Embryology Team

While No.1 Fertility may still be relatively young, with our brand new state-of-the-art laboratory in East Melbourne commencing operation in early 2019, our scientific team brings together a highly qualified group of embryologists with a wealth of experience in IVF clinics of all shapes and sizes around Australia and the World.

Between us our team have worked in over 30 different IVF laboratories within Australia and New Zealand. We have seen the almost countless variety of ways IVF can be performed and firmly believe that this knowledge and experience is vital in giving our patients the highest possible standard of care.

Amongst all of the scientific knowledge and experience we have amassed, by far the most important is that we know that every single embryo is precious and deserves our utmost care and attention (whether that be staying in the lab that one extra hour for a last assessment, or an embryologist chatting away to the embryos they’re assessing, or just popping on some Disney tunes for them on the weekend!). The sheer magic of our job is that no matter how many times you see or handle an embryo, it simply doesn’t get old. They never fail to amaze us with their beauty and unpredictability and inspire awe at what they can become. So you may rest assured that the scientist handling your embryos is treating every single one like the most important thing they have ever touched. 

Kelli Sorby

Kelli Sorby

SCIENTIFIC DIRECTOR

Bachelor of Biomedical Science (University of Melbourne)
Graduate Diploma of Reproductive Science (Monash University)
Master of Clinical Embryology (Monash University)
Graduate Diploma of Genetic Counselling (Charles Sturt University)
Master of Bioethics (Monash University)

Kelli is our Scientific Director at No.1 Fertility and has been with us from the clinic’s very beginning. She is endlessly passionate about the work that we do - pick any topic related to embryology and she will tell you (ad nauseam!) why we have the most incredible job imaginable.

Kelli began her career in Sydney, working with IVF Australia, before eventually returning home to Melbourne where she spent almost 10 years with Monash IVF, covering labs from their largest metropolitan clinic to the smallest of satellites. Her well rounded expertise was further enhanced by several years spent consulting and providing training and education to international IVF laboratories, affording an opportunity to expand beyond the local norms.

Outside of her clinical roles Kelli served 9 years on the Victorian Patient Review Panel, the body responsible for administering various aspects of State ART legislation.

She is a strong advocate for research and ongoing education within clinics, ensuring all scientific staff at No.1 have the opportunity to contribute to research aimed at improving outcomes for our patients. She is an author on multiple peer reviewed journal articles and her current PhD studies focus on identifying non-invasive markers that may help to predict an embryo’s chance of creating a healthy pregnancy.

In addition to presenting her own research at national and international scientific meetings and lecturing to the Master of Clinical embryology students, Kelli has frequently had the opportunity to attend conferences as an invited speaker both at home in Australia and in countries around the world, including Singapore, Korea, Brazil, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan.

Most importantly she is always on the look-out for new and developing technologies and assessing the strength and validity of the science behind them to ensure our patients have access to the most advanced and reliable technology available.

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Eve Glage

Victorian Laboratories Manager

Bachelor of Biomedical Science (La Trobe University)
Health and Care Professionals Council State Registered Clinical Scientist (UK)

Eve joined No.1 in 2019, working closely with our Scientific Director to oversee the daily functions of the laboratories. Eve is passionate about client care and education, wanting to ensure clients have the best experience and interaction with the laboratory teams.

Eve began her career in 2003, completing initial training at Melbourne IVF. Her desire to learn and passion for travel took her to the UK, working as a senior embryologist at Hammersmith Hospital and later joining IVI RMA, the world’s largest reproductive group, as their London Laboratory Director. During this time, she was fortunate to work with their UK, Spanish, and American laboratories. Eve gained valuable quality management experience working under the UK’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and developed a passion for training and scientific communication, presenting at national and international conferences and events.

Returning home, Eve initially settled in Sydney. She joined Genea as a laboratory manager, looking after a large team of embryologists and collaborated with the R&D department to implement new ‘World-First’ laboratory technologies. Eve then moved into a clinical operations and project management role, overseeing the construction and completion of a new IVF clinic from building plans to clinical practice!

Eve jumped at the chance to return to a laboratory-focused role in Melbourne, as her heart remains in the lab! She is passionate about sharing knowledge and translating research into clinical practice, to improve treatment outcomes for our clients.

 

Anna Tran

Anna Tran

Laboratory Supervisor - Geelong

Bachelor of Science (Monash University)
Graduate Diploma of Reproductive Science (Monash University)
Master of Clinical Embryology (Monash University)

Anna began her embryology career in sunny Queensland, serving patients in Rockhampton and Townsville, where she developed a love of working in such a close-knit, multi-disciplinary team, before moving to a busy laboratory on the Gold Coast.Anna joined No.1 in 2018 and is now responsible for the day to day operations of our laboratory in Geelong, where she relishes the “smaller clinic” feeling that allows her to know the story of every patient that comes through her lab.

