History of SRBT

History of the Society of Reproductive Biologists &Technologists (SRBT)

The SRBT is an affiliate society of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), which was founded in 1944 initially as the American Society for the Study of Sterility and then the American Fertility Society (AFS). The AFS’s original interests were in the areas of sterility (infertility) and contraception, however in the 1970s-80s with the advent of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and other fertility techniques the Society incorporated reproductive medicine into its name and renamed itself the ASRM.

With the final change of the society’s name from AFS to ASRM in 1994, the mission of ASRM was expanded to include “excellence in education and research”. To help meet this objective, ASRM wanted to encourage research Ph.D.'s to join the society.  In the mid-1980s, a small group of research Ph.D.’s began to organize into a special interest group dedicated to basic science research in reproductive biology; and in 1989 the Reproductive Biology Special Interest Group (RBSIG) was formed. Although the early interests of the RBSIG were in basic science research, the RBSIG saw a dramatic change in its membership from predominately basic science researchers to clinical laboratorians and lab directors. This was due, in part, to the birth in 1981 of Elizabeth Carr, the first American IVF baby born at the Eastern Virginia Medical School through the work of Drs. Howard and Georgeanna Jones. So, in addition to basic research, the RBSIG became very active in clinical lab research and in lab certification. At this same time, non-Ph.D. laboratory personnel with similar scientific interests were interested in establishing a special interest group to meet the needs of IVF and andrology laboratorians and in 1991 founded the Reproductive Laboratory Technology Special Interest Group (RLTSIG).

The membership of the RBSIG and RLTSIG increased very rapidly over the next few years. This increase was a reflection of the increased numbers of IVF and andrology labs formed to meet the growing clinical needs of infertile couples for advanced infertility treatments. Due to this remarkable increase in membership and to the encouragement of the ASRM leadership, both special interest groups were converted to professional groups in 1994 and the Reproductive Biology Professional Group (RBPG) and the Reproductive Laboratory Technologist Professional Group (RLTPG) were established. This was the same year that the American Board of Bioanalysis (ABB), in response to federal law (CLIA), established a certification system for IVF lab personnel and it also coincided with the introduction of several new IVF techniques, including ICSI, assisted hatching and PGD (Figure 1).  With these major changes, the emphasis of the two new laboratory professional groups transformed more toward applied IVF research and education. Both professional groups were soon major contributors of post-graduate courses, symposia, scientific sessions and round table discussions at the ASRM meetings.

In the mid-2000s, it became apparent that the impact of the two laboratory professional groups upon ASRM and assisted reproductive technologies (ART) warranted the creation of an affiliate society for laboratory personnel. Since most ASRM laboratory personnel were members of both professional groups, the RBPG and RLTPG were combined in 2010 to form a new affiliate society, the Society of Reproductive Biologists and Technologists (SRBT).

The SRBT is a national and international contributor to ART, and continues to pursue its mission to advance the professional development of scientists and laboratory specialists working in all disciplines of reproductive biology and applied assisted reproductive technologies (ART). SRBT promotes standards of excellence in basic and applied research.


Figure 1.  The Evolution of Assisted Reproductive Technology Techniques
                  Over Time



Many individuals have contributed to the success of SRBT. The members of SRBT are indebted to the past and present efforts of its presidents:


SRBT Past Presidents



Barry Behr, Ph.D.


Mark Dow, Ph.D.


Amy Sparks, Ph.D.


Michael Lee, M.S.


Carli Chapman, B.S.


Sangita Jindal, Ph.D.


Tom Turner, M.S.


Charles L. Bormann, Ph.D.


 Marc Portmann, M.H.A.


William Roudebush, Ph.D.


Andrew Dorfmann, M.S.


T. Arthur Chang, Ph.D. 


Gerry Celia, Ph.D.


Shane Zozula, B.S.


 Brad Milette, B.S.


Liesl Nel- Themaat, Ph.D., HCLD, (ABB)


Brad Milette, B.S.