Defining the regulators of embryo implantation to facilitate IVF success

Research Opportunity
PhD, Masters by Research, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Number of Honour Places Available
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Professor Eva Dimitriadis Personal web page

Project Details

Human blastocyst implantation failure is a major cause of infertility affecting a staggering 1 in 10 couples, or millions of people worldwide. IVF is an important intervention for infertility, however despite selection of ‘good quality’ blastocysts and screening for chromosomal abnormalities, ~70% of blastocysts still fail to implant. There are no biomarkers of blastocyst quality or implantation potential, and, no successful treatments for implantation failure largely due to the profound lack of understanding of the critical regulators of human implantation.

The establishment of pregnancy requires synchronous development between the blastocyst and the endometrium. Implantation is initiated when the blastocyst trophectoderm firmly adheres to an adequately prepared or ‘receptive’ endometrial surface or luminal epithelium. Abnormal blastocyst adhesion to the endometrium results in implantation failure. The inability to achieve receptivity and normal blastocyst–endometrial communication are major causes of unexplained infertility and also recurrent implantation failure occurring during IVF. To date however, the molecular mechanisms leading to the attainment of endometrial receptivity in humans remain poorly understood.

We have discovered that human embryos release non-coding RNA, specifically microRNA that regulate endometrial receptivity. This project aims to investigate how specific microRNA affect endometrial receptivity and implantation.  This information may be useful to produce new treatment options for women with implantation failure which leads to infertility. It also aims to determine whether microRNA released by human embryos during IVF may be useful as biomarkers of embryo implantation potential. The project will use the techniques of cell culture, quantitative RT-PCR, knockdown and overexpression studies, immunohistochemistry and Western blot.

School Research Themes

Women's Health

Research Opportunities

PhD, Masters by Research, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.


Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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