The World Egg Bank Management Team

Diana Thomas, M.A.
President & CEO

Diana ThomasIn 1985, Diana Thomas graduated magna cum laude from Arizona State University with a Master’s Degree in architectural history. Ms. Thomas held a number of leadership positions in the study and preservation of large historic preservation projects in the US and Canada. Ms. Thomas was responsible for significant innovations in her field.

However, throughout her career, Ms Thomas struggled with infertility for fifteen years. She was told she needed an egg donor, and at the time, just a handful of fertility practices across the US provided egg donor services. Ms. Thomas found her own egg donor, and gave birth to a healthy child in 1996. Ms. Thomas saw the need for an affordable service to provide egg donors to other women, and opened one of the first egg donor agencies in the US. Her prior career gave her the business acumen to start and operate the agency, and her personal experience gave her first hand knowledge of the industry, compassion to develop a ‘patient focused’ philosophy, and vision to help other woman. Since 1997, her company has matched thousands of couples and donors world wide.

In 2004, Ms. Thomas, Dr. James Akin and Dr. Jeffry Boldt opened the first commercial egg bank in the world, and the first baby conceived using these banked eggs was born in 2005. They recognized the immense benefit for both women in need of donor eggs to select vitrify donor eggs from a bank, which could be shipped to the patient’s physician when needed. The World Egg Bank has been shipping donor eggs world-wide since 2005.

Patricia M. McShane, MD
Medical Director

Dr. McShane has been working in the field since 1985. She completed her clinical fellowship at Harvard University and served as an associate professor at both Harvard University and University of Massachusetts Medical Center.

Dr. McShane served as the Medical Director of IVF at the Brigham, and soon thereafter at the Reproductive Science Center of New England, during the introduction of many key clinical services, including embryo cryopreservation, oocyte donation and ICSI in the mid 80's and 90's. Later she would be involved in the launch of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis and screening and an early trial of oocyte maturation. Dr. McShane was listed as one of Boston's top doctors. She is one of the first reproductive specialists to bring in-vitro fertilization technology to the US.

In 2007 Dr. McShane moved to the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, where she spearheaded the oocyte vitrification clinical trial involving immediate thawing and transfer of vitrified oocytes for infertile couples, showing equivalency with the fresh oocytes. One of her current projects involves developing CME materials for oncologists to increase acceptance of fertility preservation options including oocyte and embryo vitrification. She is the Associate Director of Fertility Preservation at the University of Colorado Hospital.

Dr. McShane has served on the Board of Directors of Integramed, a management company for fertility practices, and the President of the New England Fertility Society. She is an active member, serving in leadership roles of multiple industry organizations and is the author of numerous medical reports, reviews and book chapters.

Joan Christy Stehlik M.Sc.
Director of Laboratory Operations

Joni Stehlik graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire. While completing her undergraduate degree, Joni participated in one of the first work study programs as a Molecular Biologist. Prior to becoming an embryologist in 1991, Ms. Stehlik had worked in cytogenetics and cell/molecular biology. She has continued her education throughout her career acquiring a degree in Computer Science (2003). She attended the University of WI - Madison PhD program in Genetics where she studied genetic senescence of oocytes.

Ms. Stehlik is responsible for the first births in the US from vitrified oocytes in 2003. She is also responsible for the first birth in the world from cryopreserved blastocysts following the Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis procedure (PGD). She has participated in one of the first pregnancies to produce a live birth following Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) procedure in the United States (1993). Her work in vitrification continues to receive international attention in countless print and television media including: CBS 48 hours, the NBC Today Show, and Glamour Magazine (May 2004).

Ms. Stehlik went on to build and direct multiple IVF laboratories in the United States. She has operated in several large, successful human embryo laboratory locations such as Connecticut Fertility Associates, Fertility Centers of Illinois, New Hope Fertility Center and The Center for Advanced Reproductive Services at the University of Connecticut - Farmington. Ms. Stehlik has traveled to places as far as China teaching vitrification technology.

Ms. Stehlik is a part of multiple professional organizations such as: American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART), Alpha - Scientists in Reproductive Medicine, American Association of Bioanalysts (AAB), College of American Pathologists (CAP) - Inspector and Team Member, European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), and the New England Fertility Society (NEFS).

Joni Stehlik was recently hired by TWEB to assume the responsibilities of the Director of Laboratory Operations.

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Our Scientific and Medical Advisory Board

James W. Akin, MD, FACOG

Dr. James W. AkinDr. Akin has practiced infertility for 20 years in both an academic university setting as well as in private practice. He is board certified in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. He has published numerous medical articles on infertility in peer-reviewed journals and continues to do clinical infertility research. He is currently in private practice in Lexington, Kentucky, USA, and is owner and Medical Director of Bluegrass Fertility Center, Inc.

