Embryo Biopsy, Genetics & PGT Advanced Course (September 2021)


as designed by the University of Kent, UK

Our mission is to bring an awareness of the practice of IVF, genetics and reproductive medicine to anyone who may be interested. It comes as a package of equipment, biological material, learning material, and experts. This course will focus more on molecular and cytogenetic elements of reproduction.

Although our short courses will not train students to be a be a fully qualified clinical embryologist or cytogeneticist within weeks (such training is provided in-house in a highly regulated clinical environment and leads to a vocational qualification over 4 years), it is a first step on the ladder to see if it is something that they might want to do in the future.  This course can also lead to application for a relevant Master's level qualification (e.g. the  Reproductive Medicine: Science and Ethics program at the University of Kent), further professional development for State Registration as a Clinical Scientist with the Health Professions Council and/or membership of the Royal College of Pathologists.

This course will give you a realistic expectation of the likelihood of excelling in, and enjoying, this popular career path. It will explore the basics of lab technique and good practice. For ethical reasons, biological material in the form of gametes and embryos from non-human model species will be used as a proxy for human material. The course will be taught by experienced scientists in a "hands-on" way; indeed, one of the unique selling points of this course is its high practical component, giving a real experience of how a genetics lab works.


The aim of this course is to give you a basic understanding of molecular and cytogenetic techniques and their applications in the field of clinical diagnosis e.g. for infertility or prenatal diagnosis and biological research. Throughout the course there will be both theoretical and practical elements to the course enabling hands-on experience with molecular cytogenetic tools. By the end of the course, you have generated your own fluorescently labelled probes that may be used to analyze chromosomes. 

You will be examined on both theoretical and practical elements of all the week's modules to assess hands-on skills and understanding of the techniques involved and you will be provided with a lab book in which to take notes during each of the sessions.  At the end of the course the lab book will be assessed. It will also be invaluable for the final day assessment coverings content throughout the course.


Aimed primarily at students studying on a biology, science, medical laboratory  sciences and medical related degree. This IVF course will supplement your existing knowledge with valuable practical training, and allow you to discuss research in depth with the academics who are leading experts in their area. It will prepare you and enhance your appeal to potential employers and graduate schools or even change a career to become embryologist and help in solving the infertility  problem, be part of completing families and be part of their life for ever.

  • For all undergraduate  univeristy students with a background in biology, science, medical laboratory sciences and medical field
  • For all postgraduates university students with a background in biology, science, medical laboratory sciences and medical field
  • For all the junior scientists / junior embryologists. For all the senior scientists / senior embryologists


AED 7299 (Group and Student discounts available - please Contact Us for further details)


For further information, please send your inquiry to ritchel.leonora@tri-c-academy.com.


This course is made up of both practical & theoretical sessions over a 9 week period commencing 06 September 2021:

Theory (weeks 1-4):
The theoretical component of this course totaling 26 hours will be via lecture recordings hosted on an online platform. The course material will be accessible on-demand to students for a period of 4 weeks and must be completed sequentially and prior to the commencement of the practical sessions scheduled for weeks 5 through 9.

Practical (weeks 5-9):
The practical sessions of this course will be delivered by both video (online) material in weeks 5 through 8 and in a lab facility (located in Dubai) over 4 days in week 9.

The Course is made up of 5 modules, including the following topics (both practical & theoretical):

Week 1:
• “Love my Genome” film
• Reproductive Genetics
• Fluorescence Microscopy
• How to Maintain a Lab Book
• How to be a Successful Scientist

Week 2:
• Fertility Treatment, IVF and PGD
• Are our (Genetic) Male Bits Disappearing?
• Preimplantation Genetics Diagnosis: A 25-Year Perspective
• Blastocysts In 2019 – New insights into Mechanisms of Formation and Function
• Mini Projects (Presentations)

Week 3:
• Cytogenetic Screening for Infertility in Animals + Assignment (Karyotyping Exercise)
• Selection and Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT) in Farm Animals
• Micromanipulation Equipment: An Introduction
• Embryo Biopsy and Micromanipulation

Week 4:
• Biopsied Blastomere Tubing/Moving Biopsied Embryos
• Msc. in Reproductive Medicine at Kent University
• Embryo Grading for Biopsy and Cryopreservation Theory
• Jurassic Spark - How to Map the Genomes of Dinosaurs

Week 5:
• Aseptic Techniques in IVF Lab/Clinical Practice
• Whole Genome Amplification (WGA): Practical Class
• Equipment for PGT Lab/Clinical Practice
• Quality Control & Protocols in IVF Lab/Clinical Practice

