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Semra Kahraman


Dr. Semra Kahraman – Professor Obs/Gyn. at Istanbul Memorial Hospital & Director of ART and Reproductive Genetics Center

Semra Kahraman graduated from Hacettepe University Medical School in Turkey, and obtained her specialty degree from Ankara University. She has pioneered ICSI, embryo freezing and PGD for aneuploidy testing and single gene disorders in Turkey. Together with her team, she was the first in Turkey to isolate and establish embryonic stem cell lines.

Professor Kahraman is Director of Istanbul Memorial Hospital, ART and Reproductive Genetics Center, the largest such unit in Turkey, with more than 3500 ART cycles being performed annually.

Dr. Kahraman is a founding member and currently the President of the Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis International Society, Editorial Board Member of Reproductive Biomedicine Online Journal and Board Member of the Journal of Reproductive and Stem Cell Biotechnology. Professor Kahraman has published numerous articles in peer reviewed journals. Her fields of scientific interest are controlled ovarian stimulation and preimplantation genetic diagnosis.

Project: Identifying markers of oocyte competence through a maturation analysis

In ART, one of the major obstacles encountered in some patients is the wide variation in the follicular size at the oocyte pick-up day and consequently, the number of available mature oocytes and the number of competent embryos for implantation. The follicular size at the day of oocyte pick-up reflects the synchronicity of the individual follicular responsiveness to FSH. Different gene expression patterns of oocyte and cumulus cells obtained from small and large follicles may affect the oocyte competence, preimplantation development and implantation potential since all necessary maternal factors, e.g. specific mRNA transcripts and microRNAs are synthesized and accumulated during folliculogenesis.

In our pilot study, the follicular immaturity ratio (FIMR) was defined as being the ratio of oocytes derived from small (<17mm) follicles out of the total number of oocytes retrieved. The rate of good and top quality blastocyst and clinical pregnancy rates of the patients with low FIMR were found to be significantly higher than patients with high FIMR.

The objectives of our study are:

  1. To analyze the expression of genes and microRNAs potentially involved in oocyte competence in follicles of different sizes at the time of oocyte pick-up.
  2. To evaluate embryo development and morphokinetics, correlate with the expression and implantation data to identify a quantitative biomarker to predict the embryo with the embryo with the highest chance of implantation.