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Storing Frozen Embryos From First IVF Treatment May Be an Advantage

Women Have Good Chances of a Second IVF Pregnancy

May 8, 2020/ Source: Amanda D’Ambrosio, MedPage Today – Women who conceived their first child via assisted reproductive technology (ART) and returned for a second baby had better than even probability of getting pregnant again, according to a large population-based study.

After six complete cycles, women who recommenced ART treatment with previously frozen embryos had a cumulative live birth rate of 61% to 88%, depending on assumptions made about the likelihood of success in women who dropped out of treatment, reported Georgina Chambers, PhD, of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and colleagues.

As shown in the team’s study online in Human Reproduction, for women who started in vitro fertilization (IVF) for their second baby with fresh embryos, cumulative live birth rates were between 51% and 70%.

Of more than 35,000 women in Australia and New Zealand who conceived a child via ART, 43% returned to treatment for a subsequent pregnancy, the researchers said.
“This is the first time that the estimates for the chances of having a second baby using IVF have been calculated,” Chambers told MedPage Today via email. “This is important because most couples want more than one child. And those that had to use IVF to achieve their first baby are likely to need IVF again.”

Alan Penzias, MD, director of the Fellowship Program in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Harvard Medical School in Boston, who was not involved with the study, commented that it reflects a shift in thinking about treatment for infertility.

“In the early days of IVF when success rates were low, the focus was getting to ‘the baby,'” he told MedPage Today. “Having a second child was rarely considered. Nowadays, we ask couples what they see as their ideal family size at the first visit, so understanding how likely a second child is after the first success becomes very relevant.”

Penzias added that the study not only helps physicians quantify the chances of a second IVF success, but also allows them to understand what characteristics lead to that success. “Having this information can help physicians understand who to counsel to persist and who should be counseled to think about other alternatives,” he said.

Around 15% of couples, or 180 million people worldwide, experience infertility, Chambers and colleagues wrote. The aim of their study was to identify factors associated with returning to ART treatment for a second child, and to calculate both cycle-specific and cumulative live birth rates.

The researchers looked at data from the Australian and New Zealand Assisted Reproduction Database for ART cycles performed from 2009 to 2015. The database includes all 90 fertility clinics in these two countries, which are required to report ART cycles for licensing agreements.

The study population included 35,290 women who had an ART-conceived infant, and received treatment from 2009 to 2013. Women were followed up for 2 to 7 years, and all live births up to 2016 were included. The researchers excluded cycles that used donated oocytes or embryos, as well as any treatment for the purpose of long-term oocyte or embryo storage only.
The group adjusted for women’s age, the cause of infertility at the second time of ART treatment, and the time between the first ART-conceived live birth and the second treatment, as well as the parity and characteristics of the first treatment.

More than 15,000 women returned to IVF treatment for their second child. Those who were nulliparous at the time of their first ART-conceived child and those who were younger were more likely to return, and were also more likely to have had a fresh embryo transfer, the researchers reported.

During the second ART treatment, women more likely to have a second live birth were younger, had frozen embryos stored from their first IVF treatment, had a shorter time between the birth of their first child and second treatment, and got pregnant in the first few cycles.

The live birth rate in the first complete cycle was 43.4% for those who used a frozen embryo from the previous treatment, and 31.3% for women who started a new ovarian stimulation cycle. Although cycle-specific live birth rates declined in successive cycles, cumulative live birth rates increased for all age groups up to six cycles.
Among women younger than 30, live birth rates were similar for those who started their second treatment with previously frozen or fresh embryos. Yet for older women, live birth rates were better for those who used frozen embryos.

Regarding the clinical implications, Penzias said: “For those patients who want more than one child, there may be an advantage to having frozen embryos available from the first IVF cycle to use as frozen embryos for the second child.”

Study limitations, Chambers and colleagues said, included that the research does not account for individual prognostic factors that may affect a woman’s chance of IVF success, including the duration of infertility, body mass index, and ovarian reserve. In addition, since use of IVF is high in Australia and since it is included in universal healthcare coverage, the study’s generalizability to other groups may be limited.

Primary Source: Human Reproduction
Source Reference: Paul RC, et al “Cumulative live birth rates for women returning to ART treatment for a second ART-conceived child” Hum Reprod 2020; DOI: 10.1093/humrep/deaa030.