Week 6:
• Day 3 Biopsy Set Up/Clinical Practice
• Day 3 Embryo Grading and Embryo Selection for Biopsy/Clinical Practice
• Day 3 Biopsy Protocol/Clinical Practice
• Blastomere Tubing, Slides Preparation and Blastomere Fixation for FISH/Clinical Practice

Week 7:
• Day 5 Embryo Biopsy Set Up/Clinical Practice
• Day 5 Embryo Grading and Embryo Selection for Biopsy/Clinical Practice
• Day 5 Biopsy Protocol/Clinical Practice
• Day 5 Tubing, Array CHG, NGS/Clinical Practice

Week 8:
• DNA Extraction
• DNA Amplification
• Nick Translation
• FISH Protocol

Professor Darren Griffin
University of Kent
Prof Darren Griffin>

Professor Darren Griffin received his Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Science degrees from the University of Manchester and his PhD from University College London. After postdoctoral stints at Case Western Reserve University and the University of Cambridge he worked at Brunel University before settling at the University of Kent, UK where he’s been for the last 15+ years. He has worked under the mentorship of Professors Joy Delhanty, Christine Harrison, Terry Hassold, Alan Handyside and Malcolm Ferguson-Smith.
He is President of the International Chromosome and Genome Society, a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists, the Royal Society of Biology and the Royal Society of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce. He sits on the faculty of CoGen (controversies in genetics) and has previously sat on the board of the Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis International Society (PGDIS).
Professor Griffin is a world leader in cytogenetics. He performed the first successful cytogenetic PGD (using X and Y FISH probes for sexing) and, more recently, played a significant role in the development of Karyomapping, an approach he now applies to cattle. In a 30+ year scientific research career he has co-authored over 200 scientific publications, mainly on the cytogenetics of reproduction and evolution, most recently providing insight into the karyotypes of dinosaurs.
He is a prolific science communicator, making every effort to make scientific research publicly accessible (both his own and others) and is an enthusiastic proponent for the benefits of interdisciplinary research endeavour. He has supervised over 35 PhD students to completion and his work appears consistently in the national and international news. He currently runs a vibrant research lab of about 20 people (including a programme of externally supervised students) and maintains commercial interests in the outcomes of research findings, liaising with companies in the field.

Shadi Khalil B.Sc, M.Sc, DipRC Path., Ph.D. student
The IVF Company

Shadi Khalil received his Bachelor of Pharmacy from Al-Ahliyya Amman University, Kingdom of Jordan and his Master of Medical Science MSc in Assisted Reproduction Technology, Academic Division of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, school of Human Development from The University of Nottingham, United Kingdom. He received his Diploma in Clinical Embryology from The Royal College of Pathologist, United Kingdom. Also he is currently a Ph.D. student in Reproductive Genetics at the Univeristy of Kent, UK.
Shadi Khalil is a British clinical scientist registered with the Health Professional Council (HPC)- from the United Kingdom. Also he is ICSI & Genetic Biopsy practitioner licensed from the Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority (HFEA) from the United Kingdom.
Working at the ARGC (The UK&Europe highest success IVF clinic) with Mr Mohamed Taranissi, gained him certain type of skills and expertise in dealing with complex fertility problems with specific difficulties such as having recurrent implantation failure, monitoring patients with knowledge of immunology of implantation, keeping one step a head, pioneering screening embryos for inherited/chromosomal diseases using the latest technology in the United Kingdom.
Achieving Diploma degree in Clinical Embryology from the British Royal college of Pathologist (DipRCPath) added to his scientific knowledge, skills and expertise at the highest professional level over the full range of Embryology and Genetics procedures in the provision of a high quality assisted conception service to patients. And as ICSI and Genetic Biopsy practitioner have performed over 5000 ICSI procedures.
Shadi has a keen interest in teaching as a university lecturer. He participated in the University of Kent IVF summer school by giving lectures for IVF students about clinical embryology.

