UK events

Progress Education Trust - 2019 programme of events







You are invited to attend the Progress Educational Trust's 2019 programme of public events about IVF, genomics, genome editing, surrogacy, in vitro derived gametes, womb transplants and related topics, taking place in Edinburgh, Birmingham and London.


These events, which are listed below, begin next week and will run through to May. Please email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to book places or make enquiries.


(All of these events are FREE to attend, with the sole exception of our 'REVOLUTIONISING REPRODUCTION' symposium on the afternoon of 19 March.)




Thursday 24 January - '40 YEARS OF IVF: PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE', a free-to-attend evening event in Edinburgh supported by the Scottish Government.


This event will see ALASTAIR MacDONALD - the second person ever to be born who was conceived via IVF (and the first male) - speak alongside GRACE MacDONALD (his mother).


Joining them on the speaker panel will be SALLY CHESHIRE (Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority), PROFESSOR COLIN DUNCAN (Chair of the Society for Reproduction and Fertility), DR KAY ELDER (Senior Research Scientist at Bourn Hall Clinic who previously worked with the pioneers of IVF) and DR ABHA MAHESHWARI (Clinical Lead in Reproductive Medicine at the Aberdeen Fertility Centre). The event will be chaired by ALLAN PACEY (Trustee at the Progress Educational Trust and Professor of Andrology at the University of Sheffield).


See for details.




Tuesday 5 March - 'TALKING GENOMICS WITH PATIENTS', a free-to-attend evening event in Birmingham in partnership with Health Education England.


The speaker panel at this event will consist of people who have had their whole genomes sequenced, either because they have a condition of known or suspected genetic origin, or because someone in their family has such a condition.


This event forms part of the Genomics Conversation, a programme of activities which involves the public and stakeholders in discussions about key issues in genomic medicine. It will be facilitated by DR CHRISTINE PATCH (Trustee at the Progress Educational Trust and Clinical Lead for Genetic Counselling at Genomics England).


See for details.




Tuesday 19 March - 'REVOLUTIONISING REPRODUCTION: THE FUTURE OF FERTILITY TREATMENT', an afternoon symposium in Edinburgh supported by the Scottish Government.


This symposium, about the rapidly moving boundaries of reproductive medicine and embryo research, is made up of two parts - 'CREATING SPERM AND EGGS OUTSIDE THE BODY' and 'FROM GENOME EDITING TO WOMB TRANSPLANTS'.


Confirmed speakers and chairs include EVELYN TELFER (Professor of Reproductive Biology at the University of Edinburgh and leader of recent research in which human eggs were fully developed in the laboratory), DR ROD MITCHELL (Research Group Leader at the University of Edinburgh and Partner in the GrowSperm project coordinating research into the development of human sperm in the laboratory), J RICHARD SMITH (Clinical Lead at Womb Transplant UK and pioneer in fertility-preserving surgery), RICHARD ANDERSON (Professor of Clinical Reproductive Science at the University of Edinburgh), DR NORAH FOGARTY (member of the Francis Crick Institute's Human Embryo and Stem Cell Laboratory who has conducted research editing the genomes of human embryos to study the function of a gene), BRUCE WHITELAW (Professor of Animal Biotechnology at the University of Edinburgh and pioneer in research involving transgenic and genome-edited animals) and SCOTT NELSON (Professor of Reproductive and Maternal Medicine at the University of Glasgow).


See for details and online booking.




Tuesday 19 March - 'GERMLINE IN THE SAND: WHERE SHOULD WE DRAW THE BOUNDARIES FOR GENOME EDITING?', a free-to-attend evening event in Edinburgh supported by the Scottish Government.


Confirmed speakers include PROFESSOR NEVA HAITES (Emeritus Professor of Medical Genetics at the University of Aberdeen), DR SARAH CHAN (Principal Investigator in the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Biomedicine, Self and Society) and DR CALUM MacKELLAR (Director of Research at the Scottish Council on Human Bioethics).


See for details.




Wednesday 3 April - 'HOW CAN WE MAKE SURROGACY LAW DELIVER?', a free-to-attend evening event in London in partnership with the British Fertility Society.


Confirmed speakers include PROFESSOR NICK HOPKINS (Law Commissioner responsible for Surrogacy at the Law Commission of England and Wales), SARAH JONES (Chair of Trustees at Surrogacy UK), ELIZABETH ISAACS QC (Barrister at St Ives Chambers), DR IMOGEN GOOLD (Associate Professor of Law at the University of Oxford) and DR KIRSTY HORSEY (Reader in Law at the University of Kent and lead author of the report Surrogacy in the UK: Mythbusting and Reform).


See for details.




Thursday 16 May - 'TESTING TIMES: HOW SHOULD WE USE GENOMIC DATA IN ASSISTED REPRODUCTION?', a free-to-attend evening event in London supported by Igenomix.


See for details.