About Liesl Nel-themaat, Ph.D., HCLD
iesl Nel-Themaat, Ph.D., HCLD, is a certified High-complexity Clinical Laboratory Director and Technical Supervisor with a specialty in Embryology by the American Board of Bioanalysis.
She earned her undergraduate degree in agriculture (physiology and biochemistry) from the University of Stellenbosch. As her next move, Dr. Nel-Themaat left her native South Africa to pursue her Doctor of Philosophy in animal reproductive physiology from Louisiana State University. During her Doctoral studies, Dr. Nel-Themaat was a Graduate Research Assistant for the Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species where she worked in assisted reproductive technologies in various exotic species. Her research included intergeneric nuclear transfer cloning for use in conservation and she managed the Frozen Zoo biomaterials resource bank, a collection of cell lines from endangered species as an insurance against extinction. After graduating with her Ph.D., Dr. Nel-Themaat did a postdoctoral fellowship and MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX, where she continued her studies of the reproductive system using transgenic animal models.
All her zoology-based groundwork laid the foundation for Dr. Nel-Themaat's expertise in embryology, andrology, and endocrinology. Since joining the University of Colorado Advanced Reproductive Medicine in 2017, she has not only been a key player in all lab activities, but also participates as faculty for the REI Fellowship Program.
Over the course of her career, Dr. Nel-Themaat has contributed to dozens of professional publications, covering topics such as development of new technologies for use in the reproductive lab, cryopreservation of sperm, embryos and eggs, in vitro fertilization (IVF), and diminished ovarian reserve. She is an active member of professional organizations including the American Board of Bioanalysis (ABB), American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), Colorado Association of Reproductive Technologists, College of Reproductive Biologists (CRB), and the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies (SRBT) where she is the president elect. Dr. Nel-Themaat is among the founding members of the International IVF Initiative (i3), a non-profit global educational project for the Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) community.
Today, Dr. Nel-Themaat is the IVF Lab Director for SGF Colorado. When she is not overseeing the labs, you can find Dr. Nel-Themaat outdoors running, snowboarding, mountain biking, and scuba diving. She is also currently working on her Executive MBA.
- Doctorate: Animal Reproduction Physiology, Louisiana State University
- High Complexity Lab Director (American Board of Bioanalysis)
- Technical Supervisor (American Board of Bioanalysis), Specialty: Embryology
AWARDS & RECOGNITION
- 2009, Texas Forum for Reproductive Sciences: 3rd place for poster presentation.
- 2007, Texas Forum for Reproductive Sciences: Honorary mention for best oral presentation.
- 2002, J. Bennett Johnston Science Foundation Grant: Cryopreservation of semen collected from the endangered Gulf Coast Native sheep.
- International IVF Initiative (i3, Founding Team Member, Organizer, host and moderator) (2020-present)
- American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) (2012-present)
- Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies (SRBT) (2012- present)
- American Board of Bioanalysis (ABB) (2016-present)
- College or Reproductive Biologists (CRB) (2016-present)
- Colorado Association of Reproductive Technologists (2014-present)