Courses by Instructor


First Name

Kay Elder


Following a Diploma in Chemistry in Dundee (with Distinction and Special Merit), she graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry from St Andrews University. A Fellowship awarded by the National Institutes of Health in the USA allowed her to pursue a PhD in Experimental Pathology at the University of Colorado Medical School. In 1974 she took up a research position at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London, and continued research that included in-vitro translation of oncogenic viral mRNA and sequencing of the Influenza virus haemagglutinin. Kay decided to study medicine and graduated with an MBBChir from Cambridge in 1981. Kays introduction to IVF arrived with a chance telephone call in 1984. Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards at Bourn Hall Clinic were in desperate need of a locum doctor, and contacted the Cambridge University Clinical School to see if they could recommend anyone available to help.

In 1987 she was appointed Head of the Outpatient Department, and managed the
Clinic’s transition from in-patient to out-patient treatment cycles and by 1988 she was a Senior Embryologist in the IVF lab.

In 1989, Professor Edwards inaugurated a programme of workshops and seminars at Bourn Hall, and with her combined medical/scientific experience in IVF, Kay was appointed Director of Training. For the next 16 years she planned, coordinated, directed and taught a large and varied educational programme at Bourn Hall, for doctors, scientists, nurses and other healthcare professionals – an ideal opportunity to continue her lifelong passion for studying and learning.

In 1994 she became a founder member and Executive Secretary of Alpha – Scientists in Reproductive Medicine, an international society devoted to the science of IVF. In 1998 she became a Visiting Professor at the Danube University of Krems, and directed the post-graduate course Master of Advanced Studies in Clinical Embryology, taught by experienced embryologists from the UK, Europe, and the USA.

With the help of Roger Gosden and his colleagues, a distance-learning MSc in Clinical Embryology was established at the University of Leeds in 2000, and as Honorary Senior Lecturer there she continues to mentor and tutor students on this course.

She has now been author of, and edited, several textbooks and numerous publications related to the science of IVF, and continues to monitor results and data, as well as manage the research embryo bank at Bourn Hall Clinic in her current post as Senior Research Scientist there.