American College of Embryology honors Poma Fertility laboratory director with embryologist of the month award
No matter how long he has been doing this work, Dr. Klaus Wiemer can’t help but feel a sense of awe every time he meets a baby who not so long ago was little more than a group of growing cells he was peering at under his microscope.
It was this awe that first attracted Wiemer to consider a career in embryology science. And in time to see his work differently when he realized that it wasn’t just the science that was satisfying, it was helping people who were desperate to have a family of their own, but could not.
Due to this dedication in helping infertile families, Dr. Wiemer has been given a prestigious embryology award, being named embryologist of the month by the American College of Embryology, an international organization of scientists working to serve patients, families and the public by advocating for excellence in the practice of reproductive embryology.
“This is really an honor for me,” he said. “You are selected by your peers; your peers nominate and approve you. They want to let the world know that you’re good at what you do.”
Dr. Klaus Wiemer is the laboratory director at Poma Fertility, in Kirkland Washington. He received his PhD in reproductive physiology with an emphasis in embryology from Louisiana State University. Wiemer is also certified as a high complexity lab director, and as an embryologist, Wiemer’s success rates working with embryos is among the best in the United States.
“The college is a nonprofit organization to try to improve the standards of embryology through scientific advancements, but also to make the general patient population aware of the quality of people that work in an embryology laboratory, the quality of the lab, and all of the things that are cumulatively involved in making good embryos,” Wiemer said.
Embryologists are scientists who create human embryos using in vitro fertilization. They then provide care for embryos until they are about a week old. At the end of the process, they select embryos that will be transferred into the woman’s uterus to make her pregnant, or frozen for future use.
In these busy work days, many embryology labs are understaffed, and the demands on laboratories and the complexity of procedures are increasing dramatically which could lead to increased chances of less than optimal work.
“The type of work that were doing and the demands that are being put on the lab has increased dramatically yet the number of staff to do these ever increase complex procedures has not increased dramatically,” Wiemer said.
While embryologists tend to be more behind the sciences than the reproductive doctors who encounter patients face-to-face, the importance of what they do cannot be understated.
“Remember that the laboratory in essence replaces the function of the human uterus,” Wiemer adds. “We use advanced micro manipulation skills-whether it’s injecting sperm into the egg or removing portions of the embryo for genetic diagnosis or preserving the fertility of a patient or preserving eggs from an egg donor.”