AETA 2018 Scholarship Winner Report: Cameron Menard

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Published on: December 27, 2018

This past September I had the opportunity to participate in the annual AETA/CETA meeting as a student scholar. I came to the meeting this year as a fourth year veterinary student in hopes of learning more about the profession and the organization. The things that stood out on my trip were the informative lectures and the incredible people that make up the AETA and CETA. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to spend time connecting with the many veterinarians and embryologists who were present at the meeting. One of the positives that I took away from the meeting was seeing that other youthful individuals like myself seem to be getting involved. The AETA has focused on gaining membership in younger demographics, and it is encouraging to see others that are so interested in joining and contributing to the embryo transfer community.

Of all of the lectures that I attended, I particularly enjoyed Claude Robert’s presentation on breed-associated embryo freezing capacity. The visuals that he provided regarding the channels present in the zona pellucida and their subsequent implications in fatty acid transport and metabolism helped me to get a better understanding of why Jersey embryos are inherently more difficult to freeze and attain successful pregnancy. The additional insight that follicular fluid has a great impact in mitochondrial development in the oocyte leads one to believe that it may be playing a role in dictating how efficiently lipids will be metabolized. Because a large portion of the members that make up the AETA/CETA are private practitioners, I also appreciated the information that was tailored toward applications in everyday practice for businesses dedicated to embryo transfer. While research helps us continue to push our knowledge about the various aspects of embryo transfer, I believe it is important to keep in mind what is practical and applicable for everyday practitioners.

As the meeting concluded late Saturday, it made me excited for the future of the AETA/CETA, as well as embryo transfer as a whole. I am incredibly thankful to the AETA organization for providing a scholarship opportunity that afforded me the ability to come to the meeting.  I look forward to keeping in touch with the individuals that I met at this year’s meeting, and I plan on attending the 2019 AETA/CETA Meeting in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

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