Reproductive Biology and Development

The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute is one of the lead sites in Canada for the study of human reproductive health. Its research programs address important women's and infant health issues such as the etiology of male and female factor infertility, preeclampsia, preterm birth and environmental determinants of reproductive health. The research cuts across programs including Chronic Disease and Clinical Epidemiology, and is one of the Institute's best examples of "bench to bedside to community and back" research efforts.

Our researchers are investigating the effect of environmental toxins on reproductive health and are pursuing research that should lead to better outcomes for assisted reproductive technologies (ART). They are unlocking the origins of infertility and conducting research into ways to prevent pregnancy complications such as small birth weight babies, stillbirths and toxemia - pregnancy-related high blood pressure that is one of the most dangerous complications of pregnancy.

Our researchers are also exploring the role of "cell survival" and "cell death" genes involved in ovarian follicle growth and demise and placental development, research that may lead to new therapies for the treatment of female infertility and the prevention of pregnancy complications. Other investigations include embryonic development, egg development and maturation, the cellular and molecular interactions between sperm and eggs, the development of new contraceptives including male contraceptives, and ovarian dysfunction and cancer with advancing age.