40 Years of Fertility Research
Fertility Week (28th October – 3rd November 2019) is a fantastic campaign from Fertility Network UK to open up the conversation about various aspects of conception. Each day focuses on a topic:

Mon 28 Oct – #MentalMatters
Tue 29 Oct – #FertilityInTheWorkplace; Employee rights.
Wed 30 Oct – #MenMatter
Thu 31 Oct – #FertilityEducation
Fri 1 – Sun 3 Nov – #TheFertilityShow (see us at stand H16!)
Sat 2 Nov – #WorldFertilityDay

Our research has developed the global understanding of fertility and why things can go wrong with pregnancy. An overview:

  • In 1977, a doctor from Buenos Aires, Raul Margara, joined Professor Winston at Hammersmith and formed a major reproductive research group which welcomed science graduates from across the world to train there.
  • Genesis Research Trust began raising funds in 1978, helping Professor Winston’s research group expand.
  • In 1980, Stephen Hillier joined Winston’s group, leading many scientific contributions to improve IVF and infertility treatment. The Hammersmith IVF unit becomes one of the most successful in the world.
  • World-leading PCOS expert, Professor Stephen Franks, made a significant contribution to our understanding of ovarian physiology and hyperstimulation (superovulation).
  • Kate Hardy became a leading scientist in the team, making key observations on human embryonic health, metabolism, and cell death during the very early stags of human embryonic growth.
  • In 2002 Prime Minister Tony Blair officially opened the Institute of Reproductive and Developmental Biology (IRDB) building – for which Genesis Research Trust raised £13M – on the Hammersmith site, with 130 scientists and clinicians working in 12 related research groups.
  • Scientists have researched fertility in the IRDB building for 20 years, currently studying areas such as:
    • microbiomes in reproductive tracts influence miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, still birth and preterm birth
    • molecules in the blood relate to preterm birth in order to design person-specific drugs and treatment plans
    • ultrasound technologies can be used to screen for abnormalities and prevent miscarriages
    • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) affects the likelihood of becoming pregnant

Find out more about our research into miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm birth and infertility.

Continuing this important scientific progress needs your help! Much of our funding comes from our trekking and cycling challenges, listed here. Alternatively you can donate directly to our research. 

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