Research Interests

Monash IVF Research and Education Foundation

Monash IVF recognises the benefits of conducting original research and of undertaking dynamic educational programs to maintain its leading position in reproductive medicine, and to fulfil its social duty to improve healthcare. In 2010 the Monash IVF Board of Directors approved the creation of the Monash IVF Research and Education Foundation (MREF), operating under an Advisory Board of clinical, scientific and educational specialists to advise on ways in which Monash IVF could produce internationally-recognised research, to provide educational programs for professionals and to raise community awareness and knowledge in reproductive medicine.

The 2015 MREF Annual Report is now available for download.

Below are some examples of the exceptional and leading research that are being carried out by the MREF which highlights the importance that Monash IVF places on research and the ability of effectively and efficiently translating research into treatments that can benefit our patients.

Our research projects are divided into the following categories:

Three dimensional ultrasound of the junctional zone in myometrial pathology and their correlation with pregnancy rates

During pregnancy, the inner layers of the womb (endometrium and junctional zone (JZ) undergo specialized changes to facilitate the implantation of the placenta. The aim of this study is to examine (i) how assessment of the JZ by the same operator and different operators differ (if any at all) and (ii) to examine the relationship between these JZ irregularities and pregnancy rates in IVF cycles. Continue reading

Health and fertility of young men conceived using Intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection

Male infertility has important health consequences for the man and offspring. Our main aim is to evaluate the physical and psychological health, educational and social development, and fertility status of young men who were conceived using ICSI at Monash IVF for fathers with severe infertility and compare them to young men conceived using ICSI at Monash IVF for previously fertile fathers. Continue reading

The effects of unrecognised Chlamydial infection on sperm production in human infertility

It is proposed that Chlamydial infection of the testis may damage sperm production leading to infertility. The purpose of this research is to investigate whether male infertility can be caused by the sexually transmitted infection, Chlamydia and to develop a method for early diagnosis of infection. Continue reading

Non-invasive prenatal testing with cell-free DNA for fetal trisomies 21, 18 and 13, in an ART population

Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) involves the testing of cell-free DNA in the maternal blood to detect common trisomies and is offered in combination with first trimester combined screening (FTCS). The objective of this study is to assess the performance of screening by FTCS and NIPT. Continue reading

Studies on the genetic basis of male and idiopathic infertility, and the trans-generational health of children conceived through ART

Male infertility is often due to the failure to produce adequate numbers of motile sperm capable of fertilisation and genetic factors are suspected to be causal in many cases. In this study we screen human male samples to identify mutations likely to cause infertility. Continue reading

The establishment of a normal range of embryonic heart rates in IVF pregnancies at seven weeks’ gestation in an Australian population: embryonic heart rate as a determinant of first trimester loss

This study of singleton ART pregnancies aims to establish a normal range of embryonic heart rates (EHR) at 7 weeks gestation in singleton ART pregnancies as well as to analyse whether EHR is useful in predicting the likelihood of first trimester loss. Continue reading

A survey of cancer survivors who stored reproductive material at Monash IVF

This project surveyed and interviewed adults who stored reproductive material before treatment for cancer to draw on their insights and experiences to inform the provision of fertility-related services and clinical care for people who are diagnosed with cancer during their reproductive years. Continue reading

Fertility Understanding through Registry and Evaluation (FUTuRE Fertility)

This project will establish the first Australasian Oncofertility Registry (AOFR) collecting data from cancer and fertility centres for the purpose of monitoring the uptake and use of fertility preservation as well as future use and complications of assisted reproductive therapies. Continue reading

The Proliferative Phase Underpins Endometrial Receptivity Failure in Female Infertility

This study investigates proliferative phase endometrial developmental disturbance associated with unexplained female infertility. It is anticipated this will lead to the identification of molecules/pathways for development of future therapeutic approaches to improve endometrial quality in infertile women. Continue reading

Role of Endometrial Stem/Progenitor Cells in the Endometrial Injury Effect on ART Outcomes: the Fourth Hypothesis

This observational study investigates to the role of endometrial injury in the activation of endometrial stem/progenitor cells. It is proposed that activation of these cells by injury improves endometrial quality and promotes embryo implantation leading to improved ART outcomes. Continue reading

Podocalyxin may represent a major barrier for endometrial receptivity

This observational study investigates the role of anti-adhesive molecule podocalyxin (PODXL) in endometrial infertility. It is proposed that PODXL is an important and previously unknown barrier of endometrial receptivity and that the failure of PODXL removal from the endometrial epithelium is associated with endometrial infertility. Continue reading

Developing a non-invasive screening tool for Aneuploidy

The study aims to develop a non-invasive test for embryo aneuploidy by combining analysis of miRNAs secreted by embryos in culture media, time-lapse imagery of embryos during development and 24 chromosome screening. Continue reading

Endometrial thickness and its association with uterine hyper-peristalsis in IVF

This cohort study is investigating the relationship between thickness of the endometrium and the subtle muscle contractions of the uterus known as “uterine peristalsis” during the time of implantation of a fertilised embryo into the uterus. Continue reading

Diagnostics for Endometrial Receptivity: harnessing a promising biomarker and exploiting a non-invasive method of sampling

This study explores alternative methods of endometrial fluid sampling by examining utility of endocervical fluids in the diagnosis of endometrial receptivity. Continue reading

Endometrial receptivity: validating potential biomarkers in the uterine fluid and investigating fundamental biology on the uterine surface

This study aims to validate three potential biomarkers for endometrial epithelial receptivity. This will ideally this will lead to the development of a diagnostic test for endometrial receptivity to help inform the correct timing for embryo transfer. Continue reading

Human trophectoderm-endometrial interactions: validating targets to facilitate implantation during IVF

This observational study aims to determine if previous identified factors released by the embryo in vivo are differentially expressed by embryos that implant compared with those that fail to implant. Continue reading

PeTALS: A longitudinal study exploring women’s experiences following a prenatal diagnosis of fetal abnormality

This study investigates women’s experiences of a prenatal diagnosis of fetal abnormality immediately following diagnosis. The project will add to the existing knowledge in this field and will facilitate the development appropriate models of supportive care. Continue reading

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