Midwest Reproductive Symposium International (MRSi), a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, is an educational event that began in 2003 to promote the timely discussion of issues relevant to reproductive medicine. The primary objective is the provision of high quality, appropriate, continuing medical education for physicians, nurses, allied health professionals, scientists, and business experts engaged in the practice of and research in reproductive medicine.
The 3-day MRSi program consists of a mix of lectures, panel discussions and interactive workshops. It offers attendees a unique opportunity to network with colleagues and exhibitors in casual and formal educational settings and to share knowledge and experiences in several rapidly advancing fields within reproductive medicine.
Participants are also given the opportunity to attend specialized programming in the following areas:
MRSi-Scientific Session: The founding pillar of MRSi, this main stage session with all attendees present, focuses on sharing knowledge, best practices, and advancements in reproductive medicine, by some of the brightest and innovative thought leaders in our field.
Doctors & Scientists: This breakout session allows doctors and scientists to collaborate and discuss ways to improve protocols within treatment cycles and the laboratory to improve patient care and outcomes.
Nurse Practicum: As one of the only nursing education opportunities offered in the United States today, the Nurse Practicum is a breakout session program specifically designed for nurses by nurses that is an integral part of the MRSi conference.
Business Minds Program: The Business Minds program breakout session is an educational platform created for reproductive medical professionals to gather and discuss innovative trends and thought-provoking concepts within the business world of reproductive medicine.
REI Fellows Program: A unique breakout session opportunity offered to fellows within the reproductive medical field to meet with their peers and learn from some of the thought leaders in the field of reproduction. Fellows also share and display their research to medical professionals attending the conference. The top research will be shared as an oral presentation during the Scientific Session.
Mental Health of ART Patients: A captivating breakout session forum that brings together experts of the mental health profession and reproductive medicine colleagues for an open discussion on how to counsel patients who face difficult decisions.
CEO Summit: A special CEO Summit dinner meeting allows an opportunity for only the top business leaders to collaborate on timely issues.
MRSi is an international meeting attended by physicians, nurses, mental health professionals, scientists, REI Fellows, OB/GYN Residents, as well as business experts from around the world who are highly engaged in the practice of and research in reproductive medicine. In 2003, the meeting was attended by 170 health care professionals. Since then, the MRSi program has seen an increase in attendance. In 2016, the event was host to over 430 participants and in 2017 the event hosted over 500 participants. In 2017, Louise Brown, the World's 1st IVF baby, met Elizabeth Carr, the USA's 1st IVF baby, for the first time live on stage at MRSi! This historic event garnered our sponsors more than 100 million views based on Nielson ratings. In 2019, the conference had over 600 individual participants.
Executive Committee Chairs
Angeline N. Beltsos, MD, FACOG
EXECUTIVE CHAIRPERSON, BOARD PRESIDENT
Angeline N. Beltsos, MD is the CEO and Medical Director of Vios Fertility Institute. She is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI), practicing medicine since 1991. Dr. Beltsos completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Loyola University in 1995 followed by a fellowship in REI at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, completed in 1997. Dr. Beltsos is also the Clinical Research Division Director of Vios and participates in a number of research projects and scientific publications. She has received numerous awards in teaching and has been honored as “Top Doctor” from Castle Connelly for several years. She is a popular speaker, both nationally and internationally, and a frequent media resource on the topic of infertility. Dr. Beltsos founded the Midwest Reproductive Symposium international conference in 2003, after recognizing the need for a collaborative forum for those in the reproductive field to share knowledge and best practices.
As the REI Division Education Director for the Obstetrics and Gynecology residency programs of Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Lutheran General Hospital, and St. Joseph’s Hospital Chicago, Dr. Beltsos helps educate future OB/GYN doctors. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at University of Illinois at Chicago.
Paul Brezina, MD, MBA
Dr. Paul Brezina is the Director of Reproductive Genetics and Partner at Fertility Associates of Memphis. Dr. Brezina currently is Assistant Professor at The Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, TN and is a Consulting Gynecologist at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. He also is a member of the Advisory Board of AdvaGenix located in Rockville, MD. He is board certified in Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility as well as Obstetrics and Gynecology by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Dr. Brezina completed his fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of North Caroline at Chapel Hill. He has an MD/MBA degree from the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C., where he also completed his residency in OB/GYN. His main area of research, done with pioneers in the field at Johns Hopkins, has focused on genetic testing as it relates to assisted reproductive technologies. He has authored or co-authored over 40 scientific peer reviewed articles, including the BMJ, and more than 50 scientific abstracts. He and his wife have twin children and reside in Memphis, TN.
William Kearns, PhD
Dr. William G. Kearns earned his doctorate at Eastern Virginia Medical School and completed his advanced training during a three-year fellowship in medical genetics at the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine of The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Dr. Kearns is well known in the field of genetics, particularly preimplantation and cancer genetics, and continues to serve on the faculty of Johns Hopkins as a medical geneticist and associate professor. His duties include training fellows and graduate students in genetics, maternal fetal medicine and reproductive endocrinology.
