supervising graduate and postgraduate students and fellows.
Dr Madjunkova is an active member of CFAS and currently the chair of CFAS Genetics Special Interest Group.
Dr. Jason Hitkari, MD (Past President)
Dr. Jason Hitkari is the Medical Director of Olive Fertility Centre in Vancouver. He did his Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Fellowship at the University of Toronto (Mt. Sinai) before moving back to Vancouver to start his clinical practice in 2007.
He is also a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia where he is the Week Chair for the medical undergraduate “Reproduction Week”. He has received three teaching awards from UBC during his time there.
He lives in Vancouver with his wife, Lucy, and their twins (from IVF!). In his free time, Jason likes to enjoy good food and good wine with family and friends. He also enjoys being active and getting out on the water.
The Board is in turn supported by an Advisory Council consisting of:
Chair of the IVF Medical Directors Group
Albert Yuzpe, MD
François Bissonnette, MD
CFAS Special Interest Groups
CFAS-SIGs: organized groups that are authorized by the CFAS Board to represent people with similar interests in an area of reproductive medicine and/or science.
Andrology • TBA
ART Lab • Jason Au, BSc, MSc
Counsellors • Mary Howlett-Nero, BA, MSW
Ethics and Law • Shawn Windsor, BA, MHSc, PhD(c)
Fertility Preservation • Karen Glass, MD
Genetics • TBA
Imaging and Reproductive Surgery • Mike Hartman, MD
Leadership and Management • Penny Blesch, BGS, CPHR
Nurses • Nicole Lee, RN
Nurses • Bonnie Johnson, RN
Research in Reproductive Science • Andrée Gauthier-Fisher, PhD
Research in Reproductive Science • Jay Baltz, PhD
Chair of the Communications Committee
Goldi Gill, MBA, PhD(c)