War and Male Genital Trauma – Experiences from Iraq and Afghanistan

March 12, 2012, from the Male Reproductive Health Alliance – Steve Waxman, M.D., J.D.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade have resulted in over 50,000 United States combat related injuries. Genitourinary (GU) trauma accounted for roughly one in twenty of all these injuries. The vast majority of these injuries were puncturing (penetrating) in nature and most were as a result of improvised explosive devices (IEDs). A breakdown of the genito-urinary injuries to the external genitalia was as follows: scrotum in 29%, testis in 9%, and penis in 14%.[1] The aftermath of all these injuries from both a physical and mental standpoint are as yet unknown. Blast injuries to the male external genitalia are much different than those injuries seen in civilian practice. Civilian penetrating trauma is typically secondary to gun shot or knife wounds. Blast injuries from IEDs commonly injure the lower extremities in addition to the external genitalia. Typically the wounds are grossly contaminated with debris from the blast. Initial treatment of the wounds depends on the overall severity of the patient’s injuries and the concurrent need for damage control resuscitation and surgery.

Saving the testicle(s) in the war zone hospitals have been reported to be as high as 74% in Operation Iraqi Freedom.[2] A high index of suspicion is essential when addressing wounds to the external genitalia following an IED blast. Small entry wounds to the scrotum may be associated with severe testicular trauma.  There are multiple levels of care in the war zone such that injured patients are systematically evaluated, treated and transported from point of injury up range to larger facilities and eventually out of the war area. At each stop along the chain, patient wounds are examined, washed out, re-explored and repaired if necessary. The long-term effects of blast injuries to the lower urinary tract and external genitalia have not been completely studied as the patients are currently cared for by numerous health care systems around the world in addition to military and Veterans’ Administration hospitals. Important information to know would be the number of injured male soldiers with low testosterone, impotence and infertility just to name a few. Also, we must know what additional surgeries were performed to reconstruct these patients. The Army Dismounted Complex Blast Injury (DCBI) Task Force published a report describing the nature, incidence and management of these injuries.[3] By definition, this pattern of wounds involve the traumatic amputation of one leg with severe injury to another extremity and pelvic, abdominal or urogenital wounding. As the GU injuries tend to be extensive, the presence of an urologist in theater is crucial.  The Army DCBI task force is an excellent start towards improving care for these patients. A new task force on urotrauma has been introduced several times in the United States Congress. The goals of the task force are not only to follow these patients and collect data, but also to assure that these patients receive the appropriate urologic care, and educate providers and laypersons.

Although body armor and tourniquets have allowed patients to survive their combat injuries, IED blasts continue to result in significant GU trauma. The groin flap that is meant to extend down from the body armor vest is often not worn or is ineffective in shielding the groin from IED blasts. The British Army has begun to issue boxer underwear to their deployed troops which contain Kevlar fabric meant to protect the external genitalia and femoral vessels. The advantage of this design is that the external genitalia are totally encased by the Kevlar fabric.

 

Fertility Preservation Network Collaborates with National Disease Research Interchange

ReproTech, Ltd. has agreed to facilitate collaboration between fertility and cancer centers within its network of facilities and the National Disease Research Interchange (NDRI), to provide surgical tissue for use in studies to understand human disease.

 

Staff at participating medical facilities will be provided with NDRI information and consent forms to distribute to their patients who are interested in donating tissues recovered from surgeries that would otherwise be discarded. These patients, through NDRI’s Private Donor Program, will have the opportunity to register as tissue donors for medical research. NDRI will work to maximize all researchers’ access and opportunity to receive donated samples. By working with many researchers, rather than only with a single institution, the chances of new treatments, or cure, is heightened dramatically. NDRI accepts tissue for cancer research, common or rare disease research and also provides healthy samples for scientists to use as ‘control’ samples to compare against affected ones. Tissue may be donated from any type of surgery.

“As scientists continue to advance in finding cures for human disease, donation to benefit research is critical. ReproTech is pleased to work with NDRI and our participating facilities to contribute to the ultimate goal of disease cures”, says Brent Hazelrigg, CEO of ReproTech.

“The collaboration between NDRI and Reprotech may ultimately benefit the lives of millions. NDRI has worked with over 5000 scientists in the United States as well as throughout the globe. When patients have the option to donate these tissues after surgery, they are provided with the ability to potentially advance medical science and contribute to the development of new treatments and cures”, says Lee Ducat, President of NDRI.

