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Dr Ellen Greenblatt


Dr Greenblatt is Head of the Division of Reproductive Sciences and the Medical Director of the Centre for Fertility and Reproductive Health and IVF Unit in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto. She is the former Program Director of the Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Fellowship in the Department of Gynecology, University of Toronto. She is also an associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Toronto, and a previous National Director of the Canadian Fertility Andrology Society (2004-2007).

Dr Greenblatt completed her medical school (McGill University) and Obstetrics/ Gynaecology Residency (University of Western Ontario) in Canada. She was then funded by the Medical Research Council of Canada for further training in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the University of California, San Francisco. Upon returning to Canada in 1990, Dr. Greenblatt accepted a position with the Faculty of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Toronto. 

Dr Greenblatt is a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada (Ob/Gyn) as well as a Fellow of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG) and an ESHRE member. Dr Greenblatt holds the ABOG subspecialty certification in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. She is a Founder of the Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Subspecialty of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada and a member of the IVF Directors committee of the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society. She is a Board Member of the Infertility Awareness Association of Canada (IAAC) and on the editorial board of its quarterly publication "Creating Families" as well as on the Medical Advisory Board of Fertile Future, Canada.  

Project: Validation of endometrial receptivity biomarkers predictive of success

Receptivity of the uterine endometrium to embryo implantation is limited to a narrow window in the mid-luteal phase, occurring 7 – 11 days after the LH surge. Current clinical tools are unable to reliably assess if the endometrium is in a receptive state. Our ultimate goal is to identify molecular biomarkers of endometrial receptivity that can be assayed clinically to predict implantation and guide embryo transfer decisions. Several groups have applied a transcriptomic approach to identify potential biomarkers expressed at the mRNA level, but these studies have been limited by the use of endometrial biopsy to obtain cellular material for gene expression analysis. Biopsy is not only invasive, but also may disrupt the gene expression profile of the endometrium and can have a deleterious effect on pregnancy outcomes. We have developed a minimally-invasive method of endometrial sampling by uterine fluid aspiration (UFA) that is safe to perform in active conception cycles, and have demonstrated that endometrial cells can be isolated for global gene expression profiling by microarray and NanoString analysis. We have identified and validated a set of 239 genes that are robustly differentially expressed by the receptive phase endometrium in natural cycles, including many novel genes that encode putative secreted factors. The objectives of the study are to 1) correlate the expression of these candidate biomarkers of endometrial receptivity to pregnancy outcomes and determine patterns of gene expression predictive of implantation and pregnancy in natural cycles; 2) compare the endometrial gene expression profile in natural cycles to controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH) cycles; and 3) determine gene expression patterns predictive of pregnancy in COH-IVF cycles. Our UFA technique enables us to reliably assess the endometrium without perturbation at any time point, and can be easily and cost-effectively adapted to clinical use once predictive biomarkers of endometrial receptivity are identified.