Greg FitzHarris, PhD
Professor, Université de Montréal
One in six couples in Canada experiences infertility. Living a healthy pregnancy becomes more difficult as the mother’s age advances and as the age at which people decide to start an augmented family, the impact of infertility on the health and economy of Canadians will increase accordingly. The ability to produce healthy eggs (oocytes) that can be fertilized into developing embryos is a major component in establishing a healthy pregnancy. There is very little knowledge about the cell biology of oocytes and early embryos and what determines their developmental potential.
Our lab addressed this question using a combination of genetic and microscopic approaches. Our studies constitute fundamental research projects with the mouse as a study model and also translational projects in collaboration with fertility clinics to examine the determinants essential to the good health of human oocytes and embryos. Our main long-term goal is to better understand the biology of the oocyte and embryo in order to improve treatments in fertility clinics. The laboratory’s research program is currently divided into three main areas:
- Chromosomal segregation and aneuploidy in oocytes.
- The causes and consequences of chromosome division errors in embryos.
- The use of early mammalian embryos to study specific aspects of their cell division.