Jeffrey Boldt, Ph.D.

Dr. Jeffrey BoldtDr. Boldt is one of the early US pioneers in early egg freezing technology. Dr. Boldt has lectured extensively and authored many national and international articles on infertility, and serves as both Program and Scientific Director, Assisted Fertility Services for Community Hospital-Indianapolis and Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics at Indiana University School of Medicine.

Professor Gabor T. Kovacs, AM

Professor Gabor T. KovacsDr. Kovacs is a world renowned specialist in the fields of reproductive gynecology, endocrinology and infertility. He has over 30 years experience in IVF, ovulation induction, male subferfility, donor insemination and microsurgery. Dr. Kovacs currently serves as the International Medical Director of Monash IVF. His postgraduate credentials include, MD, FRCOG, FRANZCOG, CREI, FAICD, Graduate Certificate in Management from Macquarie Graduate School of Management.

He has been President of The Fertility Society of Australia, Family Planning Australia, Family Planning Victoria, and Chairman of The IVF Directors' Group of Australia. Professor Kovacs was a Councilor of the College of Obstetrics and Gynecology for a period of six years having chaired its Continuing Education and Women's Health Committees. He is a director of ACCESS, Australia's national infertility network.

He is professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Monash University and has published more than 150 scientific papers, over 30 chapters in textbooks, and has written five books for the public and edited seven textbooks.

Jacob F. Mayer Jr., PhD, HCLD, ELD, CC

Dr. Jacob F. Mayer Jr.Jacob (Jake) F. Mayer Jr., PhD, HCLD, ELD, CC is ABB board-certified in Embryology and Andrology.

Dr Mayer received his PhD in Reproductive Physiology from The Johns Hopkins University in 1980. He joined the IVF program at the Jones Institute in Norfolk in 1982 and is presently Professor in the Department of Ob/Gyn, in the Jones Institute at Eastern Virginia Medical School. He currently serves as the Clinical Laboratory Director of the Embryology Lab at The Jones Institute (since 1994); the offsite Laboratory Director at the Jones Institute of Western Penns/Allegehny Healthcare System in Pittsburgh, PA (since 2003) and also the offsite Laboratory Director at the University Reproductive Care, Depart of Ob/Gyn, University of Washington (Seattle)(since 2011).

Since 2004, he has also served as both Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner for the College of American Pathologists in the ASRM/CAP Reproductive Laboratory Accreditation Program.

Dr Mayer is both an instructor and the Director of the On-line Masters Program in Embryology and Andrology at the Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine. Since 2004, this program has produced over 150 graduates and this number continues to grow as the 11th class has recently begun its course of study.

Dr Mayer has been a member of American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) since 1984. He has served on numerous ASRM committees. He was the first chairman of the Reproductive Laboratory Technology Professional Group (1991 - 92); a Legislative Monitor for ASRM Government Office from 1990 - 1997; Co-Chairman of the ASRM Government and Public Relations Committee (1999-2001), a member of ASRM Practice Committee Task Force for the Revision of Guidelines for Gamete and Embryo Donation (2001-2002) and chair of the "EmbryoMail" Advisory Committee (2008 - present). He received the Distinguished Service Award from the American Society of Reproductive Medicine in Oct 2006. He has also received the ASRM 2010 Service Award for having continuously contributed 10 or more years of service to the ASRM.

He has also served in various capacities on the SART Executive Council. He served as a representative Laboratory Director on the SART Executive Council from1995-1998. He was a member of the SART International Committee 1997-2001, Co-Chairman of the Government and Public Relations Committee from1998-2001, Special member for FDA affairs (2001-2006), Representative of the CAP/ASRM's Lab accreditation program (2004-2010) and Laboratory Representative for the National Coalition for Oversight of Assisted Reproductive Technology (NCOART) (1996-2010).

Finally, he has served with a number of organizations, relevant to reproductive medicine. These include National Institute of Health - NIH (member of the "Working Group of the Advisory Committee to the Director NIH" creating NIH guidelines and oversight structure for research involving human pluripotent stem cells. 1999-00) He was a member of National Board of RESOLVE (2001-2005).

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Our Psychology Department

Dr. Ray Lemberg

Dr Ray Lemberg,Clinical Psychologist, in practice for 32 years, provides psychological screenings for egg donors and surrogates.

Dr Lemberg's doctorate is from the University of Maryland. His adult internship was from Sheppard-Enoch Pratt and Springfield Hospitals (Baltimore, MD.) and child internship from JFK Institute, Pediatric Hospital at Johns Hopkins (Baltimore, MD) He is in private practice in Arizona.

Past Scientific and Medical Advisory Board Members

Dr. Michael Tucker

Dr. Mark D. Johnson

Dr. Simon Fishel

Dr. Anna Cobo

Dr. Marcus Hughes