Our Laboratory Team
Fertility Lab in San Diego
Meet the fertility lab experts of Hanabusa IVF. Our team includes embryologists,
research scientist, lab director, supervisors, and bioanalysts, each upholding
rigorous lab standards to ensure all specimens remain healthy.
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
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 an 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
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 trials. 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. She 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
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.
Lizeth is 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.