Re: Genetic Engineering of Human Embryos?

Congratulations to the researchers in Oregon that recently reported on the first successful modification of the genome of a human embryo in the U.S.A..  There has been a lot said from the media about the future bringing “designer babies.”  I need to clarify that the research was in early “pre-embryos” and that none were implanted for development into true embryos or even a fetus.  Additionally, the pre-embryos used were donated human embryos for research.  As far as “designer babies” being “around the corner,”  there are laws and ethical codes that prevent U.S. clinics or labs from doing this for the purpose of procreation.  Nonetheless, I speculate that this kind of research may hopefully lead to our ability to eliminate very bad dominant diseases from families in the future.  Examples of these types of genetic problems are the Breast cancer mutations, the Lynch cancer mutation syndrome, Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), and Huntington’s disease.  There will be a lot of debate within our academic and government regulatory bodies as to how and which heritable disease or conditions should be treated with genetic engineering tools of the future.

Julio E. Pabon, M.D.,F.A.C.O.G.

C.E.O. , Medical and Lab director, Fertility Center & Applied Genetics of Florida

Assistant Clinical Professor, Florida State University


AGOG Recommends Expanded Genetic Screening

In the March issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology there are two committe opinions that recommend expanded carrier screening for recessive genetic disorders.  This is due to the lower costs of expanded testing in our current age of “Genomic Medicine.”  Pre-conception genetic screening gives future parents valuable information as there are currently commonly employed technologies that can prevent the birth of an affected child.  Couples have the very viable option of Pre-implantation Genetic Disease (PGD) screening of embryos through “in vitro” fertilization procedures.  The committe opinions are well written and I plan to use them as part of my informed consent process.

Julio E. Pabon, M.D. 2014
Julio E. Pabon, M.D. , F.A.C.O.G., C.E.O., Fertility Center & Applied Genetics of Florida

Fertility IVF TV Show 2015 : Casting Call

J V Productions Plans a Fertility IVF  TV Show 2015.  This is the Casting Call.


A renowned television production company is seeking families for a new series surrounding fertility.

JV Productions Inc. are the producers behind the hit shows Selling New York and Selling L.A. They are a Canadian-based and family-operated company that’s mandate is to produce high quality and engaging television programming.

They are currently casting for a new series that will follow several fertility clinics across the U.S. and the families that come through their doors. JV wants to highlight the struggles and triumphs of families seeking fertility assistance in order to bring new life into this world; and to showcase the new medical and technological advancements that are changing the way we make and define family.

Are you interested in sharing your story with a North American television audience? If so, please contact She is delighted to hear your personal stories and answer any questions you may have.

Same Sex Marriage ruling by the Supreme Court

Summer Flowers of Edinburgh Copyright J. Pabon collection
Summer Flowers of Edinburgh
Copyright J. Pabon collection

The United States Supreme Court ruled today in a 5 to 4 vote that same sex marriages are legal and constitutional.  This is a momentous step in extending liberty and rights to all Americans.

Many of our patients will benefit from the ruling by having rights that the relationship of marriage grants them.  This has implications to medical decisions, wills, insurance, and many other areas.  Our gay and lesbian parents will surely gain better parenting rights and in the short term our same sex male married parents will soon have the ability to have their names appear on the birth certificate of their baby immediately at birth.

In our society, marriage is both a legal state and in most cases, a religious union.  It is impressive how our country is so free and well founded that our Supreme Court ruled in favor of same sex marriage despite expected resistance from some organized religious leaders.

Protecting the rights and liberties of the few, protects us all.


Julio E. Pabon, M.D.

Julio E. Pabon, M.D. 2014
Julio E. Pabon, M.D. 2014

Congrats Dr. Pabon from Sarasota and Bonita Springs for Being recognized as a “Top Doctor” in 2014

Dr. Julio E. Pabon,


Greetings!  You have been nominated again this year as one of Sarasota’s Top Doctors.  For the 14th year, Castle-Connolly Medical Ltd. (America’s trusted source for identifying Top Doctors through peer nominations and The Best in American Medicine) has selected Sarasota Magazine as its exclusive partner to publish its annual Top Doctors list because of the excellence of our editorial content and the integrity of our audited circulation.  



