Young Investigator Award for innovative fertility researcher

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

The University of Adelaide researcher behind an exciting world-first fertility treatment has won the 2015 Young Investigator Award, announced last night.

Dr Hannah Brown, from the University’s Robinson Research Institute, led a study which discovered a key component missing in poor-quality eggs is haemoglobin. She and her team, supported by Associate Professor Jeremy Thompson, also revealed that adding haemoglobin to a damaged or poor-quality egg can improve the efficiency of the egg, increasing the chances of conception for some women struggling with infertility.

This finding has been instrumental in the development of a new technique for fertility clinics called In vitro maturation (IVM). With IVM, scientists can finish growing or repair a poor-quality egg in the laboratory.

“I am thrilled to be part of a team whose work is contributing to changing the way in which we provide fertility care and options to women for which treatments do not currently exist,” says Dr Brown.

“I am also honoured to have been part of a competition which supports science communication, education and outreach,” she says. “And I hope to establish new collaborator relationships as a result of the funds from this award, which will be used to travel to international laboratories and share our exciting research findings.”

Professor Sarah Robertson, Director of the Robinson Research Institute, applauds Dr Brown for her outstanding achievement.

“Dr Brown is highly deserving of this coveted award,” says Professor Robertson.

“Her work is part of the core business of the Robinson Research Institute and is supported by the cutting edge environment of the ARC Centre for Nanoscale Biophotonics.

“Furthermore, she is a brilliant, hard-working and innovative researcher with a promising career. And her work will help thousands of women and families,” she says.

The Young Investigator Award is aimed at recognising and promoting the outstanding research performed by young scientists in the area of women’s and children’s health.

The Young Investigator Award is an initiative of the Women’s and Children’s Health Network in partnership with University of Adelaide, Flinders University, University of South Australia , South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute and Women’s and Children’s Health Research Institute.


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