The minds behind the research are many. The National Foundation for Fertility Research consists of researchers hailing from such renowned institutions as the University of Colorado, Colorado State University and Purdue University. Every scientist and physician brings a varied and notable background to our cause. The result is a collaborative group who knows the power research has on improving the success rates of such procedures as in vitro fertilization and other forms of assisted reproduction.

Advancements in fertility research begins with fertility specialists. Our research foundation is led by Dr. Mandy Katz-Jaffe. Under her direction, our team is making incredible strides in the fight against infertility.

Our Team

Jason E. Swain, PhD, HCLD is a member of the NFFR research team and also acts as the Corporate Laboratory Director of Fertility Laboratory Sciences in Englewood, CO, where he manages a growing network of clinical IVF laboratories.  Previously, Jason was an associate professor in Obstetrics & Gynecology at the University of Michigan, where he also directed the Assisted Reproduction Technology Laboratories.  Jason completed his BSc at Hillsdale College in his native Michigan, his MSc in Animal Science at Purdue University, his PhD in Molecular and Integrative Physiology at the University of Michigan and his clinical post-doctoral training in a private fertility clinic in San Antonio, TX.  Jason’s research interests include pursuit of methods to improve in-vitro embryo culture conditions through modification of both the physical and chemical culture environment.

Mandy

MandyMandy is the Scientific Director for NFFR. She is a Reproductive Geneticist who received her Master of Reproductive Science in 2000 and her PhD from Monash University, Australia in 2004. She is a native Australian who moved to the USA after receiving her doctoral degree in order to continue her passion for research in the field of reproductive medicine. Mandy has focused her work on the development of new methods to assess the genetics of an embryo, and introduce tests that can identify the healthiest embryo for transfer. This research is designed to increase the success of human infertility treatment while reducing the risk of multiple pregnancies. Spending time outdoors with her own young family is her other passion outside of the Foundation.

Rebecca

Rebecca is the Research Director for NFFR. She is a Reproductive Biologist focusing on oocyte and embryo physiology. She received her Bachelor's degree in Biology from Hanover College, followed by a Master’s degree in Animal Sciences at North Carolina State University. She then worked for Granada Biosciences for several years before completing her PhD at Virginia Tech in Animal Science/Dairy. After graduate school, she worked for several years as an embryologist in human clinical reproduction, after which she returned to academia to complete a post doctoral fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She then joined the faculty of Purdue University, in the Department of Animal Sciences, before moving as Associate Professor to the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Rebecca’s research program focuses on defining processes within mammalian oocytes that are critical for subsequent embryonic and fetal development. In addition, she works with the Ossabaw mini-pig as a model for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in women.

Blair

Blair received her degree in biology from the University of Colorado at Boulder and has 15 years of experience as a molecular biologist. After graduation, she worked in California for an industry-leading genetics company where she helped develop breast cancer diagnostics. After spending 5 years there, she moved back to her native Colorado where she was excited to bring her molecular biology expertise to the field of reproductive medicine. She is currently the Research Laboratory Manager and has been working with Dr. Katz-Jaffe for nearly 10 years. In her free time she enjoys camping, hiking, skiing and scuba diving.

Jason P

Jason grew up in Louisville and is a native to Colorado. He attended the University of Colorado at Boulder where he studied Health Sciences. Jason is an avid researcher who heads the Embryology Team at NFFR and has been working with Dr. Katz-Jaffe for over four years. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time outdoors in the Colorado Rockies.

Jason H

Jason received his B.S. from Michigan State University in 1996, his M.S. in Zoology from Ohio State University in 1998, and his Ph.D. in 2003 from Purdue University studying in vitro oocyte maturation in pigs and goats. In 2004, Jason joined the Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden as a post-doctoral fellow and conducted research on the physiology of feline embryos. He was an assistant professor at the University of Illinois in the Dept. of Comparative Biosciences from 2007 to 2011 and started work at NFFR in June 2011. His primary research interest is how the composition of the maternal diet or the culture medium affects cellular metabolism in the embryo and the ability of the embryo to develop successfully. Jason also has a strong interest in wildlife conservation and conducts research to develop assisted reproductive technologies for endangered species.

Alyssa

Alyssa moved to Loveland, Colorado in 1998 from northern California. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Science from Colorado State University in 2009. After graduating, Alyssa continued working at CSU in a Neurology lab researching the link between obesity and Pomc neurons. She recently joined NFFR and is looking forward to entering the field of fertility research. In her spare time she enjoys horse back riding, wakeboarding and other outdoors activities.

Jason S

Jason E. Swain, PhD, HCLD is a member of the NFFR research team and also acts as the Corporate Laboratory Director of Fertility Laboratory Sciences in Englewood, CO, where he manages a growing network of clinical IVF laboratories.  Previously, Jason was an associate professor in Obstetrics & Gynecology at the University of Michigan, where he also directed the Assisted Reproduction Technology Laboratories.  Jason completed his BSc at Hillsdale College in his native Michigan, his MSc in Animal Science at Purdue University, his PhD in Molecular and Integrative Physiology at the University of Michigan and his clinical post-doctoral training in a private fertility clinic in San Antonio, TX.  Jason’s research interests include pursuit of methods to improve in-vitro embryo culture conditions through modification of both the physical and chemical culture environment.

Nicolas

Nicolas grew up in France. He obtained his bachelor degree in 2005 followed by a Master degree in cellular and integrative biology at the University of Grenoble (France) in 2006. He continued his education in Canada at the University Laval in Quebec City where he obtained a Master degree in Animal Science and a Phd in Physiology-Endocrinology. During his master degree, he focused on the involvement of bone marrow stem cells in the post natal renewal of adult oocytes in mice and bovine. His Phd focused on the regulation of gap junctional communication during in vitro maturation of cumulus oocyte complexes. In January 2014, Nicolas joined CSU as a postdoctoral scientist and is collaborating with NFFR to continue his work in the reproductive field. In his free time Nicolas enjoys playing soccer and snowboarding in the Colorado Rockies.

Alison G

Alison is a recent graduate of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science with an emphasis on animal reproduction and biology. She moved from California to join NFFR after completing a research fellowship at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research in the Reproductive Physiology division. She is excited to begin her career in reproductive research and looks forward to discovering its applications across species. In her free time, Alison plans to explore her new home state of Colorado.

Meet Our Scientific Director

Dr. Mandy Katz-Jaffe

Meet Mandy