Our Laboratory Team

Lisa Nelson, MSc., ELD (ABB), EMB (ACE)

Embryology Laboratory Director

Lisa Nelson has an extensive embryology background with over 25 years of experience and has performed thousands of successful IVF cycles in her distinguished career.

Lisa received her undergraduate degree from Cal Poly Pomona in animal science and her master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences from Eastern Virginia Medical School. She is board certified as an Embryology Laboratory Director, certified by the American Board of Bioanalysts and a Embryologist, certified by the American College of Embryology. She is highly skilled in all the latest, state of the art techniques of laboratory management, embryo and blastocyst culture, micromanipulation and cryopreservation/thaw techniques, including oocyte freezing for fertility preservation. She has performed many successful cases involving embryo biopsy and fixation for preimplantation genetic screening (PGS).

Additionally, her andrology skills include processing and cryopreservation of testicular and epididymal sperm for use in the treatment of severe male infertility. She is the president of the Southern California Assisted Reproductive Biologists, a member of both the American Society of Reproductive Medicine and the American Board of Bioanalysts and serves as a laboratory inspector for the College of American Pathologists. In her free time, Lisa serves as Vice President of Nurtured by Nature, a non-profit dedicated to connecting children to animals and nature. She also offers her time and embryology skills to the Institute for Conservation Research-San Diego Zoo, which fights against the extinction of endangered species.

 Yuan Cheng, PhD

Senior Embryologist

Yuan Cheng is a Senior Embryologist at Hanabusa IVF. She earned her PhD from the University of Tokyo and then worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University. Yuan’s research focuses on the ovary, and she discovered the underlying mechanisms of ovarian wedge resection, a discovery leading to the development of a new infertility treatment called “In-Vitro Activation” or IVA. Time Magazine named IVA a top-10 medical breakthrough of 2013, and it is currently in clinical trails; patients with Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (POI) who have been treated with IVA have given birth to several healthy babies. Yuan completed her training in Hanabusa Kobe, and she is fluent in Chinese, Japanese and English. Yuan is the author of several research studies published in leading fertility journals, and she holds a number of honors, including Lalor Foundation, Hirore and Takenaka Fellowships. Yuan joined Hanabusa IVF in 2015.

Lizeth Barrientos, MSc

Laboratory Supervisor

Lizeth Barrientos, a Laboratory Supervisor at Hanabusa IVF, earned her MSc degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education. She also holds a BSc degree from the University of Guadalajara. She completed her training at New Hope Fertility Center (NHFC) in New York where she developed her excellent embryology skills. Lizeth then went on to be the Laboratory Director of NHFC, Guadalajara (2009-2015) and a Laboratory Consultant at NHFC, Mexico City (2014-2015) before joining Hanabusa IVF in 2016. She assisted with the design and set up of the first Mini IVF laboratory in Guadalajara, and was directly involved with the design, equipment selection and set up of the most modern embryology and andrology laboratory in Mexico City. A member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Association of Bioanalysis, the Southern California Assisted Reproductive Biologists, the  Fertility and Sterility Journal Club Global and the Genetic Summit Journal Club Live, she is also an applicant for AAB certification as Technical Supervisor.  Lizeth is also coauthor of the first Mini IVF book, Textbook of Minimal Stimulation IVF.

Kaitlin Johnson, MSc


Kaitlin Johnson is an Embryologist at Hanabusa IVF. She moved to San Diego in 2011 after completing her degree in Animal Science at the University of Maryland.  She spent five years as a researcher for the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research before coming to Hanabusa IVF in 2016.  During her time at the San Diego Zoo, Kaitlin completed a Master’s of Science degree in Biology at California State University San Marcos.  Her award-winning research focused on developing new methods of assessing turtle and tortoise egg fertility. Kaitlin’s work was published in Zoo Biology as well as Conservation Physiology. Kaitlin started as a Junior Embryologist at Hanabusa IVF and underwent rigorous training to become an Embryologist.  She is currently a member of the Southern California Assisted Reproductive Biologists, and has presented her research at the Society for the Study of Reproduction and the Society for Experimental Biology. In her spare time, Kaitlin enjoys horseback riding, cooking, and hiking with her husband, Matt, and their two dogs, Layla and Bali.

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