Research Techniques and Methods in Assisted Reproduction Technology

Course Description

Responsible innovation requires making potentially risky technologies the subject of research, ideally proceeding through the steps of preclinical investigations, clinical trials and (long-term) follow-up studies. Global research on Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTs) has been highly concentrated among the world’s richest countries which have resulted in a wide range of treatments or procedures involving in vitro handling of human oocytes, sperms or embryos for establishing a pregnancy, giving hope to the for the estimated 48.5 million couples suffering from infertility worldwide. With respect to worldwide recognition and increased demands for ART services, high quality research and key publications are still required to develop these technologies in developing countries where research has remained neglected or ranked low on national research priorities. In an attempt to address these challenges, the Department for Professional Development of Women’s Hospital, International and Fertility Centre has developed this course to introduce physicians, residents/fellows and biomedical scientists interested in ARTs to various routinely used laboratory techniques and relevant research methods in assisted reproduction and embryology.

Attendance of this course will enable the participants to develop the basic skills required to perform research in the field of reproductive biology. The course will discuss experimental design, data analysis and tools, allocation and justification of resource usage. It will support clinicians and scientists in the pursuit of their academic interests and in making an original contribution to their chosen field.

Course Objectives

This course provides training in laboratory skills and research methods and gives participants the opportunity to undertake original research via a laboratory or desk-based research project. Participants will gain hands-on practical experience of:

  1. Laboratory techniques relevant to research in reproduction, embryology and ART including routinely used laboratory techniques in molecular biology, cell biology and genetics e.g., PCR, rtPCR, as well as IVF, ICSI, micromanipulation, embryo culture, semen analysis.
  2. Research methods, experimental design, allocation and justification of resource usage
  3. Critical evaluation of published literature
  4. Collation and analysis of data
  5. PowerPoint presentation of research plans and / or research outcomes
  6. Experience of laboratory- or desk-based research through the undertaking and submission of an original piece of research.

Learning objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Conduct a critical, comprehensive and systematic review of the literature on a chosen topic
  • Understand and use a range of laboratory methods and to document their use
  • Have an understanding of hypothesis-driven research
  • Demonstrate an ability to identify, write down and present a research concept and to formulate a hypothesis that could add to the body of knowledge in the theme of either reproduction, embryology or assisted reproduction technology
  • Plan and conduct original research in a supervised laboratory or desktop environment that will test a hypothesis
  • Collate and analyse data and write-up research results
  • Present and discuss ideas and research findings
  • Demonstrate an enhanced capability to assess and provide leadership in investigating complex and ethically sensitive problems.

Target audience

Resident/fellow gy­nae­co­logists and obstetricians, an­dro­lo­gists, em­br­yo­lo­gists, re­sear­ch scientists, nurses, and gra­dua­tes and stu­dents in bio­me­di­cal scien­ces (Bio­logy, Me­di­ci­ne, Ve­te­ri­nary, Bio­che­mis­try, Phar­macy, etc) who seek a broad and balanced view of modern issues in assisted reproduction and embryology.

Course Duration

An intensive five-day laboratory and lecture-based course.

Teaching Format

The course will offer integrated blend of on-line and didactic lectures, small group discussions and laboratories exposure that comprehensively cover the paradigms, problems, and recent technologies in assisted reproduction.

CME Credits: 35.0