The Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) conducts a robust array of both basic science and clinical research. The goals of the REI research lab are to study major genes and pathways involved in reproduction, with a special focus on the molecular pathways involved in oocyte maturation. As women age, ovarian dysfunction is a frequent cause of infertility, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are poorly understood. Researchers are searching for molecular markers of follicular selection, recruitment and ovarian aging. This work has tremendous potential for detecting protein targets for drug therapy of age-related ovarian dysfunction and infertility related to premature germ cell loss.
Clinical research in the Division of Reproductive Endocrine and Infertility has focused on clinical outcomes related to assisted reproductive technology. Michele Hacker, ScD, MSPH and Dr. Alan Penzias have led efforts to perform rigorous analysis of the Boston IVF patient database, which contains records on more than 35,000 IVF cycles. Other recent projects include clinical trials evaluating the efficacy of long-term depot formulation of gonadotropin for ovulation induction and the efficacy of oocyte cryopreservation techniques. The Division has recently published the results of the FASTT trial, the largest single-center fertility study funded by NIH, and is also currently participating in the FORTT trial, another NIH-funded clinical trial to determine the best course of fertility treatment for women of advanced reproductive age.