LWC starts Scientific Training Programme for future embryologists
London Women’s Clinic is proud to have been given a five-year licence to be part of the Scientific Training Programme. This provides specialist postgraduate training for students wishing to become embryologists and andrologists in conjunction with the University of Manchester.
This is a three-year course allowing students to train in all areas of the laboratory including andrology, embryology, cytology, histopathology and genetics. The students will have the opportunity to rotate between all LWC clinics and will gain experience from the embryology, consultant, nursing, ultrasound and counselling teams. Following the course, the students will be fully registered professionals with the Health and Care Professions Council.
The programme is being run by Deputy Laboratory Manager and Senior Embryologist Elena Demakakou-Linara (pictured front right). Elena will orientate the students into the field alongside the clinic’s two other trainers Trina Shah and Balsam Al-Hashimi (pictured from left) who are both senior embryologists at the LWC Harley Street. Each student will have a dedicated trainer who will act as their mentor throughout their time in the programme.
Meet our students:
(Pictured back left)
Prior to starting the STP I gained a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences from St George’s University of London and following that a Master’s degree in Clinical Embryology from the University of Oxford. I joined LWC in 2012 first working as an Andrologist and started Embryology training in 2015, which I completed in 2017.
Though already fully trained, when LWC offered me the option to join the STP, I jumped at the opportunity! A qualification through the STP is extremely valuable for healthcare scientists in the UK. It enables us to gain recognition through the Healthcare Professions Council, who upon completion will award us with the title of Clinical Scientist. This is very important for professional development in embryology and I am very grateful to LWC for giving me this chance.
Balancing full time work with study is a challenge, but so far it has been an enjoyable one. I am very much looking forward to working on research and elective projects in the second and third years of the STP.
(Pictured back middle)
I am a first year Trainee Embryologist at London Women’s Clinic Harley Street. I joined the company in September 2018 after applying for a place on the Scientist Training Programme through the NHS. Before I was a trainee embryologist I was studying for my degree in Biomedical Science, followed by a Masters in Reproductive and Developmental Biology last year.
I was thrilled to receive a place on this competitive programme and to train at such a busy and renowned clinic. The training programme itself is demanding, as we need to balance our work-based training with studying for the masters component. We are well supported by our training officers here at LWC so overall, I am enjoying the scheme.
I’m currently completing my training in andrology, and I’m really looking forward to spending more time in embryology over the next 2 and a half years. Every day at the clinic is different, and as someone new to the field I’m constantly learning, it’s very exciting.
(Pictured back right)
I graduated in Biology from the University of Porto in Portugal in 2011. In 2014 I went to Spain to do an internship in an IVF laboratory. When it finished I went back to Portugal and started looking for a job overseas in IVF and writing about biology concepts for an online encyclopedia "Knoow.net". In June 2015 I moved to London to start my job as andrologist at LWC London Bridge and eventually moved to Harley Street where the opportunity to apply to the STP came along.
Becoming an embryologist has been a goal for me since university. My interest increased during my internship and the STP programme is a great opportunity to train, learn and become an accredited embryologist by the end of the course.
So far it has been challenging revising for exams and completing all the competencies for our online portfolio while working at the same time. It’s also very exciting with the start of my training in the lab as embryologist. I'm looking forward to the rest of the training.
LWC Wales have also been licenced for the next 5 years and are the first private provider of the STP in Wales thanks to Andrew Thomson, Laboratory Manager and Giles Palmer, Senior Embryologist. Andrew will be the training officer for all STP students who undertake the programme in Cardiff and will be an examiner for every final year STP student in Reproductive Science this summer.
Maria Chatzi joined LWC Wales in Summer 2018 and currently splits her time between the Bristol and Cardiff laboratories as an Andrologist. She will start the programme in September this year and is particularly looking forward to performing egg collections.