Organising Committee

Professor William Leigh Ledger
MA, DPhil (Oxon) BM, BCh, FRANZCOG, FRCOG, CREI

Professor William Ledger is Head of Discipline of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of New South Wales, Director of Reproductive Medicine and Senior Staff Specialist at the Royal Hospital for Women and Chair of the Research and Development Committee and a fertility specialist at IVF Australia.

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Professor Ledger is a member of the RANZCOG Research Committee and the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Fertility Society of Australia. Recently, he was a member of the NHMRC Working Party to review national guidelines on ethics and ART. He is a member of the Editorial Board of 9 scientific journals, author of 276 journal articles and 17 books.

His research interests focus on in vitro fertilisation and assisted reproduction, impacts of reproductive ageing and disorders such as endometriosis, premature ovarian failure and polycystic ovary syndrome on fertility and quality of life, reproductive effects of cancer treatment and onco-fertility and health economic and demographic aspects of infertility.

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Professor Jason Abbott
B Med (Hons), FRANZCOG, FRCOG, PhD

Dr Jason Abbott is Professor of Gynaecological Surgery at the University of New South Wales. He is Senior Editor of the Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynaecology an associate editor for ANZJOG  and has an active role in undergraduate, post-graduate and doctoral supervision and is the former Chairman of the Practice Committee of the AAGL charged with delivering evidence-based guidelines for surgical gynaecology.

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Jason is the Medical Director of Endometriosis Australia, a charity established to improve education and awareness of the condition as well as raise research funds.   He has chaired the MBS review committee for benign gynaecology and helped shape Australia’s National Action Plan for Endometriosis launched July 2018 – the first for any disease in Australia and a blueprint for all other national action plans.   He is a Principle Investigator and Chair for the Australian Government funded National Endometriosis and Clinical Trials  (NECST) network in endometriosis in Australia.  Jason is a member of The Federal Governments Endometriosis Advisory Group and he Chairs the Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Expert Advisory Group on Endometriosis.  He is the immediate past President of the Australasian Society of Gynaecological Endoscopy and Surgery (AGES) Society and has been an Australian of the Year nominee.

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Professor Georgina Chambers
PhD, MBA, BAppSci(MLS), Grad Diploma(Comp)

Professor Chambers is the Director of the Australian National Perinatal Epidemiology and Statistics Unit (NPESU), at the University of New South Wales, Sydney (UNSW). She has built a significant research career in the epidemiology and statistical analysis of perinatal and maternity care data and is a recognised international leader in the health economics and policy analysis of assisted reproductive technologies (ART).

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She is the Data Custodian of the Australian and New Zealand Assisted Reproductive Technology Database (ANZARD) and the Australian and New Zealand Neonatal Network (ANZNN), and is a member of the International Committee for Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ICMART). Professor Chambers has published over 100 research papers and reports in perinatal epidemiology and health economics and has a special interest in equity of access to fertility treatment. She is an Associate Editor of Human Reproduction and frequently provides media commentary and advice to governments in her fields of research.

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Professor Michael Chapman
MB BS FRCOG FRANZCOG CREI

Professor Michael Chapman is one of Australia’s most highly profiled and respected fertility specialists. He is a busy clinician who has personally been involved in fertility care resulting in over 3000 pregnancies. His academic position enables him to be at the forefront of new advances in treatment which he applies in his practice at the earliest opportunity.

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He has a high public profile due to his tireless efforts to ensure access to Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) for all Australians, as a vocal patient advocate and senior medical academic training practitioners of the future.

When Chair of the IVF Directors Group he was instrumental, working closely with the Federal Government, to ensure access to ART treatment remained clinically protected as a doctor-patient medical decision. Today he is one of the country’s leading media commentators on reproductive health.

Michael graduated from the University of Adelaide, after which he specialised in obstetrics and gynaecology. He then moved to the UK, developing extensive experience in infertility, hormonal disorders and assisted reproductive technology (ART). Michael became a Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. He gained his Doctorate of Medicine at the University of London, where he was appointed Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Guy’s Hospital.

