Dr Tracey Edgell awarded the 2017 Fielding Innovation Award

Dr Tracey Edgell

The 2017 Fielding Innovation Award has been awarded to Dr Tracey Edgell, from the Centre for Reproductive Health, to further her research into stimulating factor CSF3 and its role in improving female fertility.

The $50,000 Fielding Innovation Award will enable Dr Edgell to carry out studies that will take her a step closer to commercialising the research.

Dr Edgell’s recent work, sponsored and licensed by global pharmaceutical company, Merck, has identified a panel of prognostic biomarkers for predicting an IVF outcome. Stemming from this is her proposal that targeting CSF3 and its receptor within the uterus may improve success rates for women and couples using assisted reproductive technologies, in Australia and around the world.

About the Fielding Innovation Award

The Fielding Innovation Award was established in 2014 through a five-year, $1 million donation to the Hudson Institute from Melbourne businessman and philanthropist, Mr Peter Fielding. The award provides funds to a young Hudson Institute researcher to assist them in commercialising a research discovery.

Mr Fielding founded the award to bridge the widening funding gap facing young scientists who are working to take a research discovery from the laboratory to clinical trials and finally to patients.

Discovery may improve IVF success rates

Dr Edgell’s research focuses on the endometrium, where embryos implant in the uterus to form a healthy pregnancy.

“To achieve a pregnancy, it is essential to have a healthy receptive endometrium (the ‘soil’) and quality embryo (the ‘seed). Failure of either compromises the likelihood of pregnancy,” Dr Edgell said.

Dr Edgell’s research shows that a balance of CSF3 and the receptor it attaches to in the uterus are essential to creating the perfect environment for an embryo to implant and form a pregnancy.

“Research into assisted reproductive technologies has, until now, largely focused on the ‘seed’, including egg quality and number. However, there is growing evidence to suggest that IVF treatment actually harms the endometrium,” Dr Edgell said.

“The Innovation Award will allow me to look at new ways to make the ‘soil’ more responsive to the embryo, to hopefully improve success rates and offer hope to the hundreds of thousands of women undergoing IVF worldwide every year,” she said.

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