Keith C. Magnuson

Sarasota Magazine

BIZ (941)


Fox News Medical “A” team incendiary statements about PGD

I am a frequent watcher of Fox and Friends in the morning.  I have enjoyed their show as well as the medical “A” team.  The medical “A” team has always been quite objective and interesting.

I was surprised on Feb 20th, 2014, when I saw and heard Dr. Marc Siegel comment on new PGD technology that allows us to test embryos for the presence of the BRCA Breast Cancer Mutations.  The usually objective Dr. Seigel  seemed to be fine with the test, but then went on to share his anxiety about the potential of PGD to lead us down the pathway of genetic engineering and the possibility that we may create an “evil super race” akin to the evil super beings from “Star Trek.” I was surprised to see Dr. Seigel go down the road of the news correspondent that tries to sensationalize a story for ratings.

Dr Siegel should have emphasized that Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis allows physicians like me to treat a family and many subsequent generations.  There are many horrible genetic mutations that lead to severe morbidity and the early death of children.  A mother that has lost a baby in her arms due to one of these conditions like cystic fibrosis or spinal muscular atrophy or a family that has dealt with the severe mental afflictions of Fragile X should have the choice to grow their family with much reduced risk of the known disease that they wish to avoid.  Dr. Seigel did acknowledge the usefulness of PGD in these severe and lethal conditions, but should not criticize families that may choose to modify the risk of a condition like breast cancer in their offspring.  Statements like the ones made on Fox and Friends alluding to physicians like me may potentially create an “evil superhuman race” are incendiary at the least and should not be made by a true man of science.

Twenty seven years ago I chose my career path with the hope that I would be able to apply genetic knowledge for the prevention of human afflictions.  Now it is part of my daily practice.  It is a powerful practice that inspires and humbles at the same time when we choose to implant a human pre-embryo that we know is free of the affliction to which his or her older sibling succumbed.

Julio E. Pabon, M.D. , F.A.C.O.G.IMG_0440 copy


Fertility Center and Applied Genetics of Florida

Tampa / Sarasota Clinic Leads in New IVF Technology

Our Tampa / Sarasota IVF Clinic leads in the application of new PGS / PGD IVF technology in Florida.  Our results from our 2012 IVF with PGS / PGD Blastocyst Laser assisted trophectoderm biopsy program show that patients that had a single euploid (number of chromosomes) embryo implanted had great success.  Patients that had fresh single embryo transfer achieved a pregnancy in 75% of cases.  More than 90% of patients who were treated with “all freeze” protocols followed by single euploid transfers achieved a pregnancy.  These results exclude patients that had abnormal endometrial lining development.nav

New IVF technology has allowed us to increase the probability of a normal pregnancy while limiting serious complication of Assisted Reproductive Technology associated with multiple pregnancies.  Our program has also eliminated severe ovarian hyper-stimulation as a complication due to our lupron trigger protocol and “all freeze” protocols.

Contact us at (941) 787-2287 or at or

Dr. Pabon in Sarasota
Dr. Pabon in Sarasota

Fertility Preservation for Cancer Patients / Sarasota Memorial Hospital Meeting





Julio E. Pabon, M.D. from Fertility Center and Applied Genetics of Florida and Gwendolyn Quinn, PhD from Moffitt  Cancer Center will be discussing Oncofertility in a continuing medical education meeting on September 28, 2013.  More information is available through

Here is the meeting agenda:

Fertility Preservation for Cancer Patients:
  • Date:
  • Time:
    8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Location:
    Sarasota Memorial Hospital, 1st floor Waldemere Tower Auditorium
  • Phone:
    (941) 917-8644
  • Event Description:

    Sarasota Memorial Health Care System presents: Fertility Preservation for Oncology Patients with Julio E. Pabon, MD, FACOG, Fertility Center & Applied Genetics of Florida,and Gwendolyn P. Quinn, PhD, Moffitt Cancer Center


    Goal of Program:

    To enhance awareness of reproductive issues faced by adolescent and young adult cancer patients and provide information on fertility preservation options.

