The ARCS Executive Committee are elected by the membership to govern the development of the Association. They represent the interests of ARCS in the larger scientific community and make key decisions on behalf of the ARCS membership.

ARCS Executive Committee

Jason Kasraie

Jason Kasraie

Chair

Jason is Chair of the Association of Clinical and Reproductive Scientists (ARCS). Prior to the formation of ARCS he served a three year term as the final Chair of the Association of Clinical Embryologists (ACE) and, with others, led the negotiations that resulted in the unification of ACE with the Association of Biomedical Andrologists (ABA) and British Andrology Society (BAS) to form ARCS. He is a past Chair of the joint executive committees of ACE, the British Fertility Society and the Society for Reproduction and Fertility. Jason is a Consultant Clinical Embryologist & Andrologist and HFEA Person Responsible for the Shropshire and Mid-Wales Fertility Centre with the HFEA. He is a Clinical Scientist with 25 years’ experience in the field. As the scientific lead for his service, Jason works to ensure that patients and their embryos receive the highest quality of care and that the latest evidence based techniques are used in order to maximise the chance of pregnancy for patients. Jason is a visiting Professor at the University of Chester/ University Centre Shrewsbury and is the Organisational Lead Scientist for the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust. After completing his undergraduate degree at Sheffield Hallam University he was awarded an MSc with Distinction in reproduction and development at the University of Bristol and received the ‘Gordon Stirrat’ prize for achievement during his studies. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists (FRCPath), a co-author of the college’s Higher Specialist Scientific Training (HSST) curriculum in Reproductive Science and a member of the examination committee for Reproductive Science at the college. He is an external advisor to the HFEA, a director of and examiner for the Association of Clinical Scientists, a member of the Academy for Healthcare Science (AHCS) professional council and an assessor for the AHCS higher specialist register. He works with the National School of Healthcare Sc

Jason Kasraie

Chair

Rebecca Swann

Rebecca Swann

Secretary

I was voted onto the ACE Executive Committee back in 2015 as the Pre-Registrant Representative. As a trainee embryologist I enjoyed the opportunity to meet and work alongside my peers, which motivated me to enhance and develop ACE training events. I wanted to continue working within the Executive and in 2018 I started my new role as Secretary. I am excited to be such an integral part of the unification of ACE, BAS and ABA and the Executive Committee for ARCS. As the secretary I aim to be the central hub for ARCS activity acting as the coordinator between members, committees and sub-committees.

Rebecca Swann

Secretary

David Miller

David Miller

Treasurer

I completed my PhD in dental biochemistry in 1982 before moving on to study cell cycle proteins and microtubule dynamics in the slime mould, Physarum at the University of Kent. At Liverpool University, I began a career-long interest in heat shock proteins and their ability to protect cells against environmental stress. Initially, this work used the eggs and larvae of the brine shrimp Artemia salina (the eggs/cysts are very tolerant to desiccation), which I continued following my appointment as senior lecturer in biochemistry at Liverpool John Moores University. From there, I went on to the University of Leeds where I moved my research interests into human spermatozoa, preterm labour and prenatal diagnosis, winning a SMART award for my development of a platform for isolating fetal cells from maternal blood in 1997. Most recently, as Reader in Molecular Andrology at the University, I became interested in the properties of sperm chromatin and the role of sperm DNA damage in male infertility. This led eventually to a multi-centre clinical trial examining the efficacy of hyaluronan binding in selecting sperm with low levels of DNA damage. The analysis and writing up of this work is continuing. In 2019, I was awarded the prestigious Brian Setchell Medal by the British Andrology Society in recognition of my contribution to Andrology.

David Miller

Treasurer

Karen Schnauffer

Karen Schnauffer

Programme Secretary

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

Programme Secretary

Amy Sharpe

Amy Sharpe

Membership Secretary

Amy Sharpe started working in the field of embryology in 2003 and is currently based at the Leicester Fertility Centre. She joined the Executive Committee in 2018 taking on the role of membership secretary and assisting in the promotion of membership of the Association. She has a keen interest in the recruitment and management of gamete and embryo donors. She also has involvement with the STP scheme; shortlisting, interviewing and OSFA assessing and is passionate about the teaching and development of junior embryologists.

Amy Sharpe

Membership Secretary

Sheena Lewis

Sheena Lewis

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

Academic Andrologist

Stephanie Brooks

Stephanie Brooks

Andrologist

Stephanie Brooks has worked at the Hewitt Fertility Centre at the Liverpool Women’s Hospital since 1998. By 2008 the Andrology services had grown to a size where they needed to introduce a supervisory role, a role which Steph has performed for the last 11 years. She has overseen the implementation of UKAS at her place of work which included four, currently three satellite centres and maintained for the last five years. Following the departure of the Quality manager for the Hewitt Fertility Centre, Stephanie was proud to move in to this position and diversify in her skills and move into senior management. As a founder member of the ABA, Stephanie’s involvement in the professional body has been long term holding officer positions as secretary and treasurer.

