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  Meeting Chairpersons

Carlos Simón, Spain
Dr. Carlos Simon is Board Certified and Full Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Valencia, Scientific Director of the Fundación IVI and Scientific Director of Prince Felipe Research Center.
Since 1991, his basic and clinical research has contributed to the advance of Reproductive Medicine, specifically in the understanding of human endometrial receptivity, embryo viability, embryonic implantation and endometriosis. He discovered the relevance of the interleukin-1 system in embryonic implantation (Simon et al., JCEM 1993; 1994; Endocrinology 1994; BOR 2006). He demonstrated the deleterious effect of high hormonal levels in patients with high response to gonadotrophins thus modifying the established clinical practice (HR1995; Fertil Steril 1996;1998). He pioneered the concept that human oocytes are affected in endometriosis ( HR 1994; Fertil Steril 2000) thus changing the clinical practice in oocyte donation. He proposed a new embryo coculture system, now successfully used worldwide (JCEM 1996;Fertil Steril 2003). His basic research on endometrial receptivity led him to create and patent a customized array named endometrial receptivity array (ERA) for the molecular diagnosis of endometrial receptivity (Fertil Steril 2010).
In an independent bibliometric analysis considering publications in Reproductive Biology between 2003 and 2005, Carlos Simon was identified as the 9th most productive author in the world (Gonzalez-Alcaide G et al., Fertil Steril 90:941-56,2008).
Since 2001, he has expanded his research into the field of stem cells, resulting in the derivation, characterization, and registration in the Spanish National Stem Cell Bank (BNLC) of ten human embryonic stem cell (hESC) lines (http://www.isciii.es/htdocs/terapia/terapia_ bancocelular.jsp). He derived the first two hESC in Spain (Fertil Steril 2005) and described a new system for freezing hESC in the absence of animal contaminants. He derived VAL-6M, the first line with a monogenic disorder (Myotonic Dystrophy Type I) in Spain. Also, he obtained the first two hESC lines without destroying the human embryo using blastomere biopsy and demonstrated the lack of genetic diversity in the most common used hESC in the world (Mosher JT et al. N Engl J Med 2010). Finally, he reported the identification and characterization of human endometrial stem cells (Cervelló et al., PLoS ONE. 2010;5(6):e10964).
As Principal Investigator, his work has been funded through 10 projects sponsored by the Spanish Government, 5 by the Valencian Government, including a PROMETEO (granted to prestigious scientists) and 14 projects by international organizations, American Universities and private companies.
He has published a total of 275 papers in international peer-review journals, adding up to an accumulated impact factor of 1,076.246 . His papers have received a total of 7,038 cites with an average of 25.59 cites/paper. His H-Index is 45 and he is editor of 14 books.
He has been the Director of 18 Doctoral Thesis all qualified with "Cum Laude", including 4 PhD Awards of Excellence and one European PhD.
As inventor, his research has originated 11 Patent Applications, leading to the creation of 3 Biotech companies (iGenomix, Embryomics & Stemlifeline).
He has been awarded “Prize Jaime I 2011 in Medical Investigation”

Denny Sakkas, USA
Dr. Denny Sakkas received his undergraduate training at the University of Melbourne, Australia and received his Doctorate of Philosophy at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. His Ph. D. was performed at one of the leading Reproductive Research Units in the world; which was responsible for many of the innovations used in routine IVF today including, hormonal stimulation, embryo freezing and micromanipulation.
Dr. Sakkas has been the Laboratory Director of IVF units in Switzerland, England and the USA. He has aided numerous groups in establishing their own IVF units around the world. He has extensive experience in clinical IVF and reproductive research. He is internationally recognized, having organized conferences and workshops on reproduction related topics, and is frequently invited as a speaker at major conferences worldwide. He has published more than 150 peer reviewed manuscripts and chapters in the field of fertilization, early embryo development and male infertility. He has been extensively funded in his career and has a productive basic research group investigating many aspects of gamete and embryo biology. He also recently served as Chief Scientific Officer of Molecular Biometrics Inc.
Dr Sakkas is currently Scientific Director at Boston IVF and remains as an Associate Professor at the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the Yale University School of Medicine.

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