Professor Helen Picton

Professor at the University of Leeds, Scientific Director of Leeds Fertility, Scientific Advisor for IVF Bioscience

We are pleased to announce the appointment of our new Scientific Advisor, Professor Helen Picton. Professor Helen Picton is Head of the Reproduction and Early Development Research Group and Programme Manager for MSc and PGDip in Clinical Embryology and Assisted Reproduction Technology at the University of Leeds as well as Honorary Consultant and Scientific Director of Leeds Fertility within the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. Helen achieved her BSc in Animal Production Science from the University of Edinburgh in 1985 before achieving her PhD from the University of Edinburgh Medical School in ­­­­1989.

Helen’s research is focused on the development of a detailed understanding of the cellular, metabolic and molecular biology of ovarian follicles, oocytes and embryos in humans and domestic animals. Helen is actively involved in the identification of cellular and molecular markers of oocyte and embryo quality, the development of methods for the in vitro maturation of oocytes, oocyte and ovarian tissue freezing and the therapeutic production of oocytes in vitro for the preservation of fertility in girls and women or the conservation of female germ plasm in domestic and rare species. Most recently her team has designed and tested microfluidic culture devices to aid embryo production in vitro.

Helen’s research laboratory has been the recipient of numerous research awards and prizes and she has supervised over 100 MSc research projects, and 32 PhD. and MD fellows. Helen has filed 4 patents and has published over 135 original research papers, reviews and book chapters in the field of female reproduction, fertility and the conservation of fertility. Helen has delivered over 128 invited lectures, seminars, symposium papers or prize lectures at national and international conferences and workshops worldwide. Helen is the former Chair of the UK Society for Reproduction and Fertility and the former Coordinator of the ESHRE Task Force on Fertility Preservation in Severe Diseases. She has acted as a temporary technical advisor to the WHO.  She is a current member of the UKRI, MRC Population Systems and Medicine Board.

Helen has trained many embryology students in her state-of-the-art laboratory teaching facilities and many of her past students are active in clinical and veterinary IVF laboratories all over the world. Helen is a true expert and pioneer in the IVF field and brings a rich bank of knowledge to the IVF Bioscience Scientific Advisory Panel. Helen will be advising us on IVF media development, performing BEA testing, working on new products and providing technical support for our customers.

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