Hear from some of our previous students. Find out about their career paths and where they are working now.
Dr Biswanath Ghosh Dastidar
I am a medical doctor from India and joined Oxford on Felix and Commonwealth scholarships in 2012. I was awarded the highest overall score in my year at Oxford and graduated with Distinction in November 2013. I presently work as a clinical resident for Obstetrics and Gynecology in Mumbai. My time in Oxford was intense, rigorous and academically fulfilling. The course is structured to provide comprehensive instruction on both the clinical and laboratory aspects of IVF, besides an introduction to hands-on IVF lab procedures, including ICSI, blastocyst biopsy, vitrification, time-lapse embryo assessment and PGD. It provides in depth research training, including writing scientific papers for publication, on all related aspects of basic reproductive science, including a hands-on research project, and is excellent preparation for anyone looking to move on to a PhD. Lastly, the university and the city of Oxford offers a wide range of interesting experiences which are likely to make your time there memorable lifelong.
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MISS SARAH FRANCIS
I undertook the MSc in Clinical Embryology at the University of Oxford in 2012/13 and found the course extremely enjoyable and valuable. The MSc provided knowledge of the theoretical aspects of infertility and treatments, as well as practical experience in a range of techniques used in an embryology laboratory such as semen analysis, cryopreservation, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), and embryo biopsy. As these practical techniques were taught by Embryologists, they provided a real insight into the skills required for a career in this role. In addition, shadowing Embryologists and Consultants in Oxford Fertility allowed the opportunity to experience the workings of a fertility clinic and proved extremely interesting. In addition to learning techniques used in an ART setting, the course also provided experience in a range of techniques commonly used in research labs such as DNA extraction and PCR. During the final months of the course I undertook a research project which aimed to explore the prospect of nanoparticle-mediated delivery to gametes and embryos using zebrafish as a model. This research allowed me to learn techniques such as fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry and enabled me to become independent in the research lab. As a result, following the course, I took up a Research Assistant post at Durham University and began a PhD in 2015 exploring the molecular mechanisms underlying human sperm motility and the effect that female hormones exert on this behaviour. Overall, I feel that the opportunities and staff support received during the MSc in Clinical Embryology and beyond has been invaluable in providing me with the knowledge and skills for a career in reproductive science.
Miss Sevanna Shahbazian
I completed the MSc in Clinical Embryology from the University of Oxford in 2011. The specific nature of the MSc program allowed a thorough appreciation and understanding of both the theoretical and practical work carried out within an ART unit. Some of the laboratory skills undertaken during the course included manual semen analysis, the use of computer assisted semen analysis (CASA), sperm freezing, slow freezing of embryos, vitrification of blastocysts, Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) using mouse and shrimp eggs, embryo biopsy using a non-infrared laser, multiplex PCR as well as array comparative genomic hybridisation (aCGH). The MSc research project undertaken aimed to investigate the role of phospholipase C zeta in human male-factor infertility. The project was supervised by Dr Kevin Coward (NDWRH) and allowed the acquisition of ART laboratory skills in addition to those learnt during the taught program. After completing the MSc I began my first year of training as an entry level embryologist at the Assisted Reproduction and Gynaecology Centre (ARGC) in London. Following that, I moved to WFI (Neath Talbot), where I helped to set up and validate the IVF laboratory. I then returned to Oxford Fertility in 2014 where I started the ACE certificate as part of the UK embryology training scheme which I have now completed. I was subsequently offered an embryology position is the US and in 2018 moved to California to continue working as an embryologist at Ovation Fertility, Newport Beach. The MSc at Oxford not only gave me my initial love for the subject but also set me up perfectly for my career to follow. I would highly recommend the course to anyone considering a future in ART.
Contact Sevanna by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org
MR HANI BAGHERI
I completed my BSc in Medical Genetics at the University of Leicester in 2011 during which I began to grow interest to pursue my career in the field of embryology, developmental biology, and genomics. I then moved to the Nuffield Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology to start my MSc in Clinical Embryology (2011) at Oxford, during which I gained first-class knowledge regarding different aspects of embryology, from clinical practice and immediate impact on patient lives to scientific research and long-term goals. For my MSc research project I moved to the Centre for Trophoblast Research in Cambridge to work in Dr Kathy Niakan’s laboratory where I had the opportunity to work on human and mouse embryonic stem cells and investigate their potential to make trophoblast (placental) cells. After completing my MSc, I began a PhD in Dr. Evica Rajcan-Separovic’s laboratory in the Child and Family Research Institute, Vancouver, British Columbia, UBC. I am now a final year PhD candidate and planning to submit my thesis soon. My PhD project is focused on the genomics of prenatal and postnatal developmental abnormalities and I use zebrafish as a valuable animal model to study the genetics and biology of early human development. My exposure to zebrafish model while in Oxford was very useful in preparing me for my PhD research.
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Dr Nana A. A. Said
I am a medical doctor from Kaduna State, Nigeria and obtained my first degree in medicine from Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria, in 2009. I then worked mainly in the departments of Paediatrics and Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Nigeria prior to attending the University of Oxford to study the MSc in Clinical Embryology as an Exxon Mobil scholar in 2014/2015. This was a challenging, yet exciting, experience which has opened a lot of opportunities for me in both medicine and academia. I presently work as a medical doctor in Kaduna State and act as the Director of the Sparkling Support Centre in the same city. I plan to continue my career in the field of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and contribute to the growing field of assisted reproductive technology in Nigeria.
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MS ROBYN O’LEARY
My introduction to Embryology came in my fourth year of my undergraduate degree when I was twenty years old. Since then, embryos have taken an unexpected front row seat in my life. One of my favourite bosses always reminded me “An embryo is a life form, a dynamic creation holding all the keys to life.” Her words are a constant reminder of the immense impact and role we embryologists play in the world today. My time spent at Oxford University and the Clinical Embryology MSc family has been a highlight of my career and only helped to further my passion for the science of Embryology. After graduation I headed to the beautiful city of Boston, spending most of my days with the embryos, but after almost four years and way too much snow shovelling I headed back home to sunny California. I currently work as a Senior Embryologist in Beverly Hills.
Contact Robyn by emailing her at Robynnatalia@gmail.com
Dr Seiwaa Opare
I am a medical doctor and after graduating from the MSc program was accepted for speciality training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology by the Oxford Deanery, Health Education Thames Valley. Although predominantly clinical, I maintain a keen interest in academia in both obstetrics and gynaecology. I presented research on obstetric haemorrhage at the FIGO World Congress in Vancouver in 2015, and on fetal movements at the RCOG World Congress in Birmingham in 2016. However, my passion for fertility treatment remains, particularly focused on surgical techniques and interventions to optimize outcomes for patients undergoing assisted reproduction.
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Dr Elnur Babayev
I started medical school in my home country, Azerbaijan. After studying two years in Azerbaijan, I transferred to Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty in Istanbul University, Turkey. Following graduation in 2011, I started Msc Clinical Embryology at University of Oxford. My master thesis was about cell fate determination in early stage mammalian embryos, which I completed in Cambridge University in Dr. Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz lab. I graduated with distinction from Oxford and started a job at Yale University, USA in Dr. Emre Seli’s lab as a postdoctoral researcher. I stayed in this lab for about two and a half years. During the first half of my appointment I studied the expression of gene regulation at RNA level in mammalian oocytes and preimplantation embryos, and endoplasmic reticulum stress in mammalian oocytes and granulosa cells. During the second half of my appointment I studied the role of mitochondria in reproductive aging. Currently, I am back in clinical medicine and doing Obstetrics and Gynecology residency at Northwestern University, Chicago.
Contact Elnur by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org