Keynote Lecture's

Prof Mark Hughes
Genesis Genetics, South Africa

Professor Mark Hughes graduated from St. Johns University followed by a Masters in Biophysics at Stanford University and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biochemistry at the University of Arizona Medical Center. He continued his training at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston as a postdoctoral fellow, where his pivotal work was published in Science and Nature. Following this training Hughes completed his M.D. at Baylor, followed by house staff training in Internal Medicine and clinical subspecialty training at Duke University. Among his accomplishments was the realization that single cells could be molecularly data mined for diagnostic advantage: This led to a multi-year collaboration with reproductive endocrinologists and embryologists at the Hammersmith and UCLondon; the field of Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis was born. Professor Hughes, along with Professor Lord Robert Winston and Dr. Alan Handyside developed and performed the world's first cases of Preimplantation Genetics. In 1993, Hughes' research was recognized by Science magazine as being one of the "ten most significant advances" in all of science that year. He formed Genesis Genetics, a global network of DNA diagnostic laboratories now located in the USA, UK, Brazil, Argentina, Taiwan and South Africa.

Dr David Mortimer
Oozoa Biomedical, Canada

Originally from the UK: PhD (Edinburgh) 1977; post-docs in Edinburgh, Paris and Birmingham; Faculty member at the University of Calgary (Canada) in Obs & Gynae and Medical Physiology 1983-1991. Research focussed on human sperm pathophysiology. Scientific Director of Sydney IVF (Australia) 1991-1999. President of the Canadian Fertility & Andrology Society 2009-2010. Currently an Associate Editor of Human Reproduction Update.

Has given many invited lectures and taught in workshops and courses worldwide. Author/co-author of over 260 conference presentations and more than 145 publications, including the books Practical Laboratory Andrology (Oxford University Press, 1994), Quality and Risk Management in the IVF Laboratory (Cambridge University Press, 2005; 2nd edition 2015), and A Practical Guide to Basic Laboratory Andrology (Cambridge University Press, 2010). Co-founder of the ESHRE Basic Semen Analysis courses.

Became a full-time consultant in 1999 and, with his wife Dr Sharon Mortimer, established the Vancouver-based international reproductive biomedicine consulting company, Oozoa Biomedical, in 2000. Major activities include designing new ART laboratories and cryobanks, upgrading or implementing new lab systems, helping laboratories develop Total Quality Management programmes, and performing TQM audits.

Currently the Scientific Director for Atlantic Assisted Reproductive Therapies (Halifax, NS, Canada), Executive Scientific Director to the Vitalab Centre for Assisted Conception (Sandton, Gauteng, South Africa), Scientific Advisor to the Fiore Institute (St Gallen, Switzerland), and serves on Scientific Advisory Panels for Mellowood Medical, Planer and SCSA Diagnostics.

Prof Michael Pepper
University of Pretoria, South Africa

Michael Pepper is Director of the Institute for Cellular and Molecular Medicine, and a professor in the Department of Immunology in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Pretoria (UP). He directs the MRC Extramural Unit for Stem Cell Research and Therapy at UP. Michael is also professeur associť in the Department of Genetic Medicine and Development in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. He obtained his MBChB in 1982 from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Cape Town, and moved to Geneva in 1986, where he obtained his PhD in 1990 and MD in 1992. In 1997 he obtained his Habilitation and had the title Privat Docent conferred on him. He returned to South Africa in July 2004. He has worked extensively in the field of clinically-oriented (translational) molecular cell biology, and his current interest include stem cells and the human genome.