February 6, 2012

Remembering Lynette A. Scott, Ph.D.

Lynette ScottIt is with deep sadness and regret that we announce the passing of Lynette A. Scott, PH.D. We mourn the loss but celebrate her life, a life that touched so many. Her energy was inspiring; her passion for what she did was compelling; and her compassion and love of patients was reciprocated in kind.

Dr. Scott earned her Masters of Science in Biomolecular Organization and her PH.D. in Developmental Biology from the University of London . She was Board Certified by the American Board of Bioanalysis as a High Complexity Laboratory Director (HCLD), the highest designation for a laboratory Director.

She was in the fertility field since 1984 serving as both an embryologist and andrologist at renowned institutions and as an Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Laboratory Director since 1989. She was a member of many professional organizations including the Society for the Study of Fertility, ALPHA, European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology, American Society for Reproductive Medicine, American Society of Andrology, and the Society for the Study of Reproduction. Dr. Scott was an internationally acclaimed speaker at professional meetings throughout the world.  She served as an Associate Editor and a reviewer for Human Reproduction and as a reviewer for The Journal of Reproduction and Fertility and Sterility. Dr. Scott published over 60 original, peer-reviewed articles, textbook chapters, and abstracts on her research that revolutionized zygote and embryo scoring.

Lynette had an intuition about embryos that was as important as the science behind their development. She mused, “When I see an embryo, it is not a ball or a box, or a gray thing. It is a life form, a dynamic creation holding all the keys to life, and as an anthropologist and from my deep seated belief in Darwinian principles; I see it recapitulating evolution in the dish in front of me everyday.  The key is to look at the poetic side of everything. Embryos sing and dance and talk to us ‘in tongues’, we just need to translate what they are saying, then we will know how to nurture them and bring them to fruition.” Lynette devoted her professional life to understanding the language of human embryos developing an innovative zygote scoring system and subsequent system of sequential embryo scoring enabling the selection of the most promising embryo for single embryo transfer.  She was committed to helping couples build healthy families, one healthy baby at a time.  There is a photograph on a cupboard in our laboratory of a young mother holding her baby. Lynette drew an arrow on the cupboard to a card she posted that read, “This is why we are here.”  We can think of no greater tribute to our dear friend and colleague than for each of us whom her enlightened mind and gifted hands touched to rededicate ourselves to this vision that she made into reality every day.  She leaves a legacy of science passion, and life that will be sorely missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family.

For those who wish to pay tribute to Lynette through a donation in her memory, her family has established a fund at Rosie’s Place in Boston .  The mission of Rosie’s Place is to provide a safe and nurturing environment for poor and homeless women.  Lynette was a strong supporter of this cause and the work done by Rosie’s Place.  To submit a donation on line, click here.

Alternatively, checks can be mailed to: Rosie’s Place, 889 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA 02118
If you chose to send a check, please include a notation indicating that the donation is a tribute to Lynette.

Brian E.

Brian E. Miller, Ph.D.