Vitrafy Establishes Scientific Advisory Board

Vitrafy Life Sciences has established its Scientific Advisory Board with IVF pioneer Associate Professor John McBain appointed as the inaugural chair.

As Vitrafy continues to pioneer ground-breaking results in cryopreservation outcomes of biological material, including sperm, ovaries and blood products, the Scientific Advisory Board has been established with some of Australia’s top experts in biomedicine and innovative biomedical research. 

The new board has a mandate to provide early evaluation of emerging science, market, and cryopreservation technology developments. It will also provide external scientific review and strategic recommendations to Vitrafy leadership to support its current and future cryopreservation research and development programs, applications, and products.

Professor McBain was part of the team behind Australia’s first IVF baby in 1980, which was the third IVF birth in the world. A highly regarded gynaecologist and true IVF pioneer, Professor McBain received an Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service to reproductive medicine, particularly in infertility.

Joining Associate Professor McBain is Dr. Debra Gook and Associate Professor Denese Marks.

Dr. Gook holds a position as a senior research fellow and head of Cryopreservation Services, Reproductive Services/Melbourne IVF at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne. Dr Gook has been at the forefront of research into the freezing of the human egg and is responsible for resurrecting interest in clinical egg freezing back in the early 1990’s culminating in establishment of the world’s first egg bank at the Royal Women’s Hospital (1994). She was a pioneer in developing human ovarian tissue freezing for young women with cancer, the field now referred to as “fertility preservation” or “oncofertility”.  Dr. Gook was also the lead scientist who developed laboratory processes for freezing and thawing in the world’s first pregnancy from ovarian tissue grafted outside of a woman’s pelvis. Dr Gooks extensive knowledge, expertise and experience makes her an ideal board member.

Associate Professor Marks is an R&D Program Leader at Australian Red Cross Lifeblood and specialises in product development and storage, including the development of novel blood products such as platelet lysate and frozen blood components. Associate Professor Marks has published over 80 peer reviewed papers with much of her research focusing on aspects of improving blood component quality and safety during blood collection, processing, storage, and transfusion.

Brent Owens, Chief Research and Development Officer and Co-Founder of Vitrafy says, “We are thrilled to have some of the world’s leading experts in cryopreservation research and product discovery join our Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) as we continue to advance towards enhancing patient therapeutic treatments.”

“Our SAB serves as an endorsement for scientific and clinical enthusiasm for Vitrafy and more broadly, the company’s unique technology platform”, Mr. Owens goes on to say.

 “We are grateful to have the opportunity to draw upon board members’ collective expertise, as they are all highly esteemed thought leaders within their fields. Their expertise will assist us to enhance our current product offerings and explore emerging applications for Vitrafy products in cryopreservation.”

Vitrafy Life Sciences Ltd Scientific Advisory Board Inaugural Chair Associate Professor McBain



Brent Owens

M: 0429 890 118

E: [email protected]


About Vitrafy

Vitrafy Life Sciences, established in 2018, is an Australian-based company focused on the advancement of biomedical cryopreservation. Vitrafy has developed breakthrough cryopreservation technology and cold chain solutions to deliver precise and consistent results when cryopreserving biological material. Vitrafy’s unique patented algorithm calculates the required operating conditions for biomaterial cryopreservation and informs the cryopreservation technologies’ automation software of precise operating conditions to deliver optimum cell survivability.

About Professor John McBain

Associate Professor John McBain has been appointed as the inaugural chair of the Scientific Advisory Board for Vitrafy and is also a non-executive director of the company.

He is the former head of reproductive services at The Royal Women’s Hospital and is the former president of the Fertility Society of Australia and was a founder of Melbourne IVF, now known as Virtus Health.

In 2013 the Associate Professor was awarded an Order of Australia (AO) for his contribution to and distinguished service to reproductive medicine as a gynaecologist, to medical education as an academic, and to professional organisations.

About Dr. Debra Gook

Dr. Gook has been involved in IVF for the past 30 years and worked alongside one of Australia’s IVF pioneers, the late Ian Johnston. Dr. Gook holds a position as a senior research fellow in Reproductive Services/Melbourne IVF and is a lead scientist in the oocyte and ovarian tissue cryopreservation program at The Royal Women’s Hospital and has continued to publish research on the cryopreservation of oocytes and ovarian tissue.

About A/Prof Denese Marks

Associate Professor Marks is an R&D Program Leader at Australian Red Cross Lifeblood, whose research focuses on all aspects of improving blood component quality and safety, from blood collection through to processing, storage, and transfusion. This includes the development of novel blood products such as platelet lysate and frozen blood components.

Dr. Marks is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the School of Medicine at The University of Sydney, an Associate Editor of the journal Vox Sanguinis and has published over 80 peer-reviewed papers.