Anna recently presented her research into the rarest forms of oocyte spindle malformation at the 2019 Scientists In Reproductive Technology Conference. This work provided our team with a greater understanding of how these unusual spindles can affect an egg’s ability to fertilise and develop into a viable embryo.

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Breanna Evenden

Breanna Evenden

Laboratory Supervisor – East Melbourne

Bachelor of Biotechnology (University of Newcastle)
Master of Clinical Embryology (Monash University)

Breanna first entered the field of IVF as an R&D Scientist working on the development of timelapse incubators and automated vitrification (freezing) systems. While fascinating, this work didn’t offer the interaction with patients that she was looking for and the ability to so directly impact someone’s life every single day drew her into the embryology lab.

Brea spent the better part of a decade working in laboratories in Sydney, Melbourne and the Sunshine Coast, where she had the opportunity to setup a new Pre-implantation Genetic Testing program, before finally joining us at No.1 in 2019.

Brea is now the Supervisor of our busy East Melbourne laboratory, where she ensures everything is running like clockwork to make sure we give every single patient the best possible chance of taking home a baby.

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Amy Clements

Embryology Team Leader – East Melbourne

Bachelor of Science (Monash University)
Graduate Diploma of Reproductive Science (Monash University)
Master of Clinical Embryology (Monash University)

After completing her studies in 2011, Amy spent many years working in clinics across Australia and New Zealand, developing her skills and gaining experience in clinics both big and small.

Amy’s passion lies in connecting with her patients, supporting them through the ups and downs of treatment and making the scientific knowledge we can provide as accessible and straightforward as possible. She joined us at No.1 in 2018, only a couple of months after the clinic first opened, and currently holds the position of Team Leader, supporting the laboratory team at our East Melbourne site.

At the 2018 Fertility Society of Australia Conference Amy presented her research into optimising the assessment of fertilisation, helping to ensure the best possible outcomes for our patients.

Tania Fernandez

Tania Fernandez

Embryology Team Leader – East Melbourne

Bachelor of Science (Swinburne University)
Graduate Diploma of Reproductive Science (Monash University)
Master of Clinical Embryology (Monash University)

Tania spent the first several years of her embryology career working in a laboratory providing bulk-billed IVF services and she retains a passion for ensuring fertility treatment is accessible to all patients who need our help.

Having been with us at No.1 since our very first egg collections, Tania now holds the position of Team Leader within the East Melbourne laboratory where she works hard to ensure every little detail is accounted for, as it can be those tiny details that make the difference in whether or not an embryo is successful.

Tania’s recent research into the effect of excluded cells on an embryo’s developmental potential, presented at the 2019 Fertility Society of Australia Conference, utilised our access to time-lapse technology to help shed light on a common but poorly understood aspect of embryo development.

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Casey

Casey

Embryologist

Bachelor of Science (Monash University)
Graduate Diploma of Reproductive Science (Monash University)
Master of Clinical Embryology (Monash University)

Casey commenced her laboratory career at the Centre for Clinical Studies before moving to Queensland to take on her first embryology role at a busy clinic on the Gold Coast.

After a couple of years and much valuable experience Casey returned to Melbourne and joined us at No.1 in 2018.

Casey’s research characterising embryo cleavage filaments was awarded the ACE exchange award for Best Oral Presentation at the 2019 Scientists In Reproductive Technology Conference, providing her with the opportunity to present her work to the UK’s Embryology Society Meeting in Edinburgh in January 2020 (making it back home just before the borders closed!)

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Crystal

Crystal

Embryologist

Bachelor of Science with Honours (Monash University)
Master of Clinical Embryology (Monash University)

Before branching into embryology Crystal completed her Honours research, in collaboration with the Royal Women’s Hospital, investigating the role of potassium channels in dysfunctional labour in patients of varying Body Mass Index.

After completing her postgraduate studies Crystal moved up to the Australian Capital Territory for her first embryology post, where she served the patients of Canberra for several years, completing her training and developing her skills, before returning to Melbourne and a position at No.1 in 2020.

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Daniela

Daniela

Embryologist

Bachelor of Science (Monash University)
Graduate Diploma of Reproductive Science (Monash University)
Master of Clinical Embryology (Monash University)

Daniela started out in the IVF field working on the opposite side of the conference booth, as a representative for Cryologic, providing freezing and incubation equipment to IVF clinics.

In 2014 she made the move into the embryology laboratory and hasn’t looked back since. After 5 years working in a very busy laboratory in Melbourne, Dani joined us at No.1 in 2019 and is loving the exposure to exciting new technologies.