The National Disease Research Interchange (NDRI) was founded in 1980 by Lee Ducat, in response to requests from the biomedical community for human tissues to corroborate their animal studies. As a non-profit corporation funded primarily by the National Institutes of Health, NDRI is dedicated to the procurement, preservation and distribution of human cells, tissues and organs to researchers studying diseases such as HIV/AIDS, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, retinitis pigmentosa, Alzheimer’s disease and over 100 other diseases. Since 1980, NDRI has supplied over 300,000 tissue samples to over 5,000 researchers in the United States and internationally. To learn more about NDRI, or about registering as a donor, please call 800-222-NDRI(6374) or visit www.ndriresource.org.

Reproductive Tissue Storage Facility Offers Category 5 Hurricane Safe Room

Cryostorage facility offers peace of mind to its clients in hurricane-prone areas

May 25, 2012 – ReproTech, Ltd., the leading cryobank specializing in long-term storage of human reproductive tissue (sperm, eggs, embryos, and ovarian and testicular tissue), relocated its Florida cryostorage facility and added an EF-5 Tornado Safe Room in preparation for the upcoming Hurricane Season.

The Safe Room, designed by structural engineers, is manufactured by F-5 Storm Shelters & Safe Rooms. A Category 5 Hurricane Safe Room can sustain winds greater than 155 mile per hour. F-5’s Safe Room is designed and certified to withstand 330 mile per hour winds, and exceeds all of the F.E.M.A. guidelines as an EF-5 Tornado Safe Room. ReproTech is the only storage facility in the country to go through the expense of installing an EF-5 Tornado Safe Room as a Hurricane Shelter for the safe keeping of clients’ specimens.

According to Robert Taylor, President of F-5 Storm Shelters, “This is the first order for a customized shelter for use in this type of operation. We’re flattered to have been selected by ReproTech, Ltd. for such a build and are confident in the design and integrity of the shelter’s ability to protect their clients’ specimens during a storm.”

Hurricane-Proof Embryo and Sperm Storage

ReproTech’s location in South Florida was selected to be close to its clients, but in doing so, does put it the possible path of a hurricane and subsequent flooding. In an attempt to significantly limit the risk, ReproTech installed this Hurricane Shelter. However, that is only part of the solution. Safety from flooding is also a necessity. Therefore the exact location in South Florida was selected due to it being located outside the 500 year flood plain, meaning it has less than a 1/5 of 1% chance of flooding in any given year. While a 100% chance of not flooding would be desired, this is not possible in all of Florida (in fact, not possible in most of the U.S.). The 99.8% certainty of not flooding, both from a typical type of flood and being out of the area impacted by Category 5 Hurricane Storm surges, combined with the F5 storm shelter, provides tremendous peace of mind.

As an industry leader in long term storage, ReproTech continues to aggressively explore systems, procedures and equipment that will assure the continued safety of the specimens its clients have entrusted to them.

About ReproTech, Ltd.

ReproTech, Ltd. was founded in 1990 for the purpose of providing long-term cryostorage services and now operates regional cryostorage facilities in Florida, Minnesota, and Nevada. More information is available by calling 888-953-9669.

About F-5 Shelters & Safe Rooms

F-5 Storm Shelters & Safe Rooms, founded in 1995, located in Baskin, LA, offers underground and above ground shelters, both types with many available options. To contact F-5, call 318-248-2994.

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ReproTech, Ltd., the leading long-term cryostorage facility for reproductive tissues, has been providing its services since 1990 and operates the Fertility Preservation Network, a network that provides Auto Transfer Management services.  Auto Transfer Management eliminates the risks of

World Record Shattered

August 24, 2012 – World Record for Birth through Cryopreserved Sperm is Broken

As a world record is broken, hope comes alive.

 

Late in August, twin girls were born to a couple who used in vitro fertilization (IVF) to achieve pregnancy. On the surface, this may look like just another of the increasingly common success stories for the IVF industry. But this story has its own unique twist that makes it different from every other IVF pregnancy—the sperm used to fertilize the egg was frozen over 40 years ago, shattering the existing record of 28 years for a successful live birth through cryopreserved sperm.

In the beginning.

In 1971, a Japanese American war hero banked his sperm with a sperm bank where Russ Bierbaum, a young pioneer in reproductive tissue cryopreservation, was the acting laboratory technician. The war hero was the “first born” of a proud Japanese family whose culture dictates the family blood line be carried on through the first born son. Shortly after learning he and his wife would never have children of their own, he discovered none of his siblings were going to be able to preserve the family blood line either. That’s when he started the journey to maintaining his heritage through a surrogate.

