Ovation Star – Haiying Chen
Meet our Ovation Star, Haiying Chen, a lead senior embryologist in Vermont
At Ovation® Fertility, all lab team members share a passion for helping patients. This month’s Ovation Star, Haiying Chen, finds happiness in helping patients become parents.
How Did You Get Into Your Line of Work?
I graduated from the medical school of Peking University, then worked as a general surgeon in Peking University First Hospital for two years. In 1999, I came to Canada for graduate school at McGill University in Montreal, where I began lab research in experimental medicine. I graduated from that master’s program in 2002.
Then, I worked in McGill’s reproductive center research lab as a research associate, performing clinical trials for human oocyte vitrification and in vitro maturation. We were the first institute in North America doing clinical trials of oocyte vitrification and in vitro maturation, working on these techniques for single female cancer patients whose follicles would be damaged by chemotherapy or radiotherapy. These techniques allowed patients to have kids after treatment.
In 2005, I moved to being a clinical senior embryologist at McGill Reproductive Center, then stayed there until 2010. After that, I was promoted as a lab director for four years in Montreal OriginElle infertility clinic, before coming to Vermont Northeastern Reproductive Medicine as embryology lab supervisor in October 2014.
What’s Your Favorite Part of Working for Ovation?
I have a clinical medicine background, and also I was a patient myself at 16 years old. I had a chest surgery because of pneumothorax. But some medical incident happened to me, and a small, easy, one-week treatment finally cost two months for me to recover. It was a very painful and difficult experience for me and my parents; we spent much more time, money and energy. We met some good doctors, also some who took no responsibility for patients. This terrible experience inspired me to step into clinical medicine. From this, I also understand what patients feel and what they need. Every day in the embryology lab, I always try my best to help them to get best results.
The most interesting thing about this work is that we can bring optimal results to patients. Every day, new cases come up, and we can improve our skill, technology and equipment to help patients get a better chance. We can track our achievements quickly. After three months, if a patient has an ongoing pregnancy, that makes me very happy, and mission accomplished. I love working here because Ovation Fertility has the same goal to bring the best practices and service to our patients.
What Do You Like About Working in Fertility Care?
I love working in research and embryology. I always want to challenge myself. I like to constantly improve my skills, technology and knowledge. Some patients have tried to get pregnant for a few years, and it didn’t work. After they come to us, they have a kid, and build a new family. This makes me feel very happy that my efforts can give them an optimal outcome. Our Ovation purpose is bringing the joy of parenthood through innovative science!
What Do You Like To Do for Fun?
I have two kids; my daughter is 19 years old and in college at University of Toronto, and my son is 15 years old. My wife and I really like to travel, so we go to different places every year with our kids. We have traveled all over the United States. We’ve been to the Bahamas, Mexico, Singapore, Malaysia, and back and forth from China, where we are from. We love to travel as a family because it broadens our kids’ minds. Visiting different countries with different cultures opens their eyes. We want them to know that the world has multiple cultures and lifestyles, and we accept them all.
My son and I enjoy bowling and tennis on the weekends. In the summers, our family goes hiking or biking in the mountains or beside the lakes, which are very beautiful here in Vermont. In winter, we play ping pong and pool in our basement at home. We enjoy our peaceful life in Vermont very much!