Ovation Fertility Austin Staff

Dr. Matthew "Tex" VerMilyea

Dr. Matthew “Tex” VerMilyea graduated with honors from Cornell University before earning a PhD in genetics from The University of Birmingham, School of Medicine, Institute of Biomedical Research, Birmingham, U.K. He was a Research Fellow at the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, University of Birmingham. He also accepted academic posts at the University of Pennsylvania, Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand) and Auckland University (New Zealand). Dr. VerMilyea is a board- certified as a Clinical Consultant, Medical Laboratory Scientific Director of Embryology and High Complexity Clinical Laboratory Director (HCLD). He served as Scientific Director for Fertility Associates (New Zealand). He and his wife have a daughter and a son.

Hank Werland

Hank Werland has a B.A. in Biology and a Minor in Chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin. He has worked previously as a Medical Technologist at Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas as well as for Clinical Pathology Laboratories in Austin. Hank’s experience includes three years as an Embryologist at Presbyterian Hospital in Austin and nine years as an Embryologist at Ovation Fertility Austin. Hank is certified by the American Board of Bioanalysts as a Technical Supervisor in Embryology. He is married with two daughters.

Kristin Sieren

After completing a B.S. in Animal Science and a M.S. in Reproductive Physiology from Iowa State University, Kristin began her embryology career at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas. After two years in Dallas, she became the IVF Laboratory Supervisor at The Center for Reproductive Medicine in Wichita, KS. Kristin joins Ovation Fertility Austin with more than nine years of embryology experience and is certified by the American Board of Bioanalysts as a Technical Supervisor in Embryology and Andrology. Kristin enjoys spending time outside with her labradoodles, Duke and Daisy.

Melissa Catala

Since February 2011, Melissa has worked as an Andrologist for Ovation Fertility Austin before becoming an Embryologist in 2012. She earned her B.S. in General Biology from Texas State University in San Marcos, and has called Austin home since 2004. Before becoming a part of Ovation Fertility Austin, she worked as a  Medical  Technologist at  Clinical Pathology Laboratories.

Alicia Picou

After graduating from Louisiana State University with a BS in Animal Science and a MS in Reproductive Physiology in 2009, Alicia began her embryology career by first working in the biotech industry for ViaGen. In 2012, she joined Ovation Fertility Austin part time as an Andrologist and later became full time Embryologist. In her free time, you can find her riding her mountain bike or running Town Lake.

Vonda Brabner

After graduating from James Madison University with a BS in Biology, Vonda began her career as an embryologist in the first IVF clinic in the US- The Jones Institute in Norfolk, VA. After 7 great years and an overseas military move to Japan, she joined the IVF lab at Women and Infants’ Hospital in Rhodes Island. Her next position was as a consultant with IVF Labs, LLC working in many labs throughout the US and Canada for 5 years while earning her Master’s in Clinical Embryology and Andrology from Eastern VA Medical School. Vonda is certified by the American Board of Bioanalysts as a Technical Supervisor in Embryology and Andrology and also holds and Embryologist certification from the American College of Embryology.

Claire Bellamy - Andrologist

Claire Bellamy joined Ovation Fertility™ Austin in July 2014 after graduating with a bachelor of science degree in biology from St. Edward's University. She is responsible for semen analyses, anti-sperm antibody testing, sperm cryopreservation and the preparation of sperm for intrauterine insemination.
She worked part-time during college as an office assistant at Texas Fertility Center. While there, she became interested in reproductive technology after seeing how the advancements benefit people who want to become parents. She enjoys being part of the process to help achieve a successful pregnancy.

Niki Maknojia - Andrologist

Niki was born and grew up in Austin and attended Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. After earning a bachelor of science in biology with a minor in psychology, she worked at a local pediatric clinic as a medical assistant before accepting a position as a clinical assistant at Brackenridge Hospital. Niki joined Ovation Fertility™ Austin as an andrologist in April 2015. She is a member of the Tri-Beta Biology Honor Society and Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society. Some of her hobbies include traveling, exploring nature and listening to live music.