Dr Giuseppe Silvestri
University of Kent

Dr Giuseppe Silvestri was awarded his BSc in Molecular Biology by the University of Naples Federico II, Italy, following which he moved to the UK where he received his MSc in Reproductive Medicine and then a PhD in Genetics, both from the University of Kent. He is a full member of the AETE (Association of Embryo Technology in Europe) and of the Genetics Society and over the last 2+ years, he has been working as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the laboratory of Professor Darren Griffin on a BBSRC funded project aiming at improving the technologies currently available for embryo production and genetic testing.
Dr Silvestri’s research is chiefly focuses on mammalian embryology and he has an especial interest in embryo production strategies applicable to farm animals, such as cattle. A key aim of his present work is the development of methods to efficiently obtain high quality embryos following in vitro maturation (IVM) of oocytes recovered from young donors. He is also in the process of demonstrating the benefits of the application of preimplantation genetic testing to farm animal embryo production systems, where the selection of the most desirable embryos and the removal of those affected by chromosomal disorders before transfer can greatly benefit breeders. The applied focus of this research has allowed him to establish links with many companies not just in the UK, but also in Europe and North America.
Dr Silvestri has a keen interest in teaching and is an associate fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He has extensive experience supervising students at both undergraduate and postgraduate level and is heavily involved in the delivery of the BI842 module “The IVF World” of the MSc Reproductive Medicine: Science and Ethics at the University of Kent, which encompasses the theorical and practical aspects of IVF including oocyte retrieval, andrology, and micromanipulation among others.

Dr Lucas Kiazim
University of Kent
Dr Lucas Kiazim

Dr Lucas Kiazim began his career in science through his studies of Biology (BSc) at the University of Kent. After completing his undergraduate degree, he continued his pursuit into academia by undertaking a Ph.D. in Genetics under the supervision of Professor Darren Griffin. Dr Kiazim is a full member of the Royal Society of Biology (MRSB) and Genetics Society, and over the last year has been working as a postdoctoral research associate on a BBSRC funded project to assemble fragmented mammalian genome assemblies to that of a chromosome-level.
Dr Kiazim’s research focuses on genome organisation and evolution in mammals, birds, and reptiles by reconciling sequence data and karyotypic information via the mapping of fluorescent DNA markers. By investigating the nature and degree of chromosomal rearrangements, his research aims to elucidate how changes in genome organisation result in phenotypic and behavioural traits. In addition to his research, Dr Kiazim assists with the running of Cytoscreen Solutions Ltd, providing a service for diagnosing chromosomal rearrangements that affect fertility in agricultural and domestic animals.
Currently, Dr Kiazim is an associate fellow of the Higher Education Academy and has dedicated over 4 years to the training of many undergraduate and postgraduate students, in addition to new research staff, visiting students, and collaborators. He has also played a pivotal role in designing and running an international molecular biology and cytogenetics summer school at the University of Kent.

Maria Serrano Albal
University of Kent
Maria Serrano Albal

Maria Serrano Albal was awarded a BSc in Biology with a focus on clinical practices, from the University of Valencia, Spain. Afterwards, she went on to receive an MSc in The Biology and Technology of Reproduction in Mammals from the University of Murcia, Spain. Here she obtained first-hand experience in embryology, with a special focus on porcine in vitro maturation. Maria is currently pursuing her Ph.D in Genetics at the University of Kent with Professor Darren Griffin. Her research project is supported by the BBSRC, and she was granted an industrial-sponsored scholarship funded by Topigs Norsvin and JSR Genetics, to investigate oocyte maturation and its effect on embryo development.
Maria’s research focuses on the development of new strategies for the improvement of mammalian in vitro production (IVP) protocols in order to obtain high quality embryos. She also studies the nature and origin of aneuploidies, and how the use of the preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidy in embryos for animal production could increase pregnancy rates and live births.
Since 2019, Maria has also been employed as a laboratory demonstrator for the School of Biosciences at the University of Kent. She has been involved in teaching postgraduate and undergraduate students, ensuring that practical sessions run smoothly and are conducted safely. Additionally, Maria also teaches on the module BI842: “The IVF World” for the MSc Reproductive Medicine: Science and Ethics, where the students learn about the most relevant topics related to IVP, such as oocyte retrieval, in vitro maturation, sperm capacitation and embryo grading.

Mayyas Jaweesh
The IVF Company
Mayyas Jaweesh

Mayyas Jaweesh was awarded her BSc in Clinical Laboratory Sciences by King Saud University, Saudi Arabia, following which she moved to the UK where she received her MSc in Assisted Reproduction technology from the department of obstetric and gynaecology, school of human development at the University of Nottingham. Currently she is a PhD student in Molecular reproductive Genetics at the University of Saarland, Homburg, Germany.
Mayyas’s PhD research focuses on the effect of freezing on mitochondrial sperm DNA and its subsequent effect on sperm motility and fertilisation capacity.
Mayyas has a long experience of 13 years in the field of human IVF by working in different leading infertility clinics as a senior clinical embryologist which gave her the opportunity to use her academic knowledge to develop her clinical and laboratory skills.
Mayyas has a keen interest in teaching and being a future University Lecturer. She has extensive experience in participating as a presenter and speaker in many conferences and journal clubs, as well as she was responsible for training new embryologist about all the IVF laboratory procedures during her career as an embryologist specialist.