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Meet Our Laboratory Staff

singh-sushma-lab-coat-july-2015Sushma Singh, PhD, HCLD

 Laboratory Director

Dr. Singh received her Bachelors in Pharmacy from Bombay College of Pharmacy in Mumbai, India and went on to acquire doctorate in neuroendocrinology from the University of Louisiana at Monroe, Louisiana. She served as a senior embryologist at West Virginia University and Wake Forest University and then as lab director at Carolina Conceptions in Raleigh, NC before joining NCFMC. Dr. Singh has published several scientific articles on neural regulation of reproductive hormones. Dr. Singh’s current area of expertise are extended embryo culture and factors affecting IVF pregnancy rates.

kshama_ivfKshama Ramdas, TS, CLS (ASCP)

Senior Embryologist

Kshama received her Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology in 1991 at Bangalore University in Bangalore, India, and a Bachelor of Science in Clinical Laboratory Technology in 1997 at California State University in Sacramento.  She earned her California Clinical Laboratory License and ASCAP certification in 2000.  Kshama has five years prior lab experience working as a chemist, Report Generation Analyst, and laboratory assistant.  She joined the staff of NCFMC in 2000 and worked in the Andrology and Endocrinology Laboratories.  Kshama has been working in the embryology lab since 2003.

mary_ivfMary Miller, TS

Senior Embryologist

Mary received her BS degree in Animal Science from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2007. Her concentration was in Reproductive Physiology and Genetics.  She participated in an externship position as an Assistant Embryologist at the Fertility and Gynecology Center of Salinas from September 2006-May 2007.  Mary’s undergraduate research project involved the comparison of different embryo freezing and vitrification protocols on embryo survival.  Mary has been an embryologist at NCFMC since June 2007.

david_ivfDavid Cragun, PhD

 Senior Embryologist

Dr. Cragun received his PhD in Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology from Cornell University and a Master’s degree in Clinical Embryology and Andrology from Eastern Virginia Medical School. After facing infertility with his wife, David became inspired to help others undergoing fertility treatments and decided to pursue a career in embryology. David has over two years of experience as an embryologist and worked in labs in San Diego, CA, Louisville, KY and Mexicali, Mexico before and joining the NCFMC team in January 2015. He brings with him experience with oocyte vitrification and warming and has a particular interest in the in vitro maturation of immature oocytes for fertility preservation.

Bianca Aquino, CLS

Clinical Lab Scientist

Bianca is a veteran of the United States Army where she served in two tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Clinical Laboratory Science at University of Texas at Austin and attended a CLS program at Houston Methodist Hospital.  She then worked at Arkansas Children’s Hospital’s core laboratory.  She also worked at Texas Children’s Hospital’s Allergy and Immunology laboratory, where she played an integral role in the development and validation of Natural Killer cell cytotoxicity functional assays.  Bianca recently completed her Master of Science in Management degree in Healthcare Administration.  She joined NCFMC in 2017 as a clinical laboratory scientist in Andrology and Endocrinology.

 

surbhiSurbhi Chophla, BS

Laboratory Technician

Surbhi earned her Bachelors of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from UC Davis in 2015. While she was an undergraduate, she worked in a plant molecular laboratory. Her focus was on performing genotyping and molecular assays on transgenic tomato lines. After she graduated, she worked as a laboratory technician at a Quality Control Seed Health Laboratory, primarily performing qPCR and ELISA assays. She liked the research she was doing, but felt compelled to work with patients in a medical setting. She enjoys working in a laboratory and having a direct impact on patients. She joined NCFMC in 2017 as a Technician in the Andrology and Endocrinology Laboratories.

celeste_androCeleste Hill, BS

Laboratory Technician

Celeste earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science in 2013 at Whitworth University in Spokane, WA. After graduation, she worked at NW Cryobank as a Medical Receptionist then as a Lab Technician.  She moved to California in 2015 with her husband when he began a Doctorate of Physical Therapy program in Sacramento. After the move, she worked as a Grossing Assistant and Hospital Coordinator for Diagnostic Pathology Medical Group. She joined the NCFMC team in July of 2016 as a Technician in the Andrology and Endocrinology Laboratories.

teri_androTerry Thornburg, CLS

Clinical Lab Scientist

Terry earned her Bachelor of Science in Microbiology in 1980 at San Diego State University.  She received her California Clinical Laboratory Scientist license after successful competition of her internship at Scripps in the San Diego area.  As a recent graduate she worked all aspects of the clinical laboratory.  Upon moving back to Northern California, she had the opportunity to specialize at UC Davis in Blood Banking, Hematology, and Coagulation.   Terry’s husband received a military transfer to northern Michigan, where Terry rotated through all departments of the laboratory and assisted in E.R. and Pathology.  Once again returning to California, Terry became a specialist in Forensic Toxicology and an expert witness for surrounding counties in Forensic Alcohol Analysis for Roche Biomedical.  The majority of her years were spent in Toxicology, Newborn and Prenatal Screening identifying metabolic disorders and helping families correct potential life altering diseases.  She joined NCFMC in 2015 as a Technologist in Andrology and Endocrinology Laboratories.