Dr Mandy KATZ-JAFFE - National Foundation for Fertility Research, UNITED STATES
Mandy is the Scientific Director for NFFR. She is a Reproductive Geneticist who completed her Masters and PhD at Monash University, Australia. She is a native Australian who moved to the USA after receiving her doctoral degree in 2004 to join the research and clinical teams at the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (CCRM) and continue her passion for research in the field of reproductive medicine. Mandy has focused her work on the development of new methods to assess the genetics of an embryo, explore the biological pathways associated with implantation failure and identify non-invasive biomarkers of embryo viability and live birth. This research is designed to improve the success of human infertility treatment and the birth of healthy babies while reducing the risk of multiple pregnancies. Spending time with her own young family is her other passion outside of the Foundation.
Project: Improve live birth rates for women with diminished ovarian reserve
Diminished ovarian reserve (DOR) is one of the main causes of infertility and is a challenging diagnosis since typically it also indicates decreased ovarian function. Women diagnosed with DOR have a lower reserve of oocytes (<6 antral follicles) as well as compromised oocyte and embryo quality. The combined result is a significantly lower chance for pregnancy and a live birth.
Improvements to the oocyte in vitro culture environment andembryo selection methods for DOR patients could lead to significantly enhanced clinical outcomes. Cumulus cells (CCs) are intimately connected to the oocyte, with channels for bi-directional molecular communication. Cumulus cells play a critical role in the maturation and viability of the oocyte via these channels, and therefore may have the potential to provide meaningful information regarding oocyte viabilityin a noninvasive manner.
In a novel approach, the Objective of this study is to develop a laboratory based strategy to improve live birth rates for women with DOR. We will accomplish this Objective with three Specific Aims:
The combination of these objectives will contribute to the development of a novel laboratory based strategy to improve IVF success and live birth ratesfor DOR patients.