As a board member of the South African Society of Reproductive Science and Surgery (SASRSS), Dr Mohamed Iqbal Cassim, a fertility specialist, is one of a few doctors in South Africa qualified in both the laboratory aspect of fertility as well as the clinical aspect.
One of Dr Cassim’s new areas of focus is research on Apoptosis (a cellular process involving a genetically programmed series of events leading to the death of a cell) of human sperm and implications of the male factor in terms of reproduction. Dr Cassim together with Dr Dasoo currently run a hi-tech, world-class fertility centre in Brenthurst called BioART (Assisted Reproductive Technology).
In 1988, the Centre, previously known as the Brenthurst Nordica Fertility Centre, was the first in the country to host a telemedical system called the Fertility Quality Control System (FQCS), which is a computer-generated program methat captures and edits images of embryos. These images can be shared with a global network of specialists who can offer expert advice on complicated procedures. He was on the advisory board of CICONIA Fertility Centre in Denmark in 1998.
As the first non-white to have initiated a self-standing fertility unit in the country in 1993, Dr Cassim has been established as one of the country’s leading fertility specialists with a success rate that can be measured against some of the world’s leading specialists.
Part embryologist and gynaecologist, Dr Cassim is well equipped to handle the most complex fertility problems.
Dr Cassim obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of the Witwatersrand in 1984 and his fellowship from the college of medicine of South Africa in 1991.
He was consultant and Head of unit in the Department of Gynecology at Hillbrow hospital from 1991 to 1996 and acting head of department on several occasions during this time.
His passion for fertility started at an early stage in his career and he set up his own fertility unit in 1993, the first person of colour to do so in South Africa .
During 1996 and 1997, realizing the need for advanced training in the field of fertility, Dr Cassim affiliated and trained with the fertility unit at Herlev university, Copenhagen, and Ciconia Aarhus in Denmark. Equipped with advanced training and skills Dr Cassim expanded his fertility unit and left the public sector to focus his attention more on fertility.
Dr Cassim has been a member of the Curriculum advisory board of reproductive medicine at Durban University of Technology since 1999 . He has been intimately involved in the training of embryologist since then.
He served as a board member of SASREG for 12 years from 2000 to 2012.
He completed his MPHIL in reproductive medicine at Stellenbosch in 2004.
He also has an MBA from Edinburgh University which he completed in 2006 .
Research interest and publications include sperm DNA fragmentation, growth hormone in fertility, endometrial growth and implantation with GCSF, HIV and ovarian reserve, stem cell therapy and testicular failure, stem cells and endometrial enhancement , stem cells and ovarian reserves . Artificial Intelligence and its application to male factor infertility. He recently co-authored a paper with Dr Tasneem Mohamed which received the International young scientist research award at COGI in Vienna, Austria.
He is currently director of the BioART Fertility clinic in Saxonwold Johannesburg.