Ovation News

Meet the Ovation Star – Sue O’Brien, Senior Embryologist at Ovation Vermont

Sue O’Brien, Senior Embryologist

At Ovation® Fertility, all lab team members share a passion for their work and a natural curiosity. This month’s Ovation Star Sue O’Brien, who is a senior embryologist in Vermont, is the perfect example of this.

How Did You Get Into Your Line of Work?

I’m an inquisitive person and have been since birth. As a child, I would cook in the kitchen with my mom and loved to see how certain reactions happened when you’d mix things together. When I was about six or seven my mom gave me a toy microscope and science kit. Looking back, I think it was probably a way of getting my messes out of the kitchen. However, the gift fueled my interest in science.

During school, I signed up for any science fairs and science clubs I could find. I attended Norwich University and got a degree in medical technology. While in college, I worked at a local hospital in outpatient phlebotomy, then worked part-time in their chemistry lab and a year in the ID lab for the Red Cross.

After college, I started working in research at the University of Vermont. There, I assisted with the research for the REI doctors in the OB/GYN department. After a few years, one of those MDs became the department director and asked me to work with mouse embryos in his lab. I eventually transitioned from there to working in the hospital IVF lab.

When two of the REIs from the University of Vermont left the hospital to start Northeastern Reproductive Medicine, I came with them. Now, we’re part of Ovation.

What Is an Average Day of Work Like for You?

It’s busy and we do a little bit of everything because we don’t have separate IVF, endocrinology and andrology labs. We have two senior embryologists and two junior embryologists, so we rotate among all the laboratory tasks.

My day typically consists of training the junior embryologists and sharing the daily lab procedures with the other senior embryologist, Haiying Chen.

What’s Your Favorite Part of Working for Ovation?

We joined Ovation in August 2022, and it has been great. As an Ovation network lab, we have access to so many resources and so much support. For example, before I even became an official Ovation employee, they sent me to IVF Academy in San Antonio for biopsy training.

You can tell everyone at Ovation loves their work, and it’s amazing to be a part of a community with such a strong work ethic and a desire to reach the same goals.

We also love our lab director, Dr. Glen Adaniya. He is wonderful because he cares about our work in the lab as well as how we’re doing personally. His goal is our success, so he works to find out what’s working and what’s not to make things better for everyone. We all feel his positive and supportive energy.

What Do You Like About Working in Fertility Care?

Definitely the babies. Even after all this time in embryology, it just amazes me. You start with the patients’ microscopic egg and sperm, and a few months later, you get to hold their baby. It’s fascinating.

I’ve been in this field for what feels like so long, and I love that my job never gets boring. The field is always changing, and so does my job. I’ve never felt like I’m stagnant. There’s always something new to learn.

What Do You Like To Do for Fun?

I like to do outdoor activities in Vermont. We have four seasons here, and I like to experience them all. I spend summers gardening, kayaking and hiking with my husband, two kids and two dogs. I don’t ski anymore, but I love snowshoeing in the winter. As for the spring, we spend a lot of time at my husband’s family’s off-the-grid maple syrup business.

Ovation Fertility

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