After 15 years abroad, Michael returned to Australia as Professor in the School of Women’s and Children’s Health at the University of New South Wales, and St George Public Hospital, Kogarah – a role he continues today. He is heavily involved in training and education at all levels and is an examiner for the Certificate in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility for the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, of which he is a Fellow.

Michael’s depth of experience comes from extensive international roles having established and run IVF services in London, Naples, Jeddah and Sydney. He lectures regularly at national and international meetings, has over 130 scientific publications and many book chapters. His particular interests are in IVF, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), recurrent miscarriage and menstrual problems.

Michael currently holds the following posts, Clinical Director for Women’s and Children’s Health, St George Hospital Executive Director for the Royal Hospital for Women, Fertility Society of Australia President, Australian and New Zealand Society of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Vice Chairman, CREI Subspeciality Committee RANZCOG.

Michael consults from IVFAustralia’s Kogarah and Miranda clinics.

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Professor Robert B. Gilchrist
DScAgr(Gött), FSRB

Professor Robert Gilchrist is an oocyte biologist whose research encompasses basic and applied aspects of ovarian folliculogenesis, oocyte maturation and preimplantation embryo development. He conducts discovery research on oocyte-somatic cell interactions as a determinant of subsequent embryonic development. He has made important scientific contributions demonstrating that oocyte paracrine signalling determines cumulus cell differentiation and function. He recently identified cumulin, a heterodimer of GDF9 and BMP15, and showed that it regulates cumulus cell function and oocyte quality. Dr Gilchrist also studies new biomarkers of oocyte quality. In addition he manages an applied research program with the objectives of improving oocyte in vitro maturation (IVM) technologies in animals and women. Currently a number of his IVM inventions are undergoing clinical evaluation.

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Professor Gilchrist completed his D.Sc.Agr. (Magna cum laude) in 1996 on oocyte maturation at the University of Göttingen in Germany. He then returned to Australia, where he spent 18 years at the University of Adelaide, initially as a post-doctoral fellow and then as a research group leader. He is currently Director of Research at the School of Women’s and Children’s Health at the University of New South Wales Sydney, Australia. He is an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow. He has published 125 peer-reviewed papers including 23 reviews/chapters.  He currently has an H-index of 43 with >6,300 citations [Scopus].

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Dr Christos Venetis
MD, FRANZCOG, MSc (Res), MSc (HCM), PhD

Christos Venetis obtained his degree in Medicine from the Medical School of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (A.U.TH), Greece. Subsequently, he attended the post-graduate studies program of the same School, from which he obtained his Master of Science in “Medical Research Methodology” and his PhD in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility with the Highest Distinction. He also obtained a Master of Science in Healthcare Management from the Hellenic Open University. He completed his training in OB/Gyn and his Subspecialty training in Reproductive Medicine at the 1st Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the Medical School of A.U.TH.

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Christos is currently a Senior Lecturer at the University of New South Wales and the Director of Clinical Research for IVFAustralia. He has been awarded a prestigious NHMRC Early Career Fellowship for his work on improving the efficacy and safety of assisted reproduction technology (ART) using big data. He is an author of more than 80 publications in international scientific journals (h-index: 32, >4500 citations) and of several chapters in books and has been an invited speaker in numerous international scientific meetings. He has also co-edited a textbook entitled “Recurrent Implantation Failure”.  For many years he has been a passionate advocate of evidence-based medicine and has been serving as a member of the editorial board of Human Reproduction since 2008. He is a regular ad-hoc reviewer for numerous scientific journals and is currently a Section Editor for Reproductive BioMedicine Online and an Associated Editor for Fertility & Reproduction, the Official Journal of ASPIRE. He also regularly reviews research for national funding bodies in Europe and Australia.

His research interests include ovarian stimulation, endometrial receptivity, reproductive epidemiology and the health of mothers and babies after ART. He is currently leading a number of research projects in these fields both nationally and internationally and is mentoring junior colleagues.

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