• 01/07/2005

Antonio Pellicer

Why and when does the Institute of Fertility (IVI) begin? The IVI began in 1990 because reproductive medicine was not a public health priority, there were others. It was probably more important to invest in building new hospitals and heart surgery, for instance. The point is that re productive medicine had been left aside while many break throughs in the field had been made worldwide. The only way out for us was to invest in it ourselves. It is also true that we never foresaw the IVI Institute becoming, from a business perspective, what it now is. What we thought then was that we had to join up with best in the field and that required investing. In good time we realized that we had patients coming from other parts of Spain and that made us consider designing the IVI expansion plan, which really took off last year.

Is it difficult to find qualified professionals in this field? The university is totally disorientated in this sense; it is not preparing professionals to work in this specialty. With the new changes in degrees and the need to adapt to European standards, the IVI as a University Institute has developed a proposal for a new degree to be created called Reproductive Biology with classes taking place at the IVI, in order to solve the shortage of skilled professionals.

What does the Valencia Institute of Fertility do? From day one the IVI Institute has used a share of its resources to further develop investigations, not just as a clinic to treat patients. What makes us different ,from other centres is that we have our own department developing new techniques. Regarding this subject, the IVI has been a pioneer in many ways. For example, we conceived the first children fertilized by frozen sperm obtained from the testicles. In addition, we hold the most extensive program worldwide in egg donation.

What does IVI-Joven aim to achieve ? As a professional gynaecologist I realized that there was a branch in gynaecology in Spain that was not being paid the necessary attention. No one addresses the problems of adolescent treatment, which is why we setup IVI-Joven (for the young). It is also an enjoyable program, carried out by young doctors, doctor appointments are free of charge and adolescents are delighted to attend.

Arecouples aware that many of the problems they fa ce when trying to conceive a child can be solved? They are aware because of today´s ever increasing available information, but I assure you that there is still a long way to go. What has the King Jaime I Award in Clinical Medicine meant for you and the IVI? It gave me great satisfaction since I believe it is the most prestigious award given today in Clinical Medicine in Spain. The IVI has been credited with the acknowledgement that research from private medicine is alsoand that is very important.

What does the I International IVI Congress aim to achieve? First of all we would like to celebrate the 15th anniversary of IVI and secondly we would like to gather in Valencia the best professionals in reproductive medicine; besides, all those we invited have attended. Very interesting subjects will be discussed during the Congress: how we are treating embryo diseases to avoid passing them onto babies or how we are trying to discover what a good embryo is.

Why have you chosen the Va lencia Conference Centre to hold this congress? It is the best place in Valencia. Years ago, when we first considered organizing this Congress we thought about hosting it in the Valencia Conference Centre because it possesses the ideal attributes for the hosting of major congresses. For all these reasons, no other place than this should be considered.