Meet Our Lab Professionals

Considering the delicate nature and the importance of the procedures involved, the skill and experience of the embryologists are critical factors to success. You will want to work with a team, like ours, that has extensive experience. The experts who work in our IVF lab offer over 150 years of collective experience. We have an on-site MD who serves as the lab director, plus three other PhDs on site. At every level, our dedicated teams offer the expertise, personalized care and emotional support needed to help you achieve your dream.

Claudio Benadiva, MD, ELD & HCLD [ABB], High Complexity Lab Director [On-site]

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Years with the Center: 20
Years of embryology: 26
Degrees/Training  
MD, 1981, University of Buenos Aires
OB Resident, 1985, Mariano Castes Hospital, Buenos Aires
Research Fellow, 1988, UPenn
OB Resident, 1993, UConn
REI Fellowship, 1995, New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center
Embryology Licensure/Certifications
Embryology Lab Director, ABB, 2005
High Complexity Lab Director, ABB, 2006
Academic Appointments       
Full Professor, UConn School of Medicine
Embryology Highlights    
During Dr. Benadiva’s 3-year REI Fellowship at Cornell he spent 18 months focusing on IVF research in their world famous lab. During this time he worked elbow to elbow with fertility pioneers like Jacque Cohen, PhD [embryology pioneer], Santi Munne PhD [PGD/S pioneer] and Gianpiero Palermo, PhD [ICSI pioneer]
I can identify with my patients because when my wife and I had our first daughter, we tried for a few years and had to have surgeries and different treatments before my wife became pregnant. So, I really understand what they are going through.”

Alison Bartolucci, MS, PhD Candidate, TS [ABB], Director, Lab Operations

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Years with the Center: 7
Years of embryology: 20
Degrees/Training           
BA Science, 1999, UMass Amherst
MS, 2005, Jones Institute/Eastern VA Medical School
PhD Candidate, 2019, Jones Institute/Eastern VA Medical School
Embryology Licensure/Certifications           
Embryology Technical Supervisor, ABB, 2003
Academic Appointments           
Faculty Instructor, UConn School of Medicine
Embryology Highlights           
Alison started her embryology career at Brigham and Women’s Hospital under the guidance of Catherine Racowsky, PhD. She later moved to FSC of NE where she was mentored by embryo grading pioneer Lynette Scott, PhD. Alison served on the executive council for the society of assisted reproductive technology (SART) and has presented nationally on laboratory quality control, embryo morphology, and cryopreservation.
Despite my career achievements, my proudest accomplishments are my three children. They provide me with the motivation for making the Center’s lab one of the best in the world so our patients can achieve their own success in their journey to parenthood.”

Jane Kwieraga, BSc, TS [ABB], Lead Embryologist

Years with the Center:  22
Years of embryology:  29
Degrees/Training           
BSc Honors, 1989, University of Bristol/England
Embryology Licensure/Certifications           
Embryology Technical Supervisor, ABB, 2001
Embryology Highlights           
Jane began her training in 1990 at the Hallam Medical Centre, London and Bourne Hall, Cambridge (home of Steptoe and Edwards and world’s first IVF baby Louise Brown). In 1993 she attended the first ICSI course in Brussels by Andre Van Steirteghem and was involved in writing a paper published in the Lancet describing fertilization with TESE sperm. Since moving to the US in 1993 she has worked in Newport Beach, CA, Hartford, CT and then the Center since 1999 training in every aspect of embryology, andrology and endocrinology as new techniques have evolved.        
“I have always loved my job and still do after 29 years. Each day is never the same and brings a different challenge. I feel a great sense of fulfillment helping others experience the joys of parenthood as I do with my three children.”

Linda Siano, MS, TS & ELD [ABB], Part time senior embryologist; Former Chief Embryologist

Years with the Center:   26
Years of embryology:   26
Degrees/Training           
M.A. Biology, 2000, Central CT State University
M.S. Education, 1990, University of Bridgeport, CT
B.S. Biology, Mercy College, New York
Embryology Licensure/Certifications           
Embryology Technical Supervisor, ABB, 1999
Embryology Lab Director, ABB, 2003        
Embryology Highlights           
In the mid-90’s Linda was mentored by Lucinda Veek, PhD at Cornell and became a pioneer in the use of the new ICSI procedure having learned it first hand from its inventor Gianpiero Palermo, PhD. In the early 2000’s Linda was one of a few embryologists nationally, and the first in CT, to routinely perform embryo biopsies for PGD/S having been taught the technique by Yuri Verlinski, PhD. In 2006, with Linda and Dr. Benadiva as PI’s the Center became the first program in CT to complete an IRB approved study proving the efficacy of egg freezing.        
“Having two children and a grandchild, I know what pleasure they bring to your life. I am glad that I can help others achieve that joy.”