Stephanie Brooks

Andrologist

David Sanders

David Sanders

Andrologist

David Sanders

Andrologist

Lorraine Frew

Lorraine Frew

Andrologist

Lorraine completed her undergraduate and MSc by research in Reproductive Biology at the University of Edinburgh before studying for a PhD in the MRC Centre for Reproductive Health in collaboration with the MRC Centre for Inflammation Research where her research focused on the production and function of cervical antimicrobials in pregnancy. She then continued her career working as a research associate on the mechanistic arm of the HABSelect clinical trial in Birmingham before training as an embryologist. Lorraine completed the NHS Scientist Training Programme in Reproductive Science in 2019 and continues to work as a Clinical Embryologist with a specialist interest in andrology and academic research.

Lorraine Frew

Andrologist

Stephen Troup

Stephen Troup

Embryologist

Steve has worked in the field of human clinical embryology for over 30 years starting in Manchester, where he completed a PhD in male infertility and the acrosome reaction. Before his recent role as the Scientific Director of IVI UK, Steve was the Scientific Director of Liverpool Women's Hospital’s Hewitt Fertility Centres, one of the UK’s largest providers of assisted conception. In addition to dealing with the many day-to-day ‘hands-on’, managerial and research responsibilities of a Consultant Clinical Embryologist, he is fortunate to have been afforded a broader perspective as a Scientific Inspector and advisor for the UK Regulator, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA). Steve has been very much involved in clinical embryology as a profession and is proud to be the current President of the UK’s Association of Clinical Embryologists (ACE). Steve is a Visiting Reader in Reproductive Medicine in the Faculty of Health and Social Care at Edge Hill University and has recently successfully supervised a PhD on time-lapse technologies in assisted conception. Also, as an Honorary Senior Fellow at the University of Liverpool he supervised the development of a successful equine ICSI lab at the University’s Leahurst Campus. Steve now works independently as a Consultant Reproductive Scientist based in the UK.

Stephen Troup

Embryologist

Karen Thompson

Karen Thompson

Embryologist

Karen graduated with a BSc (hons) in biology from the University of Manchester in 1994 and has been working in the field of Reproductive Medicine since 1995. She has completed several postgraduate courses specialising in Clinical Embryology and is a diplomate of the Royal College of Pathologists. She spent over 8 years working in London before joining the team at Leeds Fertility in 2006 as the lead embryologist. Karen leads a very experienced multidisciplinary team of 17, including scientific and support staff and strives to deliver a high quality service using the latest technologies available in Reproductive Medicine. She is also the HFEA person responsible Karen and the team at Leeds have been very involved locally and nationally with the scientific training program run by the national school of healthcare science and are very proud of the training they deliver, resulting in top quality state registered embryologists.

Karen Thompson

Embryologist

George Hughes

George Hughes

Embryologist

Since graduating from the University of Liverpool, I began my career as a trainee Embryologist at the Shropshire and Mid Wales Fertility Centre in 2010. I have provided embryology services in both NHS and private clinics across the U.K and I have now been based at the Assisted Conception Service in Glasgow for over 5 years. I am the current Conference Award Co-ordinator.

George Hughes

Embryologist

Ellen Armstrong

Ellen Armstrong

Embryologist

I completed a course in reproduction as part of a Biomedical Sciences degree at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne which sparked my interest in the field. I began as a trainee embryologist at CARE Fertility in Nottingham in 2005, was awarded my training certificate from the Association of Clinical Embryologists and then went on to gain state registration with the Health Care Professions Council. I have been with CARE Fertility for over 14 years, developing my career from Senior Embryologist to Laboratory Manager and Person Responsible of CARE Fertility Birmingham in 2016. I am very passionate about research and data analysis and have presented many studies at fertility conferences both in the UK and abroad on a wide range of subjects, from quality testing in the laboratory through to data on genetic testing from our clinics. This allows me not only contribute to scientific literature, but also to the development of techniques and protocols to achieve the best outcome and care for our patients.

Ellen Armstrong

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

Co-opted

Millie Kanani

Millie Kanani

STP representative

Millie is a HCPC registered Clinical Embryologist. Following her Undergraduate degree at The University of Southampton, and an MSc at Imperial College London, she was fortunate to gain a place on the Scientific Training Programme. Throughout her training at Salisbury Fertility Centre she was able to set-up and co-chair the Wessex Regional Scientific Network forging links with the LETB, as it were known. In 2017 Millie moved to Guy's Hospital Assisted Conception Unit and took on the role of the Co-opted STP Representative on the ACE Exec in 2018. Millie is also currently undertaking the HSST and working towards a Post Graduate Diploma focusing on Leadership and Management in Healthcare Science.

Millie Kanani

STP representative

Sam Rhodes

Sam Rhodes

Webmaster

Hi I’m Sam Rhodes and my role on the Executive Committee is the ARCS webmaster. For the last 18 months I have been the webmaster for ACE and have enjoyed building the new ARCS website. Feel free to contact me if you have any website queries

Sam Rhodes

Webmaster