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Identifying biomarkers of aneuploidy in embryos

41 months
Approved budget:
Dr Zaramasina Clark
Associate Professor Janet Pitman
Health issue:
Human genetics and inherited/congenital conditions
Proposal type:
Pacific Health Postdoctoral Fellowship
Lay summary
Aneuploidy, defined as variation from expected chromosome numbers, causes embryo failures following in vitro fertilisation (IVF). The world-wide trend of delaying childbirth increases maternal age and incidence of aneuploid embryos. This is mirrored in Pacific Island women, who are considered “hyper-fertile”, causing stigma and silent suffering. Evaluating aneuploidy in IVF embryos involves extracting cells for lengthy testing. Secreted RNAs from embryos are gaining attention as aneuploidy biomarkers but research is in its infancy. RNA species in embryos of mice containing an extra chromosome will be screened. Key outcomes include identifying RNA markers that are expressed relative to chromosomal dosage, and developing a cheap and rapid test. This research will provide proof-of-concept for a non-invasive test for aneuploidy from media, improving test up-take and embryological success, particularly in older women.