In November of 2014, immediately following Approval by the University of Kent Senate, the Centre for interdisciplinary Studies of Reproduction (CISoR) has its opening event. A starter of chicken liver pate or roasted pepper salad was followed by a welcome by Philippe De Wilde, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research. Professors Darren Griffin (School of Biosciences) and Sally Sheldon (Kent Law School) Director and Deputy Director of CISoR welcomed the guests and shared their thoughts on reproduction and the significance of interdisciplinary study. Guest were then treated to a dinner of glazed salmon fillet or vegetable Jalfrezi after which Drs Grant Walling (JSR Genetics) and Alan Thornhill (Illumina Inc) shared their thoughts on reproduction and feeding a growing population as well as the role of CISoR from numerous vantage points. The evening was then given over to a series of fun activities including:

  • When you realized you were pregnant (an adapted game of roulette)
  • Fertilize your egg (a game of archery)
  • Guess the weight of the baby (or at least a reasonable facsimile)
  • Sperm racing (like horse racing but with a twist)

….…. before being treated to dessert. The members of CISoR are extremely grateful to the BBSRC, Illumina Inc, JSR Genetics, Andrology Solutions, Research Instruments, The Bridge IVF Centre and Fairweather’s Solicitors for sponsoring the event and providing the raffle prizes.


“Three parent IVF” was discussed throughout the meeting




Dr Alan Thornhill was uniquely placed to speak on the various roles of CISoR after having been employed in academia (he is also an honorary Reader with the University), in private and NHS IVF clinics (including the Bridge Centre and Guys’ Hospital) and most recently with Illumina Inc.

Fertilisation Game

Fertilisation Game 1

The fertilization game

Sperm racing

Sperm racing


Having children was likened to a game of Roulette