Widely known nationally and internationally for his expertise in genetics, Dr. Kearns is uniquely qualified in his ability to devise and implement genetic testing strategies in order to offer IVF patients an opportunity to achieve their goal – a healthy baby. He brings valuable experience to the diagnostic and research laboratory, including 15 years in starting and directing a preimplantation genetic diagnostic laboratory prior to founding AdvaGenix.
Dr. Kearns’ editorial activities include being an Advisor to the British Medical Journal in Genetics and Section Head of Genetics for the Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics and providing peer-review activities for Human Molecular Genetics, Genomics, Human Gene Therapy, Human Reproduction, Fertility and Sterility, RBMonline, and Molecular Human Reproduction.
Dr. Kearns is a grant reviewer for the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the American Heart Association and the Medical Research Council of the United Kingdom (Molecular Cytogenetics). He has applied for and received funding from numerous sources including the National Institutes of Health and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Dr. Kearns has numerous publications and is an international lecturer in genetics.
Amber Cooper, MD, MSCI, FACOG
Dr. Amber Cooper is a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist and Medical and IVF Practice director of Vios Fertility Institute St. Louis. She is also Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of OB/Gynecology/Women's Health at St Louis University. She completed both her residency and fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis, as well as her Master of Science in Clinical Investigation. She has helped thousands of patients with complex cases achieve successful outcomes, preserve fertility and fulfill the dream of parenthood.
During her years of practice, Dr. Cooper has received numerous awards for her outstanding surgical techniques, teaching excellence, clinical research and patient satisfaction, and has been named one of the Best Doctors in America by St. Louis Magazine for the last five years running. She considers it her life’s work to educate, empower, and improve personalized care for those with infertility.
Dr. Cooper has authored articles for several medical journals and textbooks, led clinical studies, and has had her research covered in the local and national press. She speaks nationally and internationally on how cancer and autoimmune disease therapies affect reproductive health and fertility, ovarian aging, primary ovarian insufficiency and genetics. She has been elected to and sits on many national boards and committees in reproductive health. While she is passionate for all facets of fertility health, she has a special interest in improving IVF success and outcomes, fertility preservation, ovarian dysfunction, ovarian reserve and aging, genetics and the environmental impact on ovarian aging and function.
Eric Forman, MD, HCLD
Dr. Eric Forman is the Medical and Laboratory Director at Columbia University Fertility Center, he oversees the medical practice as well as the IVF embryology and andrology laboratories. He also actively sees patients with infertility and those seeking to preserve their fertility. Dr. Forman has extensive clinical and laboratory research experience. He has published more than 40 articles in peer-reviewed journals on a wide range of topics in assisted reproductive technology (ART).
He has a special interest in using preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) to optimize IVF and improve selection for elective single embryo transfer (eSET). A randomized controlled trial he led demonstrated, for the first time, that transferring a single chromosomally-normal embryo(link is external and opens in a new window) can achieve the same live birth rates as transferring two untested embryos. After publication of this paper, eSET rates skyrocketed and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine references Dr. Forman’s study in its guideline on the number of embryos to transfer in IVF. He also has an interest in fertility preservation, and a study he led proved that egg freezing using the rapid vitrification technology does not increase the risk of genetic abnormalities in the resulting embryos. This study was cited as a “watershed in ART” by one of the world’s leading experts on cryopreservation.
Dr. Forman specializes in providing individualized patient care to solve each unique couple’s challenge. He is active on social media where he frequently writes blogs and commentaries on important topics in reproductive medicine and the patient/physician experience.
When not working, Dr. Forman enjoys spending time with his wife and three children, running (including completing the 2016 NYC Marathon with Team Every Mother Counts), learning how to play ice hockey and rooting on his favorite sports teams, the Mets, Knicks, Rangers and Duke Blue Devils.
Organizing Committee Chairs
Business Minds Committee Chairs
Derek Larkin, JD, MBA
CEO, In Vitro Sciences
Janet Fraser, MBA
President, Conception Medical Office Management
Mental Health Committee Chair
Angela Lawson, PhD
Associate Professor, Northwestern University – The Feinberg School of Medicine
Nurse Practicum Committee Chairs
Emily Ehlers, RN, BSN
Clinical Nurse Coordinator, Vios Fertility Institute
Nancy Harrington, RNC
Senior Specialist Clinical Education, AllianceRx Walgreens Prime
Ann Scalia, RN, BSN, CNOR
Manager, Clinical Education Specialist, Walgreens Specialty Clinical Services
REI Fellowship Committee Chairs
GG Collins, MD, FACOG
Reproductive Endocrinologist and Infertility Specialist, Wisconsin Fertility Institute
Kara A. Ehlers, MD, FACOG
Reproductive Endocrinologist and Infertility Specialist, Vios Fertility Institute
Eric Forman, MD, HCLD
Medical Director and Lab Director at the Center for Women's Reproductive Care at Columbia University
Roohi Jeelani, MD, FACOG
Reproductive Endocrinologist and Infertility Specialist, Vios Fertility Institute