Photo of Hanna Balakier

Hanna Balakier, PhD

Director, Embryology Laboratory

Dr. Balakier is a specialist in mammalian embryology with extensive knowledge and experience in human Assisted Reproductive Technology. She is recognized internationally for her pioneering basic research in the area of cell cycle of maturing oocytes/zygotes, the mechanisms of fertilization and differentiation of cell lineages in early preimplantation embryos as well as for her studies in reproductive medicine on human eggs and embryos.

She received her PhD from the University of Warsaw, Poland and completed her postdoctoral training at the University of California, San Francisco, Medical School and the University of Toronto, Zoology Department.

She has been involved in establishing and directing successful IVF laboratories in several infertility clinics in Toronto as well as the CReATe Fertility Centre’s embryology laboratory. She continues to lecture at the university level, mentor postgraduate students and train clinical embryologists.

Dr. Balakier performs intensive research related to maternal and paternal contributions to early embryo development, morphokinetics and chromosomal abnormalities. In collaboration with the Create research team she investigates the potential biomarkers for selecting embryos with the highest (utmost) implantation competencies. Currently she is also studying sperm factors that are crucial for normal fertilization, which could be used as suitable indicators in clinical diagnostics and treatment of male infertility. Her research has led to numerous peer reviewed scientific articles and book chapters.

She is a recipient of several awards including the LIFE AWARD, a national recognition for excellence in applied clinical research. She is an active member of the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society and serves as the reviewer for the ART journals.