In this program, we study interactions between reproductive cells (sperm and eggs), early embryonic development and reproductive performance of individual domestic animals and animal populations. That could be mice, rabbits or dogs, but more often pigs, cattle and horses. We try to identify causes of subfertility and design effective treatments for both animals and people. A key objective is to improve techniques for germ cell preservation and assisted reproduction. Did you know, for instance, that a special type of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) in which a sperm is injected directly into the egg can be used to produce pregnancies from infertile horses? And that Utrecht has recently started a specialised IVF clinic for horses? We also help to develop novel contraceptives and other fertility treatmentss for animals and man.
Fertility & Reproduction research covers an interesting and innovative field, closely linked to biochemistry and human medicine. Ultimately, we hope to understand the molecular, cellular, and physiological mechanisms underlying successful reproduction. That might open up new ways to treat problems such as infertility and genetic diseases.
For a detailed program outline, key publications and contact information see program outline.