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Dr Dominique Royère


Head of Reproductive Medicine and Biology, University of Tours, France

Dominique Royere was appointed Professor of Reproductive Biology at the University of Tours, France in 1991. He has been head of the department of Reproductive Medicine and Biology since 2004. As a member of the Research Unit ‘UMR 6175 Inra-Cnrs-Haras-Université de Tours’, Dr Royere is involved in the ‘Integrative Biology of the Ovary’ Research Group, where he manages a team working on gene expression in human cumulus cells as markers of oocyte competence. Chairman of the Special Interest Group in Embryology of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) from 2000 to 2006, he hosted the ESHRE meeting in 1999, as well as the Winter Course of Embryology in 2008 in Tours, France.

About Dr Royere’s GFI Project

Assisted reproductive technologies, both in humans and animals, have improved our knowledge on pre-implantation embryo development and the intrinsic capabilities of embryos to implant and achieve a pregnancy. Indeed it still remains difficult to predict which embryos have the highest potential to implant. Among the various ways to define embryo ‘viability’, non-invasive approaches are advantageously linked to the final transfer of the embryo.

Techniques devoted to characterising the embryo secretome, using proteomic or metabolomic approaches, have greatly improved their sensitivity to allow their use in clinical embryology, once validated. Oocyte-cumulus dialogue, as a key factor in oocyte competence to meiosis and embryo development, was particularly concerned with both genomic and proteomic assessment of cumulus cells. At the time, various potential markers were identified based on genomics or proteomics studies, which needed to be assessed prospectively on large samples.

The aim of Dr Royere’s winning project - Cumulus cells biomarkers detection by reverse phase protein microarray - is to use a highly sensitive method to detect and analyse potential biomarkers related to oocyte competence. This will be a collaborative project, working with a group that recently developed a highly sensitive infrared, fluorescent detection method to analyse proteins by reverse-phase protein array. Target proteins will be chosen both from transcriptomic approach and literature data on cumulus cells. Such an approach aims to validate markers and techniques in a routine use perspective.