Gardner Lab: Reproductive Biology & Assisted Conception
Modern embryology technologies combined with greater knowledge of embryo physiology and metabolism, have enhance our ability to culture the preimplantation mammalian embryo successfully.
While advancement in embryo culture media and systems contribute to the steady improvement in the delivery rates from assisted reproductive technologies (ART), it can also be attributed to the transfer of multiple embryos. Multiple gestations however carry related risks that include preterm delivery, low birth weight and increase in rates of cerebral palsy. As the use of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) continues to increase, a significant goal in contemporary infertility research is to decrease the prevalence of multiple gestations while maintaining or improving pregnancy rates.
To achieve this we are developing technologies to accurately evaluate the reproductive potential and quality of individual embryos with the aim for single embryo transfer. To this end we study the development of the embryo at the molecular, biochemical and cellular level. Applying techniques and concepts in genetics, proteomics, metabolomics and microfluidics, we investigate the embryo developmental process, gene expression and intracellular cell signalling to identify and understand the mechanisms of development. Our group also researches the cryopreservation of gametes and embryos as the move towards single embryo transfer becomes the standard for in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment creates a need for a successful frozen embryo program.
Although the field of modern embryology has made many significant advances in human assisted conception, many questions remain to be answered. Our lab, being at the centre of Melbourne’s major research hub, is uniquely placed to develop technologies to answer these fundamental questions. Combined with the vast experience of our lab members, we are superbly equipped to apply gained knowledge to address current ART problems, making us a leader in producing new reproductive technologies both in Australia and overseas.
- Dr Marissa Parrott