    Target Audience:

    Physicians, surgeons, radiologists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, and medical assistants.


     1.   Describe the physiological and psychosocial impact of cancer on the reproductive health of adolescent and young

    adult patients and survivors.


    2.   Discuss the options for male and female adolescent and young adult cancer patients to preserve fertility prior to
    cancer treatment.


    3.   Recognize healthcare provider barriers to discussing reproductive health issues with adolescent and young adult
    cancer patients.


    4.   Identify local and national fertility preservation resources for adolescent and young adult cancer patients.


     8:00 AM – 8:25 AM – Registration and continental breakfast

    8:25 AM – 8:30 AM – Opening remarks

    8:30 AM – 10:00 AM – Julio E. Pabon, MD: “Fertility Preservation for the Oncology Patient”

    10:00 AM – 10:15 AM – Break

    10:15 AM – 11:45 AM – Gwendolyn Quinn,PhD: “ENRICH – Educating Nurses about reproductive Issues in Cancer Healthcare”

    11:45 AM – noon – Questions and answers, concluding remarks

     Contact Persons:

     Marie Borsellino, Breast Health Navigator, (941) 917-3377

    Joann Heaton, Advanced Practice Nurse, (941) 917-8644

     Please RSVP by Wednesday, September 18, 2013

    Sarasota Memorial Hospital is accredited by the Florida Medical Association to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

    Sarasota Memorial Hospital designates this live activity for a maximum of three (3) AMA PRA Category I CreditTM.

    Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

    Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the

    American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

    FL Board of Nursing Provider Number FBN2120; CE Broker Provider #50-1749; and Board of Clinical Social Work,

    Marriage and Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling provider number BAP-377.

Sarasota Fertility Doctor-a Top Doctor



Dr. Julio Pabon,

You have been selected this year as one of America’s “Top Doctors” practicing in the field of Reproductive Endocrinology by Castle-Connolly and their physician-led team of researchers. Your selection is based upon anonymous nominations by area medical professionals.

For the 12th year, Castle-Connolly Medical Ltd. (America’s trusted source for identifying Top Doctors and The Best in American Medicine) has selected Sarasota Magazine as its exclusive partner to publish its Top Doctors list because of the excellence of our editorial content and the integrity of our audited circulation.

All my best,


Keith C. Magnuson

A Silly Baby Boy Copyright J. Pabon collection
A Silly Baby Boy
Copyright J. Pabon collection

Sarasota Magazine


Three sisters conquer infertility with pre-implantation genetic diagnosis/IVF.

Three sisters attended IVF clinic in Sarasota, Florida over several years. They all required IVF and Pre-implantation Genetic diagnosis due to different reasons. Two have had children while the youngest is now pregnant with her first child.

Infertility affects 15% of couples.  Those that require the most advanced treatments such as In vitro fertilization and embryo transfer procedures now have to decide if they should also have pre-implantation genetic screening (PGS or PGD) of their embryos.  The more common indications for PGD are advanced maternal age, previous known genetic disease, previous multiple miscarriages, and previous IVF failures.  The present sisters are remarkable because It is extremely rare to have so many siblings require PGD when there is no known genetic disease.
The first sister was treated in 2007.  This resulted in the birth of a boy after she had failed multiple IVF treatments in other clinics.  She was in her mid thirties.  The second sister attended was treated in 2008 at the age of 39. This resulted in the birth of a girl.  the third sister was treated in 2012.  Her initial IVF/PGD treatment cycle resulted in all abnormal embryos.  There was no embryo transfer.  At the second treatment there were normal embryos available for transfer.  She is currently pregnant. These cases emphasize the fact that all humans make chromosomaly abnormal embryos.  The risk of this increases remarkably after the age of 33.  This is because in humans the eggs are in a state of arrested cell division for the entire life of the person.  The longer one waits to start a family, the more errors that can occur in the final maturation of the eggs. This is why pregnancy chances decrease with age, miscarriages increase with age, and the risk of conditions like Down’s syndrome also increase with age. Patients and prospective parents need to understand that waiting can be risky.  Patients also must be aware that if their fertility journey takes them to IVF, that they must be counseled regarding the option of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis.