NORTHERN CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGISTS
A SHORT HISTORY OF NCARB
Started in 1989 by Glenn Zorn and Iman Danasouri.
Marlene Angle was secretary in 1989 with official stationary group membership around 15.
July, 1990 meeting had Dean Schilling as a speaker on the thermodynamics of embryo freezing. Tom Nass circulated proposed guidelines for IVF and GIFT.
Pasquale Patrizio spoke at 4/20/95 meeting - "ICSI: Potential Genetic Concerns"
By-laws reviewed and placed into our group's use at Oct. 1995 meeting. Poster presented about our group at 1995 ASRM meeting!
NCARB/BARES meeting at Lakeview Club in Oakland on 11/28/95. I think that this was our first joint meeting.
Oct. 17, 1996 NCARB/BARES meeting topic was "Molecular Dissention and Reconstitution of the Centrosome during fertilization in humans: Implications for male Infertility" presented by Dr. Gerry Schatten.
January, 1997 agenda topics (Kristen Ivani, president) - The percoll wars: whose side are you on? & confessions of a percollholic; day 2 vs. day 3 vs blastocyst transfers and freezing: who is on first?
April, 1997 - Terry Schlenker spoke about assisted hatching. He stated that the hole was
Y, to 113 the size of the blastomere and that he hatched each embryo in a separate drop.
Approximately 37 member in 1995-96.
Nov. 1997 NCARB/BARES dinner- speaker was Jonathan Van Blerkom; topic "Epigenetic influences on human oocyte and embryo developmental competence"
July 22, 1999 - speaker was Kay Elder from Born Halland the topic was IVF from then to now - a perspective" NCARB had joined Alpha as a sub-group and all paid members of NCARB received both memberships.
November 3, 1999NCARB/BARES joint meeting at the Lakeview Club- Speaker was Stan Liebo on When and How to Blast.
May, 2000 - dues increased to $70! Drafted a letter to the State of California on behalf
of NCARB regarding licensing of embryologists. Total of 41 members
November, 2000 joint meeting - speaker was Mark Hughes and the meeting was held at
the Claremont Hotel. Topic was Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis.
NCARB applied and received several educational grants in 2001 and 2002 from various
vendors including Organon and Serono.
Membership remained at 40 through 2003 and 2004. Interestingly at our April, 2203 meeting, we discussed vitrification and its possible effects on the spindle of the oocyte.
We reviewed the clinical value of oocyte and ovarian tissue cryopreservation.
Around this time, NCARB started to use one meeting per year to review each IVF practice ... to present overviews of our individual laboratory procedures.
We started educational grants in 2005, drawing four member names at meetings to receive $500 for use at conferences.
New meeting topic - FDA inspections!! NCARB and the network of this group, became a
way for us to alert each other, prepare for inspections and to learn how inspections went
at each lab. NCARB helped all of us to survive our first FDA inspections just by the knowledge that others had survived. On 5/25/06, we had Dr. Wendell lee speak to us about FDA preparedness at UCSF.
Then in 2006, we realized that our group had adequate money in our account and dropped the dues to $25/year ... an amazing bargain! We began planning our 20th anniversary party as a group to be celebrated in San Francisco at the ASRM meeting. Other topics that were discussed included off-site storage of embryos, extended culture, policy for abandoned embryos/sperm and ergonomics in the lab.
Dr. Fabbri came to our joint dinner meeting in November, 2006 to speak.
In 2007, we began the discussion of membership and sponsorship of events. Our
membership was now over 50 and growing! We distributed a survey to all members
asking questions that would help guide the board in the future.
In 2008, we decided to change our educational grant policy to two grants of$500 per
year. We held our anniversary celebration in San Francisco during the ASRM meeting.
This was a great event with special NCARB bags, chocolates, prizes including engraved
Our meeting at Alta Bates on 3/12/09 included discussion of ART for HIV positive
patients and vitrification experience. We reviewed disaster plans for different labs and
decided to raise dues to $50 for 2010. Changes came about in funding for our joint
dinner with the BARES group and the NCARB board worked hard to find a solution.
None of us wanted to see this event discontinued, so with much effort and planning, the
NCARB board made a new plan that involved asking all vendors for support of this
event. We surveyed members as to topics for meetings realizing that many members
travel far for this event and need to know what will be discussed or reviewed.
Notes from the NCARB/BARES joint meeting in 2010 reflect that 100 people attended!
We had five sponsors for the event
This short outline shows that though our field continues to change and grow, the topics
that we are concerned about repeated. Our small but mighty group started with
approximately 15 people and now has over 70 members. The joint NCARB/BARES
meeting frequently has 100 plus in attendance. Our dues have gone up and down, but
never were over $75/year. Our board positions change every two years. The board
works hard to maintain the group and to encourage growth and education.
We are a unique group of professionals that share knowledge and experience in spite of the fact that we are in competition with each other.