Having banked his sperm, he contacted a surrogate agency to find a mother for the child who would save his family’s blood line. In the years that followed, the dream faded—surrogates were hard to find and the few who were willing were unable to achieve successful pregnancies. Yet his hope remained undeterred; as a successful American businessman, he continued to put money into a trust that would one day provide for the child he remained committed to fathering. Ultimately, Family Formation Law Offices of Michelsen and Cohen were able to connect him with a couple who was seeking pregnancy through donor sperm and was eager to become part of a much greater story. In late fall of 2011, a successful pregnancy was announced, followed nearly nine months later with the birth of twin girls.

According to Russ Bierbaum, a pioneer in the human reproductive tissue specialty, the length of time human reproductive tissue can be frozen and successfully used is still unknown. “Cryobiologists [scientists who study ultra-low temperature storage] have calculated that it could be several thousand years…the birth of these twins brings us one step closer to that truth.” Bierbaum, an executive at ReproTech, Ltd.—the nation’s leader in long-term cryostorage—has played a key role in this particular pregnancy from the beginning. As previously mentioned, Bierbaum worked as a lab technician back in 1971 at the sperm bank where the donor’s sperm was first frozen. In the 40 years since, his organizations have handled much of the shipping and storage of the specimen.

“What is gratifying for us,” reports Bierbaum, “is that the systems and processes we’ve built for over 50 years are now proven. The specimen used in this birth was collected and preserved over 40 years ago. Since then it has been transferred across the country four times using our shipping tanks and the procedures we designed as well as our storage facilities. In my mind, the science of long-term storage and its efficacy was never in doubt. However, maintaining the integrity and safety of the specimen through multiple shipments has never been tested to this extent.”

ReproTech, Ltd., is a long-term cryostorage company with four locations throughout the United States. As the leading provider of long-term cryostorage services in the country, ReproTech had a vested interest in seeing the successful birth of these twins. “This is a huge seal of approval for the shipping processes, containers, and storage methods we’ve developed over the years,” said Bierbaum. “Perhaps the biggest reservation we hear among the IVF docs is their concern about the shipping and handling of precious specimens. Even though we successfully ship thousands of specimens a year, these births prove that our systems have been effective all along. It’s additional proof that we are the true leaders in the long-term storage and handling of reproductive tissue.”

The practical application.

Although the birth of these twins from 40 year old sperm is an unusual story, it does have a more immediate and practical application for cancer patients. People like Bierbaum have forever been preaching to oncology professionals that long-term storage is a viable option for children and young men and women to preserve their fertility prior to cancer treatments that will affect their future fertility. “This proves that a young male can effectively store semen and confidently use it 20, 30, or 40 years later to start a family,” said Bierbaum. “We’re hoping this kind of news will convince oncology professionals to be more proactive about discussing future fertility with their patients and begin the necessary steps to assure that their patients have been informed.”

ReproTech Earns AATB Accreditations

November 27, 2012 – ReproTech, Ltd.’s established three facilities have again been awarded the prestigious accreditation of the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB), it was announced today by Russell Bierbaum, President.

AATB accreditation follows an intensive nine-month process, and ensures that the processed tissue is of high quality and that tissue banking activities are performed in a professional manner consistent with or exceeding the AATB’s Standards.

Tissue banks also undergo an independent review of their standard operating procedures (SOPs) and an on-site inspection of their facilities and operations. AATB inspectors examine tissue banks for compliance with all aspects of the Association’s standards and policies, including record-keeping, quality control, quality assurance, donor screening, testing and suitability determinations.

The AATB has been accrediting tissue banks since 1986. Today, its Accreditation Program and its Standards for Tissue Banking are the only such private, industry programs available in the United States. AATB accreditation assists tissue banks in determining whether their methods, procedures, personnel knowledge, equipment, and facilities meet established requirements. The minimum requirements for accreditation are based on the AATB Standards and the Accreditation Policies Manual.

“The AATB’s Accreditation procedures are voluntary,” Russell Bierbaum, President, explained. ReproTech, Ltd. renewed its AATB accreditations because this program assists facilities to achieve excellence by promoting a level of expertise that contributes to quality performance.”

AATB-accredited tissue banks are involved in the determination of donor eligibility as well as the retrieval, processing, storage and/or distribution of human cells and tissue for transplantation or research. Obtaining AATB accreditation demonstrates an organization’s commitment to the highest standards and to the highest possible level of service to patients and the transplant community. AATB-accredited organizations are recognized as the leaders in their field and as pivotal voices in the dialogue through which consensus-based, voluntary standards are developed and implemented.