Dani is currently conducting research into the use of AI in the laboratory and how this may be most effectively integrated with our existing embryo assessment measures to help our patients achieve a pregnancy with as few transfer cycles as possible.

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Gabriella

Gabriella

Embryologist

Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Monash University)
Graduate Diploma of Reproductive Science (Monash University)
Master of Clinical Embryology (Monash University)

Gabriella joined No.1 straight out of her Master of Embryology and is primarily based in our Geelong laboratory where she is always a bright friendly face for her patients.

During her postgraduate studies Gabby had the opportunity to participate in research investigating the effect of radiation therapy on sperm DNA and has carried a passion for research into her embryology role. Her current project involves quantifying the rate at which blastocysts (5 day old embryos) expand to determine whether this may be an indication of their pregnancy potential.

On the weekends you may spot Gabby marching as the lead drummer in the Melbourne City Pipe Band!

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May

May

Embryologist

Bachelor of Science (University of Western Australia)
Master of Infectious Diseases (University of Western Australia)
Master of Clinical Embryology (Monash University)

Before turning her attention to embryology May completed her Master of Infectious Diseases in the School of Women’s and Children’s Health, investigating bacteria that can penetrate the placental membrane and potentially cause pre-term birth in affected patients.


After spending some time on the research laboratory side May decided to make the jump over to the clinical and completed her postgraduate embryology studies before joining us at No.1 in January 2020.

May is currently collecting data looking at the potential for Artificial Intelligence assessment to predict whether an embryo has the correct number of chromosomes and thus a reduced chance of miscarriage.

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Natalie

Natalie

Embryologist

Bachelor of Science (University of Melbourne)
Graduate Diploma of Reproductive Science (Monash University)
Master of Clinical Embryology (Monash University)

Natalie commenced her career at Melbourne’s first bulk billed IVF clinic, before moving to No.1 to complete her training. Nat has been with us since the very first weeks down in Geelong where we cared for all of our patients until our state-of-the-art facility in East Melbourne could be built.

Nat’s current research, sparked by the bushfires of January 2020 that blanketed Victoria in smoke, involved assessing how well the various filters and air handling techniques we employ in our facilities protected the quality of air within the laboratory during such a crisis, as this can have a significant impact on embryo development (the short answer is our systems work amazingly well!)

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Nicole

Nicole

Embryologist

Bachelor of Science (Monash University)
Graduate Diploma of Reproductive Science (Monash University)
Master of Clinical Embryology (Monash University)

Nicole began her career ‘across the ditch’, working with Fertility Associates in Auckland, where she gained some early exposure to time-lapse culture technologies while developing her skills and expertise. The close-knit nature of the smaller clinic environment in New Zealand gave her great insight into the full picture of a patient’s treatment and everything that goes into a cycle before making it to the laboratory.

The move back to Australia in 2019 saw her join a busy clinic in Melbourne before eventually heading over to us at No.1 in early 2021, where she is relishing the chance to apply her skills to all of the new technologies available here.

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Rachael

Rachael

Embryologist

Bachelor of Science with Honours (Monash University)

Rachael commenced her career in research laboratories, with positions at the Centre for Neural Engineering at the University of Melbourne and the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health. After taking on her first embryology role with a clinic in Melbourne, she decided this was the field for her and made the move over to No.1 in 2019.

In addition to her love of embryology Rachael also has a passion for genetics and is currently completing her Master of Genetic Counselling to further enhance the care she can provide to her patients.

Rachael Co

Rachael Co

Embryologist

Bachelor of Health Science (University of Western Australia)
Graduate Diploma of Reproductive Science (Monash University)
Master of Clinical Embryology (Monash University)

After completing her postgraduate studies Rachael headed out to Reproductive Medicine Albury for her first three years as an embryologist, putting her skills to use both in their main Albury laboratory and also travelling out to the regional satellite laboratory in Wagga Wagga to help patients receive the treatment they need closer to home. Rachael gained a great deal of experience in this smaller clinic setting where she was able to see her patient’s cycles through from start to finish and really get to know each patient’s journey.

Rachael joined us at No.1 in 2020 and is thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to apply her skills in a larger laboratory with a whole range of new technologies and equipment to play with!

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Shalini

Shalini

Embryologist

Bachelor of Science with Honours (Monash University)
Master of Clinical Embryology (Monash University)

Before moving onto her embryology studies Shalini undertook her honours research looking into treatments that may protect the fetal brain from the effects of a lack of oxygen while in the womb. Shalini’s interest in this area led easily into studying the science that goes on a little earlier in the process as we try to create that precious pregnancy.

After several years covering multiple laboratories across Melbourne Shalini moved over to No.1 in 2019.
Shalini is currently undertaking research investigating how various stimulation medications may affect the behaviour of oocytes after collection, helping us to further define the treatment cycles that will give our patients the best possible chance of success.

