Research Team

Research that drives IVF success

Melbourne IVF has a strong research focus. New innovations that increase the chance of pregnancy and decrease the time taken to have a healthy baby are a priority.  Unlike many other fertility clinics, Melbourne IVF has its own advanced clinical and laboratory-based scientific research facilities.

Melbourne IVF is therefore able to contribute significantly to international research efforts and to the scientific research literature. Our scientists and researchers are recognised as making a substantial impact in the international research community, particularly in the areas of:

  1. Embryo health and pregnancy potential,
  2. Genetic assessment of embryo normality,
  3. Freezing programs, and
  4. Fertility preservation

Our research focus is led by Professor David Gardner who is recognised as Australia’s “Leader in Reproductive Health research”. His ongoing discoveries continue to improve our success rates.  Melbourne IVF has forged important links with key collaborators in The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, The University of Melbourne, The Jean Hailes Foundation and The Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute, among others. Because of our well-resourced and highly dynamic research department, we are offered many opportunities to partner with other groups around the world in large-scale, multi-centred research studies evaluating new fertility approaches and therapies.

Our current areas of research include:

  • Fertility protection and preservation (in oncology care and where medical treatment for other diagnoses can compromise fertility),
  • Ovarian tissue grafting,
  • Endocrine and metabolic research,
  • Egg (oocyte) freezing,
  • Sperm function,
  • Identifying the best potential embryos,
  • Genetics and molecular research,
  • Psychosocial and epidemiological research,
  • Endometrial receptivity,
  • Clinical trials in various areas.

The Research Team at Melbourne IVF

Franca Agresta is Melbourne IVF’s Clinical Research Manager and has more than 16 years experience in research, where laboratory and basic science research has evolved into the initiation and coordination of various clinical trials. Franca and her team are actively involved in various research projects, both investigator-initiated trials and in collaboration with pharmaceutical companies. Her ICH-GCP training ensures that clinical research conducted at Melbourne IVF is of high quality and compliant. Her role also involves encouraging and facilitating new research across the various disciplines within the organisation and collaborating with universities and various research institutes.

Franca co-ordinates the Fertility Preservation Program at Melbourne IVF; the largest of its kind in Australia, and is part of a management team who is developing the very first Australian and New Zealand Fertility Preservation Database. She is also the secretary of the newly formed Medical Preservation of Fertility Special Interest Group at the Fertility Society of Australia.

To find out more, contact our Research Team on (03) 9473 4569 or (03) 9473 4570