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Egg activation and cytoplasmic movements

Our aim is to examine the biological processes of fertilisation and early embryo development. Successful fertilisation requires that certain molecular processes occur correctly so that the egg can begin dividing and developing.

Sometimes sperm may fail to fertilise an egg, even with ICSI. We aim to understand some of the very basic reasons why this may happen and develop techniques to overcome this. We will also use high-frequency time-lapse filming to observe the tiny movements that take place in an egg during the first few hours after activation. This technique may be used to predict which embryos will be healthier.

This is research using eggs and embryos which have been donated to our study. It is important to note the eggs/embryos used are ONLY those that will not be used clinically and would otherwise be discarded.


Ginny Mounce
Oxford Fertility/University of Oxford


Start date: June 2014
Delivery date: January 2020


Professor Chris Graham (Academic Visitor)
University of Oxford

Prof. Tim Child
Oxford Fertility/University of Oxford

Dr Kevin Coward
University of Oxford

Celine Jones
University of Oxford

Dr Ginny Mounce
University of Oxford, Dept Women’s & Reproductive Health

Dr Karen Turner
Oxford Fertility

- Dr Kevin Coward, University of Oxford -

We hope that any discoveries we make may allow selection of the best embryos for transfer back into the womb/uterus in IVFPI.

Doctor holding treatment

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