Grant Project Title: The Role of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Recurrent Implantation Failure
Grant Amount: $50,000
Significance: Since the advent of IVF over four decades ago, stimulation protocols, embryo culture, transfer techniques, and embryo selection strategies have been optimized. However, our understanding of the implantation process has remained a “black box” as many patients continue to suffer the disappointment of recurrent implantation failure (RIF). In recent years it has become apparent that endometrial factors may be a main etiology underlying RIF but this remains poorly defined. Due to this critical gap in knowledge, the therapeutic approach to RIF has been largely empirical with very limited efficacy. Endometrial mesenchymal stem/progenitor cells provide a major physiological contribution to the remarkable cellular regeneration as well as decidualization that the endometrium undergoes with each menstrual cycle in preparation for embryo implantation but their role in implantation failure is unknown. This project aims to utilize single cell RNA-seq to characterize individual endometrial cell populations including mesenchymal stem cells at a single cell resolution, and characterize their cell-cell interactions at the tissue level to gain novel insights into the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie RIF endometrial pathology.
“The ASRM Research Institute grant has been instrumental in providing me with essential funding at a crucial step in my career development as a physician-scientist. This grant support helped me to generate extensive high-throughput preliminary data which served as an important basis for my RO1 grant application allowing me to obtain independent NIH funding supporting my successful transition to independence. I am truly grateful to the ASRM Research Institute for their vision and unwavering commitment to support physician-scientists in our field.” Reshef Tal, MD PhDAssistant ProfessorDivision of Reproductive Endocrinology & InfertilityDepartment of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive SciencesYale School of Medicine