Cynthia McAllister, BS, TS [ABB], Senior Embryologist

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Years with the Center:  16
Years of embryology:  16
Degrees/Training           
BS/Med Technology, 1987, International College, MA
Embryology Licensure/Certifications           
Embryology Technical Supervisor, ABB, 2010      
Embryology Highlights           
Cynthia is fully trained in all advanced embryology procedures such as ICSI, embryo biopsy, embryo and oocyte vitrification  
“I’m happy to say that my career as a laboratory professional has been quite a rewarding experience. It’s great to know that I’m able to have a huge impact on someone’s life through the gift of life that we’re able to provide here at the Center.”

Evelyn Neuber, PhD, HCLD, Part time senior embryologist and Research Manager

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Years with the Center:  14
Years of embryology:  30
Degrees/Training           
BS, 1987, Muhlenberg College
MS, 1990, Boston College
PhD, 1999, Boston College
Post-doctoral Fellowship, 1999-2002, Dr. Jerry Schatten, PhD
Embryology Licensure/Certifications           
Embryology Technical Supervisor, ABB, 2003
Embryology Lab Director, ABB, 2004
High Complexity Lab Director, ABB, 2005
Academic Appointments           
Faculty Instructor, UConn School of Medicine
Embryology Highlights           
Evelyn has worked in many of the country’s top IVF programs including Boston IVF and Yale University where she worked closely with embryology pioneer Denny Sakkas, PhD. Evelyn is past President of the New England Fertility Society, and is currently the Member-at-Large for CT.         
“When I interviewed for the PhD program at Boston College my two choices were to study alfalfa nodules or embryology. Embryology won out and I have very much enjoyed the last 30 years working as an embryologist both in the IVF lab as well as being involved in multiple ground breaking research studies.”

Caitlin Evans, BS, TS [ABB], Embryologist

Years with the Center:  5
Years of embryology:  8
Degrees/Training           
BS/Biology, 2010, University of Scranton
Embryology Licensure/Certifications           
Embryology Technical Supervisor, ABB, 2016
Embryology Highlights           
Caitlin is fully trained in all advanced embryology procedures such as ICSI, embryo biopsy, embryo and oocyte vitrification   
“I love the constantly evolving technology in embryology, learning new things, and helping couples achieve their goals of creating a family.”

Lindsay Gaedt, BS, Embryologist

Years with the Center:  3
Years of embryology:  8
Degrees/Training           
BS/Biomedical Engineering, 2012, UConn       
Embryology Highlights           
Lindsay is fully trained in all advanced embryology procedures such as ICSI, embryo biopsy, embryo and oocyte vitrification
“I take tremendous pride in my work as an embryologist and am constantly looking for solutions to improve patient outcomes and improve workflow processes.”

Sarah Grant, BS, MS Candidate, Embryologist

Years with the Center:  3
Years of embryology:  13
Degrees/Training           
BS, 2006, West Conn
Embryology Licensure/Certifications           
Currently working Master’s Degree in Reproductive Clinical Science from Eastern Virginia Medical School.    
Embryology Highlights           
Sarah is fully trained in all advanced embryology procedures such as ICSI, embryo biopsy, embryo and oocyte vitrification.
“Embryology takes patience and skills that I pride myself in attributing to each patient so that they receive the best possible outcome of a successful pregnancy.”

Darlene Davies, BS, TS [ABB], Senior Embryologist

Years with the Center:  4
Year of embryology: 16
Degrees/Training           
BS, 2000, Framingham State
Embryology Licensure/Certifications           
Embryology Technical Supervisor, ABB, 2012            
Embryology Highlights           
Darlene has incorporated her studies in nutrition with her research, looking at BMI and IVF Success rates. She has presented at numerous scientific meetings nationally and internationally including: Alpha, American Society for Reproductive Medicine, New England Fertility Society, RESOLVE and Foundation for Reproductive Medicine. She has published articles in Alpha Scientists/Reproductive Medicine, and ObGyn News.
“I have a real passion for embryology and in my spare time write for blogs related to IVF and attend as many scientific meetings as I can. I am always looking for ways to improve success in embryology and work toward streamlining workflow in the IVF lab.”

Leia Shuhaibar, PhD, Visiting Scientist, Embryologist

Years with the Center: 1
Year of embryology: 1
Degrees/Training           
BS, 2007, Universidad del Zulia in Venezuela
MS, 2009, Florida Institute of Technology
PhD, 2015, UConn School of Medicine
Post-doctoral Training, 2015-2017, UConn School of Medicine
Embryologist Training, 2018-present/Center for Advanced Reproductive Services  
Academic Appointments           
Assistant Professor, Cell Biology, UConn School of Medicine, 2017-present
Embryology Highlights           
10 + years of research experience. Investigator in the field of reproductive biology and pediatric bone disease. Published multiple scientific papers investigating the mechanisms controlling the oocyte cell cycle and the signaling between granulosa cells and the egg.    
“Since my early years as a student, I have been fascinated by the process of fertilization. It is a process that seems so “magical” but at the same time is so complex and so well controlled by nature that it has become my passion to understand it. I am delighted to be part of the wonderful team of embryologists at the Center and contribute to the advancement of reproductive medicine to continue helping families succeed in their dream of becoming parents.”