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Shirley

Shirley

Embryologist

Bachelor of Medicine (Shanghai Fudan University)
Master of Clinical Embryology (Monash University)

Shirley began her professional life as an obstetrician and gynaecologist, before realising that putting the babies in was much more interesting than taking them out!
Following her postgraduate studies in embryology Shirley moved up to Sydney and completed her training years at Westmead Fertility Centre before returning to Victoria, where she spent over 10 years as an embryologist in a busy Melbourne clinic before finally joining us at No.1 in 2020.
Shirley is also fluent in Mandarin and very happy to answer all of our patient’s embryology questions.

Tanika

Tanika

Embryologist

Bachelor of Science with Honours (University of Western Australia)
Master of Clinical Embryology (Monash University)

Prior to her embryology studies Tanika completed her honours research investigating the effects of different respiration techniques to reduce the risk of brain injury in pre-term infants requiring ventilation.

Upon completion of her post graduate studies Tanika commenced her embryology career in a very busy Melbourne clinic before moving over to No.1 in 2019.
Her current research project involves detailed time-lapse analysis of pronuclear dynamics (the way the packets of DNA from the egg and sperm behave within the newly formed embryo) looking for previously unseen hints as to that embryo’s chance of becoming a baby.

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Tracey

Tracey

Embryologist

Bachelor of Biomedical Science / Bachelor of Science (Monash University)
Graduate Diploma of Reproductive Science (Monash University)
Master of Clinical Embryology (Monash University)

Tracey’s double degree focused on chemistry and physiology before she narrowed her focus to reproductive science and completed her postgraduate degrees in embryology.

Since joining us at No.1 Tracey has discovered a passion for reproductive education and is committed to increasing community awareness of fertility related issues.
Her current research interest revolves around the behaviour of embryos during their early divisions (for instance if one cell divides to become three instead of two), how this behaviour reflects on the rest of the cells in the embryo, and investigating how the embryo is able to sometimes detect those misbehaving cells and “exclude” them from the developing embryo.

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Vassana

Vassana

Embryologist

Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Griffith University)
Graduate Diploma of Reproductive Science (Monash University)
Master of Clinical Embryology (Monash University)

Vassana began her embryology career in Sydney before heading south to take up a position in a busy Melbourne laboratory where she further developed her skills before finally making it over to us at No.1 in 2018.

Vassana’s recent research has focused on the effect of multinucleation (the presence of more than one ‘packet’ of DNA within a cell) on embryo development, improving our understanding of how the specific types of mutinucleation and the stage at which it appears may influence an embryo’s likelihood of success. Vassana presented various aspects of this work at both the 2019 Fertility Society of Australia Annual Conference and as a poster presentation at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in 2020.

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Justine

Justine

Laboratory Technical Support

Bachelor of Biomedical Science / Bachelor of Science (Monash University)
Graduate Diploma of Reproductive Science (Monash University)
Master of Clinical Embryology (Monash University)

Justine began her career in healthcare working in a physiotherapy practice during her post graduate studies.

During her studies she conducted research into the pathways of sperm capacitation (the ‘maturation’ a sperm must go through before it can fertilise an egg) and ways in which this could be supported within the laboratory.

As a member of the No.1 laboratory team Justine works hard to ensure every single aspect of the embryo culture environment is constantly monitored using the most comprehensive and precise technologies available to provide the absolute best chance for every embryo.

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Kavya

Kavya

Laboratory Administration

Bachelor of Medical Science (Flinders University)
Graduate Diploma of Reproductive Science (Monash University)
Master of Clinical Embryology (Monash University)

Kavya commenced her laboratory life as a research assistant at the University of Adelaide, investigating methods of detecting and treating ovarian cancer, before completing her post graduate studies in embryology.

Kavya joined us at No.1 in 2020 and currently works back-stage in the laboratory ensuring the accuracy of all the information coming into the embryology team and that absolutely everything your eggs, sperm or embryos might need during their time here is on hand and ready to go!

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Shelley

Shelley

Transport And Cryostorage Administration

Bachelor of Science (University of Melbourne)
Graduate Diploma of Reproductive Science (Monash University)
Master of Clinical Embryology (Monash University)

During her postgraduate studies prior to joining us at No.1 Shelley worked as a Sleep Scientist, preparing patients for overnight sleep studies, giving her a strong background in supporting patients through unfamiliar medical processes.

Shelley manages the process of transporting frozen eggs, sperm and embryos between clinics. She is always happy to assist patients with any queries they may have along the way and tries to make the process as smooth as possible!

She is also the primary point of contact for our patients who wish to extend the time limit of their frozen material or who have decided to remove their material from storage.

Shelley speaks Mandarin and is very happy to assist our patients in any way she can.

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