Research Area D

Fertilisation and implantation

The developmental potential of an individual embryo after fertilisation and the endometrial receptivity are critical for the success of medically-assisted reproduction (MAR), albeit difficult to evaluate. To assess endometrial receptivity, mainly hysteroscopy and a few molecular diagnostics with rather weak utility are currently available. Understanding how normal endometrium is regulated to interact with the blastocyst is essential to define molecular mechanisms altered in suboptimal endometrium. Research area D aims to utilise in vivo-inspired models (resulting from data generated by single cell sequencing, 3D high resolution microscopy, and microRNAs) to optimise MAR and to study molecular mechanisms of endometrial receptivity.


  1. In a project supervised by Verena Nordhoff (PhD), an Advanced Clinician Scientist shall analyse miRNA signatures in follicular fluid and correlate these to parameters of pre-implantation embryo development. The aim is to identify patterns that could serve as predictive markers for embryonal developmental potential. In order to achieve this, embryonal parameters will be analysed, supplemented by an analysis of key molecular markers (e.g. miRNAs) extracted from follicular fluid and embryo culture media.
  2. Under supervision of Martin Götte (PhD), a Medical Scientist shall employ an in vivo-inspired 3D cell culture model of the human endometrium based on primary human endometrial tissues obtained from the collection of EU-project TRENDO. The research project covers various analytical steps, ranging from utilising trophoblastoid cell lines as embryo surrogates, in silico analysis of miRNAs, immunohistochemistry, to confocal and light sheet microscopy, among others. Hereby, the MS shall define stimulatory factors that enhance endometrial receptivity markers as well as determine the role of WOI candidate markers. In addition, it is expected that the junior scientist validate identified miRNAs and mRNA targets relevant for receptivity at the functional level.