Karen, a founder partner of Fertility Genetics, graduated in Biology and Genetics and later gained a Master's degree in Genetic Counselling from Cardiff University, Wales. Karen is one of the first UK's Genetic Counsellors specialising in fertility and has led the Genetic Services at leading IVF centres in the country.
Karen is specialised in genetic counselling of patients undergoing preimplantation genetic testing for monogenic diseases (PGT-M), structural rearrangements (PGT-SR) and aneuploidy (PGT-A), preconception carrier screening, and has experience in general, prenatal and cancer genetics.
With a background in industry and education, Karen worked at the National Genetics Education and Development Centre (NGEDC) in Birmingham, UK, now called Health Education England (HEE), producing education materials for healthcare practitioners working in specialized areas of the National Health Service England (NHSE) to help prepare the workforce for the mainstream integration of genetics/genomics into routine clinical practice.
Valerie, a founder partner of Fertility Genetics, graduated in Biology in 1990 and began training as an embryologist under the tutorship of Lord Winston. She has since gained a masters degree in Health Promotion, PhD in Reproductive Immunology, Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists, Academy of Healthcare Science and Institute of Biomedical Scientists and is registered as a consultant clinical scientist specialising in genomic medicine within reproductive science.
Working within her specialism to promote training of embryologists Val is ex-chair and member of the panel of examiners for reproductive science for the RCPath and assessor for the Academy of Clinical Science, Academy for Health Care Science and guest lecturer for STP at Manchester Metropolitan University. She is training lead for the Association of Reproductive Clinical Scientists (ARCS) support staff, chair of the ARCS continuing professional development committee and co-chair of the ARCS education committee.
Valerie works with IVF providers and their patients to support understanding of the growing volume of genetic testing options and fertility treatment pathways.
Our professional partners
Pamela Callum is a licensed, certified genetic counselor in the United States. She trained at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City and has been specializing in reproductive genetics for over 15 years. She is the founder of Tandem Genetics.
Tandem offers a nation-wide team of genetic counselors to make genetic counseling services accessible to patients seeking reproductive genetic, cancer genetic, wellness and other clinical genetic consultations. Tandem also provides genetic counseling and support services for laboratories and clinics. Pamela is also the Senior Director of Clinical Operations for Generate Life Sciences.
Prof Alan H Handyside MA PhD
Professor Alan Handyside with Prof Lord Robert Winston at Hammersmith Hospital, London achieved the first pregnancies worldwide following in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) of inherited disease in 1990. He was the first chairman of the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) Special Interest Group in Reproductive Genetics and co-founder and first chairman of the ESHRE PGD Consortium.
Currently, Honorary Professor at the School of Biosciences, University of Kent in Canterbury, UK, Scientific Advisor (Genomics) with Vitrolife Sweden AB, Gothenburg, Sweden, ex-President of the International Society for Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGDIS) and President of the International Society for Reproductive Genetics (ISRG). He is the founder of Preimplantation Genetics consultancy www.preimplantationgenetics.com where he is happy to provide general advice on PGT for patients and professionals.
Jennifer Hunt, Senior Infertility Counsellor
Jennie has many years’ experience of providing counselling to people affected by infertility both in the UK and Australia. She works with couples and individuals who are dealing with the complex issues that can arise when it is difficult to conceive or carry a child. She is an Accredited Member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), a Senior Accredited Member of the British Infertility Counselling Association (BICA), as well as having qualifications in both stress management and couple counselling. She acts as a mentor for counsellors who are working towards accreditation and a professional supervisor for other counsellors and therapists.
Jennie has a long-standing commitment to ensuring the highest quality of care in fertility counselling with a particular interest in the issues that people face when considering egg/sperm or embryo donation or creating a family through surrogacy. She was the founding member and first chairperson of BICA, a committee member of the British Fertility Society and a Board member of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority. She is currently Chair of BICA’s Training Committee , a member of the BICA Accreditation Board and a member of the Imperial College Clinical Ethics Committee.
Jade Quirke, Solicitor
Jade is a family solicitor specialising in children, surrogacy and fertility law.
She has extensive experience advising clients in relation to their family building plans whether through surrogacy, donor conception, co-parenting or adoption and has dealt with many complex and ground-breaking cases in these areas of work.
Jade also advises clients who are working with fertility clinics and on issues such as consent, usage, storage and movement of embryos and gametes.
Forward-thinking, open minded and empathetic, Jade creatively advises her clients to help them feel empowered and informed about their family building plans. She is truly passionate about her work and has spoken at many events and written numerous articles and blogs on topics such as donor conception, surrogacy and adoption.
Amber Gardiner is a registered genetic counsellor who completed her Masters in Medicine and Genetic Counselling at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Amber specialises in cancer genetics, inherited cardiac conditions and the genetics of hearing loss. She is passionate about providing high quality care, being approachable and available to patients. Partnering with Amber (Evolve Genetics) extends our genetic counselling services for our patients into these highly specialised areas.
Dr Anand Saggar
Dr Saggar is a Consultant clinical geneticist in the South West Thames Regional Genetics Department at St George’s Hospital Medical School and Honorary Senior Lecturer within the Medical School. He is a founder partner of the International Gene Clinic where as a clinical genetics specialist and physician he supports people and families of all ages with genetics services. One of his major interests is inherited kidney disease for which he has an international reputation and links to his recent publication for the Oxford University Press entitled the ‘Genetics of Renal Disease’.
Dr Saggar actively takes part in regional clinics both general adult and paediatric dysmorphology alongside specialist clinics for patients with hypertension, kidney diseases, tuberous sclerosis thrombophillia (economy class syndrome), and cancer family histories. He has experience of teaching medical students, doctors, nurses and postgraduate MRCP and MRCOG candidates in Britain and abroad.
Clair Engelbrecht is a registered genetic counsellor who completed her Masters in Medicine and Genetic Counselling at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Clair specialises in the haemoglobinopathies, immunology and cancer genetics. Clair is passionate about providing high quality care, being approachable and available to patients. Partnering with Clair (Evolve Genetics) extends our genetic counselling services for our patients into these highly specialised areas.