Founded in 1976, the AATB is a scientific and educational, tax-exempt organization. Its mission is to provide transplantable cells and tissues of uniform high quality in quantities sufficient to meet needs. To accomplish this, the AATB publishes standards, accredits facilities, certifies tissue bank personnel, publishes books and guidance documents, and produces educational programs to improve tissue banking.

ReproTech, Ltd (RTL), established in 1990, provides safe and efficient long-term storage and transportation of cryopreserved sperm, oocytes, embryos and ovarian and testicular tissue. In addition to its three accredited facilities is Minnesota, Florida and Nevada, ReproTech opened a fourth facility in Texas in August, 2012, and will be seeking accreditation for that facility in the future.

41 Years Ago, A Sperm Donation. Today, Twins.

May 2, 2013 – World Record for Birth through Cryopreserved Sperm is Broken

As a world record is broken, hope comes alive.

 

Late in August, twin girls were born to a couple who used in vitro fertilization (IVF) to achieve pregnancy. On the surface, this may look like just another of the increasingly common success stories for the IVF industry. But this story has its own unique twist that makes it different from every other IVF pregnancy—the sperm used to fertilize the egg was frozen over 40 years ago, shattering the existing record of 28 years for a successful live birth through cryopreserved sperm.

In the beginning.

In 1971, a Japanese American war hero banked his sperm with a sperm bank where Russ Bierbaum, a young pioneer in reproductive tissue cryopreservation, was the acting laboratory technician. The war hero was the “first born” of a proud Japanese family whose culture dictates the family blood line be carried on through the first born son. Shortly after learning he and his wife would never have children of their own, he discovered none of his siblings were going to be able to preserve the family blood line either. That’s when he started the journey to maintaining his heritage through a surrogate.

Having banked his sperm, he contacted a surrogate agency to find a mother for the child who would save his family’s blood line. In the years that followed, the dream faded—surrogates were hard to find and the few who were willing were unable to achieve successful pregnancies. Yet his hope remained undeterred; as a successful American businessman, he continued to put money into a trust that would one day provide for the child he remained committed to fathering. Ultimately, Family Formation Law Offices of Michelsen and Cohen were able to connect him with a couple who was seeking pregnancy through donor sperm and was eager to become part of a much greater story. In late fall of 2011, a successful pregnancy was announced, followed nearly nine months later with the birth of twin girls.

According to Russ Bierbaum, a pioneer in the human reproductive tissue specialty, the length of time human reproductive tissue can be frozen and successfully used is still unknown. “Cryobiologists [scientists who study ultra-low temperature storage] have calculated that it could be several thousand years…the birth of these twins brings us one step closer to that truth.” Bierbaum, an executive at ReproTech, Ltd.—the nation’s leader in long-term cryostorage—has played a key role in this particular pregnancy from the beginning. As previously mentioned, Bierbaum worked as a lab technician back in 1971 at the sperm bank where the donor’s sperm was first frozen. In the 40 years since, his organizations have handled much of the shipping and storage of the specimen.

“What is gratifying for us,” reports Bierbaum, “is that the systems and processes we’ve built for over 50 years are now proven. The specimen used in this birth was collected and preserved over 40 years ago. Since then it has been transferred across the country four times using our shipping tanks and the procedures we designed as well as our storage facilities. In my mind, the science of long-term storage and its efficacy was never in doubt. However, maintaining the integrity and safety of the specimen through multiple shipments has never been tested to this extent.”

ReproTech, Ltd., is a long-term cryostorage company with four locations throughout the United States. As the leading provider of long-term cryostorage services in the country, ReproTech had a vested interest in seeing the successful birth of these twins. “This is a huge seal of approval for the shipping processes, containers, and storage methods we’ve developed over the years,” said Bierbaum. “Perhaps the biggest reservation we hear among the IVF docs is their concern about the shipping and handling of precious specimens. Even though we successfully ship thousands of specimens a year, these births prove that our systems have been effective all along. It’s additional proof that we are the true leaders in the long-term storage and handling of reproductive tissue.”

The practical application.

Although the birth of these twins from 40 year old sperm is an unusual story, it does have a more immediate and practical application for cancer patients. People like Bierbaum have forever been preaching to oncology professionals that long-term storage is a viable option for children and young men and women to preserve their fertility prior to cancer treatments that will affect their future fertility. “This proves that a young male can effectively store semen and confidently use it 20, 30, or 40 years later to start a family,” said Bierbaum. “We’re hoping this kind of news will convince oncology professionals to be more proactive about discussing future fertility with their patients and begin the necessary steps to assure that their patients have been informed.”

