Dr. Tracey Edgell - Prince Henry’s Institute, Clayton
Dr Edgell completed her BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry with Pharmacology in 1990 from Southampton University (United Kingdom), and her PhD in 1999 from the University of Hertfordshire (United Kingdom). Shortly after completing her PhD she migrated to Australia and have gained thirteen years post-doctoral experience within the Australian Biotechnology Industry sector. This is combined with nine years post-graduate research experience the United Kingdom regulatory field researching cardiovascular disease at The National Institute for Biological Standards and Control. The diversity of her scientific workplace experience has allowed her to develop not only a thorough understanding of protein biomarker discovery and assay development, but also an awareness of patent and regulatory requirements essential to a successful commercial product. She has successfully developed diagnostic assays, both immunoassay and clinical chemistry formats and overseen their translation into commercially successful products.
In 2011, She entered the academic research setting under the mentorship of Professor Lois Salamonsen endeavouring to identify and develop biomarker targets of endometrial receptivity. In the past two years she has initiated a number of novel approaches to the existing theme of the laboratory, this data is currently unpublished due to intellectual property restrictions. This has included the current project proposal which proposes a move to identifying biomarker assays applicable within a suitable timeframe to assist within the IVF clinics. Additionally, she has a significant area of innovative work examining glycoform biomarkers of endometrial receptivity.
Project: Clinical Trial of a Test to Predict Outcome in Women Undergoing ART
This study is a clinical trial to validate results from a previous small pilot study identifying a 3-marker panel as a predictive test for development of endometrial receptivity within the same cycle. The test is performed on uterine lavage samples collected at the time of egg harvesting (hCG+2). The assay combines levels of three cytokines (CSF3, VEGFA and IL8) in the lavage to predict whether the endometrium will go on to achieve a receptive state by the time of potential embryo transfer a few days later.
The study will undertake to collect uterine lavage at hCG+2 from 300-400 women diagnosed with idiopathic primary infertility, while they are undergoing an IVF cycle. Concentrations of the three cytokine will be determined. The IVF cycle outcome (i.e. pregnancy, no pregnancy and clinical pregnancy) for each patient will be recorded. The individuals will be randomly assigned to ‘training’ and ‘test’ cohorts. Results for the ‘training’ group will be used to generate a predictive diagnostic signature for cycle outcome, using multivariate analysis. Diagnostic efficiency will be determined by prediction of the ‘test’ cohort. Additional assays will determine inflammatory marker levels present in matched sera.
Our results will provide a predictive signature utilisable by IVF clinics at the time of egg collection, to determine whether embryo transfer of the embryo should proceed during the same (stimulated) or should be vitrified and transferred later in a natural cycle; thus optimising the chances of a successful outcome.