Explorer Grant (2017 funding round)

Dr Anna Ponnampalam
University of Auckland
Linking viruses that call uterus home and unexplained female infertility
24 months

Lay summary

Infertility is a common problem affecting 1 in 6 couples in New Zealand today. For many of infertile couples, IVF represents their best chance of having children. However, staggeringly, 70 per cent of transferred embryos fail to implant into the inner lining of the womb, endometrium. While implantation is a process that depends on both the embryo and the womb, up to 50 per cent of this failure could be caused by the lining of the womb not being adequately receptive to the embryo. IVF clinics have focused on selecting high quality of embryos for transfer but the other side of side of the equation, the assessment of womb receptivity, is lagging far behind. We propose to develop a novel screening tool to assess receptivity, which should then help identify the underlying cause of infertility, improve the success rate of IVF and ultimately treat infertility.

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