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Reproductive Biologist in an IVF laboratory 

Biologists and scientists from related fields of biology, who carry out differing tasks and roles, work in around 120 IVF centres in Germany. The following outline of this job profile describes the typical tasks of a "reproductive biologist" in IVF, andrology and cryo laboratories.

The priority within this work is the mastering and conducting of all laboratory-based techniques for assisted reproduction (ART: "Assisted Reproductive Techniques") in andrology and IVF laboratories. Working in a hormone laboratory also forms a part of the related work of a reproductive biologist in some centres. The basis for any ART work is the mastering general laboratory techniques (for example, the handling of cell cultures and working in sterile conditions) and the gaining of experience in working with microscopes. Specific parts of the training concentrate on single cell preparations under microscopic control, micromanipulation techniques and cryobiology of gametes and embryos.

Extensive theoretical knowledge is necessary in addition to practical skills in all of the fields mentioned above. Consistent quality control and assurance in the ART laboratory as well as problem-related troubleshooting are also included within this work. In many centres, the reproductive biologist who holds the position of the head of the laboratory drafts a laboratory manual describing all the laboratory techniques and the careful documentation of the laboratory and patient data. Knowledge of and compliance with legal regulations (Embryo Protection Law, Tissues Act) is mandatory. The head of the laboratory or another experienced reproductive biologist is also responsible for the induction and training of other employees in the laboratory (reproductive biologists in training as well as medical technical assistants). Other tasks include the entry and statistical analysis of laboratory and patient data with the implementation of measures as appropriate.

A reproductive biologist has an obligation to continue his or her education in relation to the latest scientific knowledge and latest diagnostic or therapeutic procedures. Regular study of the literature, participation in technical conferences, workshops and particularly training sessions conducted by the AGRBM are essential components of this profession.