Five IVI Ph.D. researchers have received grants from the Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII, Instituto de Salud Carlos III) after the resolution on the convening of the Strategic Action in Health 2020 and the Department of Innovation, Universities, Science and Digital Society. Ana Buigues, Ana Corachán, Patricia Díaz-Gimeno, Francisco Domínguez and Hortensia Ferrero will have new assets for developing their research, which covers a wide range of topics related to fertility, genetics, and uterine health, thanks to the important financial help that this grant entails.
The five grants are divided into three Miguel Servet grants, which provide the grantees with 40,500 Euros per year for five years, together with supplements to include support staff: a Sara Borrell grant lasting three years and contributing 26,866 Euros each; another 2-year APOSTD postdoctoral grant with a contribution of 46,235 Euros per year; and a research contract in health projects (FIS), which offers 137,940 Euros over three years.
The two investigators, Patricia Díaz-Gimeno and Hortensia Ferrero, who received the Miguel Servet grant, will allocate the help in their respective research areas on the uterine health and the prevention of failed pregnancies.
Díaz-Gimeno thinks "to focus her efforts on the project that she has been developing since 2006 about the possible failures that can occur in the implantation procedure of the embryo in the uterus, which pose a threat to the embryo survival if they occur".
For the researcher, identifying healthy embryos from an implantation that can be expected to fail will help save the future children of many couples. As she explains, "to prevent is to avoid losing them."
For her part, Hortensia carries out a new line of research, in which she has the collaboration of one of the two grantees of the APOSTD grant, Ana Corachán. The work of the two researchers focuses on uterine fibroids and other closely related uterine diseases.
Her research aims to detect the genetic pattern that leads to the generation of fibroids and other uterine diseases that cause severe symptoms in patients, such as concealment of possible malignant tumors. In the words of the researcher: "Unraveling the molecular mechanisms that lead to the occurrence of these diseases would mean the description of new therapeutic targets for improving the quality of life of women suffering from these diseases and their fertility".
Ana Corachán will focus within this line of research on uterine fibroids and how the molecular processes involved in their development can be altered with Vitamin D treatments or by the MED12 mutation. "All this could help the creation of new, more personalized treatments to alleviate this disease, increasing the efficacy"2, explains Corachán.
The project of the second researcher, Ana Buigues, who was awarded with the Sara Borrell is in the area of ovarian rejuvenation that has already been followed in her research group when studying this phenomenon by linking it to the infusion of bone marrow stem cells.
"If these cells are proven to secrete paracrine factors, the regenerative effects of the infusion process will stimulate the follicular activation and growth of patients with ovarian failure, and a new non-invasive technique for ovarian rejuvenation would be found for mothers with early ovarian failure, and they can have children with their own eggs" announces Buigues.
Finally, Dr. Francisco Domínguez, awarded with a contract for research in health projects (FIS), seeks to allocate help to the study and development of new genetic engineering tools that allow addressing the issue of trisomies in embryos.
"Success in this research would be the first step to correct severe chromosomal abnormalities such as trisomies of Chromosomes 13, 18 and 22 in patients without normal embryos," concludes the researcher.
We are very proud to be able to share this news to end 2020. We are sure that these five brilliant IVI researchers will take full advantage of these grants to continue advancing in the field and that they will soon be able to translate into optimised results and improvements in reproductive medicine.