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Marc-André Sirard


Marc-André Sirard DVM PhD - Centre de Recherche en Biologie de la Reproduction & Canadian Research Chair in reproduction Genomics

Marc-André Sirard DMV PhD started his carrier as a veterinarian. After graduated studies at University Laval on in vitro fertilization to generate the first clinical method to produce test-tubes calves in 1985, he went for a post-doctoral training to the laboratory of Neal First in Wisconsin to study in vitro maturation of oocytes.  He came back to Québec in 1987 and became a full professor in 1995. He has published over 233 scientific papers and has been invited to give over 60 invited lectures in international meetings. He founded the Centre de Recherche en Biologie de la Reproduction in 1995 which has grown to include more than 100 people today. He obtained a senior Canadian Research Chair in 2000 on genomics applied to reproduction and is leading an international effort to define the normal genomic program in early mammalian embryos which has become an NSERC strategic network in 2008. His current research activities are focus on oocyte quality and the link between the oocyte and the follicle in animal models and in human. He is associated editor of several journals as Reproduction, Reproduction Fertility and Development and Molecular Human Reproduction.

Project: Control Ovarian Stimulation Timing Test COST2

IVF cycles fails more often than they succeed. Surprisingly very little effort is invested in defining the reasons for failure and possibly finding ways to improve the success on the next cycle. We believe that the main reasons for failure are related to oocyte quality and indirectly to the follicle response for a particular patient. We have developed a panel of biomarkers to assess the faulty follicular conditions leading to lower oocyte quality. Using these markers would indicate if a given cycle was characterized by over growth, over-luteinization, early or late trigger. Indeed our transcriptomic analysis has identified biomarkers of follicles still in their growth phase at trigger or follicles that have already begun luteinisation compare to follicle that are at the optimal level of differentiation. Measuring these biomarkers would allow making a better diagnostic for a given patient and potentially explaining reasons for failure. The system would also become adjustable to variable COS (control ovarian stimulation) and individual clinical practices. It is important to realize that this is applicable to almost all cycle failure and can be done on a pool of follicular cells as none of the oocytes obtained has led to a pregnancy. This does not resolve uterine problems but often these are caused by hormonal conditions established by the ovary or the ovarian treatment. This technology can be applied in all IVF clinics as no special equipment is required. It would be particularly valuable in clinics where a number of cycles is limited due to funding, or in clinic where a package of 3 cycles is proposed to the patient. The patient interest to have a custom treatment increases at each failing cycle as well as the doctors’ interest to succeed. This technology is not clinically validated yet and would require a period of testing where participating clinics will collect the samples for a retrospective analysis (presence of biomarkers of follicular problems vs outcome) then in a prospective analysis where the diagnostic is used in a sub-set of patient to modulate the second/third cycle compared the outcome to patient with no diagnostic. The increase in pregnancy rate or cumulative pregnancy rate should reach a minimum of 10 and 25 % respectively to indicate a significant value.