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MEFS Exchange course & Symposium- ESHRE2017

Is the oocyte the main determinant of embryo quality? Strategies for the selection of the most competent oocyte

Date: July 02, 2017


Pre-congress Course 14 

Course co-ordinator
Johnny Awwad (Lebanon) and Mohammad Aboulghar (Egypt)  

Course type

Course description
The oocyte is the key player in the sperm-egg interaction and the major determinant of embryo developmental potential. In addition to transmitting the maternal chromosomal complement, it also contributes the mitochondrial genome to the developing embryo. Surprisingly little research have focused on studying the oocyte contribution to a successful implantation. Determining oocyte quality remains restricted to a morphological analysis, a well-proven inaccurate science.

Alternative innovative strategies, the outcome of extensive research, could prove useful in enhancing the ability of the treating team to select the most competent oocytes for fertilization and subsequent embryo transfer. In addition to advancing our ability to alter reproductive pathways, such technologies have also greatly expanded our understanding of the biology of reproduction.
Oocyte competence could hence be better identified on the basis of minimally invasive enhanced diagnostic modalities, such as distribution pattern and function of mitochondria, polar body genomic analysis, cumulus cell molecular signature and many others. Some of these developments have also led to focused interventions designed to improve oocyte reproductive performance, namely mitochondrial enhancement and androgen priming.

This pre-congress course discusses biologic pathways which influence oocyte competence and evaluates diagnostic and therapeutic interventions designed to promote oocytes with the highest reproductive potential.

Target audience

-Fertility Specialists and Reproductive Endocrinologists


-Reproductive Molecular Biologists and Scientists

Educational needs and expected outcomes

At the completion of this pre-congress course, participants should be able to:
-Describe the biologic pathways which determine oocyte competence

-Evaluate the merits of minimally invasive diagnostic modalities in enhancing the selection of the most competent oocyte for fertilization

-Develop an evidence-based assessment of the value of proposed interventions in improving the reproductive capability of women


  Chair: Mohamed A. Aboulghar, Egypt

09:00 - 09:30 Oocyte competence: The mitochondria hypothesis

                       Dagan Wells, United Kingdom

09:30 - 09:45 Discussion

09:45 - 10:15 Does oocyte mitochondrial injection improve outcomes in women with multiple IVF failures? An assessment of biological rational and clinical data

                      Kutluk H. Oktay, U.S.A.

10:15 - 10:30 Discussion

10:30 - 11:00 Coffee break

Chair: Michel Abou Abdallah, Canada

11:00 - 11:25  Oocyte competence: The hypoxia hypothesis

                        Jeremy G. Thompson, Australia

11:25 - 11:50 Oocyte competence: The androgen hypothesis

                       Justin Chu, United Kingdom

11:50 - 12:15 Androgen priming of antral follicles prior to assisted reproduction: An oocyte rejuvenating therapy?

                       Johnny Awwad, U.S.A.

12:15 - 12:30 Discussion

12:30 - 13:30 Lunch break

Chair: Johnny Awwad, U.S.A.

13:30 - 14:00 Oocyte competence: The aneuploidy hypothesis

                       Elpida Fragouli, United Kingdom

14:00 - 14:15 Discussion

14:15 - 14:45 Does polar body analysis accurately predict the aneuploidy status of the developing embryo?

                           Alan H. Handyside, United Kingdom

14:45 - 15:00 Discussion

15:00 - 15:30 Coffee break

Chair: Mohamed A. Aboulghar, Egypt

15:30 - 16:00 Oocyte competence: The follicle environment hypothesis

                       Jeremy G. Thompson, Australia

16:00 - 16:15 Discussion

16:15 - 16:45 Human cumulus cells molecular signature: Does it predict oocyte competence and embryo implantation potential?

                      Samir Hamamah, France

16:45 - 17:00 Discussion