The technical article related to this story, “Live births from frozen human semen stored for 40 years” was published in the April online issue of the Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics.  The final publication is available at link.springer.com.

NASA Scientist Gives Birth Using Embryos Frozen for Nearly 19 Years

Source:  Reproductive Science Center of the Bay Area

SAN RAMON, Calif., Aug. 20, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Kelly Burke – a 45-year-old NASA research scientist – looks upon her babbling baby and ponders the unique reality that his biological siblings, created from the same embryo cycle and born to another family 2,500 miles away, will be of voting age at the time of his first birthday this November. This story could, possibly, only be conceived by a rocket scientist.

Kelly gave birth to Liam James using what her doctor believes to be the second oldest cryopreserved human embryo in history.

Having submitted herself to numerous fertility treatments and years of trying to become pregnant, the Virginia Beach mother says she had finally abandoned the idea of ever using her own eggs. Weighing her waning options, Kelly discovered a couple from Oregon looking to donate four embryos.

“Embryos are not easy to come by and the opportunity came unexpectedly. I was excited by the idea of carrying my child,” says Kelly.

Although embryo adoption is significant in itself, the embryos Kelly would adopt had an even more amazing story.

Nineteen years earlier, a woman donated her eggs at Reproductive Science Center of the Bay Area (RSC). In 1994, the couple from Oregon had been struggling with infertility and decided to use these donated eggs while going through in vitro fertilization (IVF). They transferred two embryos and froze the remaining embryos that had been created during the process. Happily, they delivered fraternal twins from that IVF cycle.

The embryos remained frozen until 2012 when the Oregon couple was put into contact with Kelly who went through a rigorous adoption process. “I think the couple knows more about me than some of my family,” Kelly joked.

Kelly adopted four embryos and flew to RSC for the implantation.

“We were all very excited about the procedure,” recalls Dr. Deborah Wachs, a reproductive endocrinologist at RSC – the fertility clinic recognized for the nation’s second successful birth from a frozen embryo in 1986.

“As was practiced in the early 90s, the embryos had been developed to the day-2 stage and then frozen,” says Dr. Wachs. “Currently, we commonly transfer and freeze embryos at the day-5 stage because it allows us to better select the embryos that are more likely to result in a pregnancy.

“In Kelly’s case, we decided to thaw all four day-2 embryos and culture them in our IVF lab to the day-5 blastocyst stage. We were successful.”

The embryo donors and Kelly agreed to have an open embryo adoption, which means her nine-month-old will one day have the chance to know his siblings.

In 2010 the medical journal Fertility and Sterility reported, “19 years and 7 months […] represents the ‘oldest’ cryopreserved human embryos resulting in a live birth to date.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ReproTech Founder Receives American Association of Tissue Banks Award

October 4, 2013 – The American Association of Tissue Banks recognized Russell Bierbaum, ReproTech, Ltd. founder and former President, for his contributions to the tissue banking industry this week at its annual meeting.

 

The American Association of Tissue Banks’ Jeanne Mowe Distinguished Service Award is given annually to an individual who has made a significant contribution to tissue banking or transplantation, whether in research, education, or laboratory improvement, or who has served the Association or the field of tissue banking. The individual has demonstrated leadership qualities and a consistent willingness to lend his or her expertise to the Association and/or to his or her peers. Russell Bierbaum has been selected as this year’s recipient in acknowledgement of his wide contributions to tissue banking.

Mr. Bierbaum is the founder and former President of ReproTech, Ltd., and was the Director of its Minnesota Office prior to his retirement in May. Prior to that he was Technical Director of Cryogenic Laboratories, Inc., in Roseville, Minnesota from 1977-2002 and Genetic Laboratories, Inc. (Semen Bank) from 1970-1976.

Mr. Bierbaum has a longstanding history of service to AATB. He has been a member of AATB since 1993, and is an active member of the Reproductive Council and served the Association on the Board of Governors from 2002-2004 while representing the Reproductive Council as Chairperson. He has published journal articles, given poster presentations, and has been a speaker at AATB meetings. He is also a member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine and related professional organizations.

ReproTech, Ltd. was founded in 1990 for the purpose of providing long-term cryostorage services and operates cryostorage facilities in Florida, Minnesota, Nevada and Texas.

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