Dr Gillian M. Lockwood BM BCh MA (Oxon) DPhil MRCOG is the Medical Director of Midland Fertility Services (www.midlandfertility.com). Gill was a late recruit to medicine. She read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University and then worked as a Government Statistician. A television documentary encouraged her to change careers to Medicine and she qualified in 1986. A chance meeting with Professor Robert Edwards (the ‘testtube’ baby pioneer) introduced her to the science of IVF and since 1990 she has specialised in Reproductive Medicine.
For 10 years Gill was Senior Clinical Research Fellow and Lead Clinician at the Oxford Fertility Unit, where her research interests included polycystic ovary syndrome, premature ovarian failure, and recurrent miscarriage. She lectures and broadcasts on ethical and social issues in reproductive medicine, has chaired the British Fertility Society Ethics Sub-Committee, and is a member of the RCOG Ethics Committee. She is an Associate Editor of Human Reproduction and a member of the Editorial Board of Human Fertility. She has published over 30 ‘first author’ articles in international journals and has contributed to many text books and review publications.
Since 2000 Gill has been the Medical Director of Midland Fertility Services (MFS), in the West Midlands. MFS is a ‘nurse led’ fertility unit at which the nursing staff perform all procedures required for IVF including surgical sperm retrieval (TESA), egg retrieval, and embryo transfer. MFS recently announced the successful delivery of the UK’s first ‘frozen egg’ babies; a development that has given new hope of becoming ‘genetic mothers’ to the thousands of young women who each year have to undergo sterilising chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
Jill Anthony-Ackery BA (Hons) is the Communications Manager at Midland Fertility Services. Jill is a relatively recent entrant to the world of fertility treatment, with responsibility for the communications and marketing of MFS since 2003, initially as a consultant public relations director and then as a member of the clinic staff since 2004. Her qualifications for such a role? A degree in art and film history (!) and 18 years’ experience managing the reputations of client companies from a small UK trade association to international cosmetics, steel, and photographic equipment manufacturers. Oh! and also two years of ICSI treatment at MFS, during which she and her husband Gwyn conceived twins, suffered a miscarriage at around 12 weeks, then had an unsuccessful frozen embryo transfer, followed by a second full cycle, resulting in the birth of their daughter Connie in 2002.
When she returned to work in 2003, she combined her almost evangelical zeal about those miracle workers at MFS with her professional experience and patient perspective – and got paid for doing so! It’s a dream job where she continues to be inspired daily by the team and patients.
Jill has written countless articles in a range of newspapers, consumer magazines, and trade publications from many industry sectors. She was also the original editor and a contributor to Beyond the Lens, the business bible for professional photographers. In 2006, her work at MFS won a gold award from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and she works closely with national and regional press, television, and radio to satisfy the unquenchable media interest in assisted conception.
Jackie Meyers-Thompson is managing partner of Coppock-Meyers Public Relations/For Your Information Communications, and a ‘professional’ fertility patient.
Sharon Perkins is the nurse coordinator for the Cooper Center for In Vitro Fertilization in Marlton, New Jersey, one of the largest infertility centres in the United States. She previously worked in labour and delivery and neonatal intensive care.