November 21, 2018
Fertile field for Māori PhD researcher
Growing a good egg will be the mission of one of the latest recipients of a Health Research Council Māori health research career development awards.
Victoria University of Wellington PhD candidate Matire Ward will use her scholarship to look at a fertility treatment that may potentially provide a safer alternative to current artificial reproductive technologies.
She aims to improve the process of in vitro maturation, in which eggs are retrieved while still at an immature stage and brought to maturity in the laboratory.
Conventional in vitro fertilisation uses medications to bring a patient’s eggs to maturity before they are removed from the ovary.
While there is less risk of damaging the ovaries, the embryos produced are of lower quality, so she will look for ways to improve the way the eggs mature in the laboratory.
Ms Ward also aims to have conversations with Māori about the use of the therapy and how it can meet Māori concerns that whakapapa is continued in a way that regards tikanga.
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