The Events Committee is organised to deliver all the events requirements of ARCS. This interfaces across our portfolio and includes everything from our Summer Symposium and Annual “Fertility 20XX” meetings, through to working with the Education Committee to deliver more specific meetings such as our Trainee and Breaking Bad News events.

ARCS Events Committee

Karen Schnauffer

Karen Schnauffer

Chair - Programme Secretary - Embryologist

Karen has worked in the field of clinical embryology for 25 years both in the NHS and the private sector. She achieved her state registration in 2000 and was awarded both the Diploma and Certificate in Clinical Embryology in 2001. For the last 5 years Karen has held the position of HFEA Person Responsible, including two separate centres at the same time. Her considerable experience has allowed her to supervise many students through the ACE Certificate and more recently the Scientist Training Programme. Over the last 15 years Karen has been an active member of the ACE, holding positions on the Executive Committee, the Professional Development Committee and for the last three years, as the ACE Programme Chair for the annual ‘Fertility’ meetings. Continuing her dedication to reproductive medicine as a profession, she has been instrumental in forming the new professional body ARCS. Karen has been involved in various HFEA expert advisory committees. She was also an active member in the development and introduction of the Modernising Scientific Careers Scientist Training Programme. In addition, Karen has a keen interest in equine embryology and successfully developed an equine ICSI programme with the University of Liverpool, achieving the first equine time-lapse images ever recorded! Over the years, Karen has presented at numerous meetings and has authored several peer-reviewed publications in the field of embryology.

Karen Schnauffer

Chair - Programme Secretary - Embryologist

Georgina Bartl

Georgina Bartl

Pre reg representative

Having had previous experience in organizing events prior to my post on the STP such as coordinating an International Clinical Trials Day Event at the Royal Free Hospital in London, and having volunteered in my second year of the STP as Co-chair of the North West Healthcare Science Trainee Network, I was keen to get involved in a volunteer role within my own specialism. Being passionate about both outreach and embryology and in the midst of my STP training I applied for the post of Pre-Registrant Representative on the (then) ACE Executive Committee. I have been in the role of Pre-Registrant Representative for just under one year, and thus far it has been an incredibly rewarding position and I could not have asked to be involved in a nicer or more supportive committee! In the role I have organized two well attended and highly recommended events: a Revision session for pre-registrant candidates and a wider, pioneering Research Day for the entire ACE membership. During my tenure so far, I have instigated a buddy-up system to pair experienced graduates with first and second year trainees to provide, not only a source of pastoral care, but also an external point of advice. Although still in its infancy, I am hoping this scheme will prove to be an invaluable resource for pre-registrant candidates especially to those who have relocated far from home for the STP or to those who have joined clinics who have little experience with the process. I would also like to run Theory Days providing a platform for learning on the more complex concepts that underpin the everyday workings in the lab, by welcoming high-profile lecturers, speakers and researchers in the field. I am also interested in compounding these events with more social aspects to promote support and networking opportunities for pre-registrant members. I look forward to contributing further to the committee over the coming years and can’t wait to see what the future holds for ARCS!

Georgina Bartl

Pre reg representative

Sheena Lewis

Sheena Lewis

SAC Chair - Academic Andrologist

Professor Sheena Lewis’ research has been focused on male infertility and in particular sperm DNA damage testing where her goal has been to identify causes of and treatments for male infertility by developing novel biomarkers. Professor Lewis was Chair of the British Andrology Society, national representative for UK and past chair of the Andrology special interest group of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, past member of the executive committee of the British Fertility Society and a founder member and past Vice Chair of the Irish Fertility Society. She has published over 100 full papers and book chapters and numerous reviews. She is committed to raising ethical debate, particularly in issues relating to ART, within the medical and scientific undergraduate curriculum. She also has a strong commitment to public engagement with research and regularly communicates her team’s latest research findings through international TV, radio and online interviews. Her research has led to the formation of a University spin out company; Examen Ltd marketing male fertility tests.

Sheena Lewis

SAC Chair - Academic Andrologist

Meurig Gallagher (ARCS Summer Symposium)

Meurig Gallagher (ARCS Summer Symposium)

Events Committee Member

Meurig is an Assistant Professor in the Centre for Human Reproductive Science and Centre for Systems Modelling and Quantitative Biomedicine at the University of Birmingham. He obtained his PhD in Applied Mathematics in 2015, before going on to become an interdisciplinary researcher who integrates mathematical modelling and software with experimental methods to create new diagnostics and treatments for male infertility.

Meurig Gallagher (ARCS Summer Symposium)

Events Committee Member

Ellen Armstrong

Ellen Armstrong

Consultant embryologist

Ellen Armstrong has worked in fertility since 2005 when she joined Care Fertility as a trainee embryologist. She completed her training through the Association of Clinical Embryologists program and achieved state registration. She progressed through to senior embryologists and then became laboratory manager of Care Fertility in Birmingham in 2017. She passionate about training ART professionals along with contributing to improved practice and patient outcomes. She is now a consultant embryologist focusing on professional training.

Ellen Armstrong

Consultant embryologist