Research & Training
Teaching & Professional Development
Merrion Fertility Clinic, through our research and professional development programme, is dedicated to advancing scientific discovery in reproductive medicine in order to improve success rates in assisted reproduction.
Our clinic is committed to the training of medical and nursing students, non-consultant hospital doctors, Consultants, GPs and the public. We run a Clinical Fellowship MD research program in reproductive medicine, and host a number of PhD and MSc student trainees.
Merrion Fertility Clinic regularly organizes teaching events and seminars, and has been recognized by the British Fertility Society as a training centre for infertility management and assisted reproductive technologies.
Tackling Fertility in Endometriosis
What is endometriosis? Endometriosis is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects up to 1 in 10 women of reproductive age, and typically causes pelvic pain, painful periods and reduced fertility….Read More
Merrion Fertility Clinic Research Team
Louise Glover, PhD – Clinical Research Co-ordinator
Dr. Glover joined Merrion Fertility Clinic as Research Officer in 2017, and she holds adjunct Assistant Professor/Clinical Lecturer positions at both Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin. Following her PhD studies, Dr. Glover completed postdoctoral training in Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and was an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado. She has served in the role of Principle Investigator and Co-investigator on several international projects funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Veterans Affairs.
Dr. Glover holds active memberships to the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology and the Health Research Board Clinical Research Coordination Ireland (CRCI). Her primary research focus is reproductive immunology, in particular how immune pathways in the endometrium are altered in infertility.
Maebh Horan – Clinical Fellow, MD Research Program
Dr. Maebh Horan graduated with Honours in Medicine from Trinity College Dublin in 2012 and is a Specialist Registrar on the higher specialist training scheme in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. She is currently completing a Clinical Fellowship and Doctorate of Medicine (MD) with Professor Wingfield and University College Dublin.
Dr. Horan’s research interests include fertility preservation in children, adolescents and young adults (CAYA) and development of a national service for CAYA patients diagnosed with cancer. She is also researching the impact of endometriosis on ovarian reserve and fertility in young women.
Fiona Reidy – Clinical Fellow, MD Research Program
Dr. Fiona Reidy graduated with Honours from University College Dublin in 2010. She is now in the final year of her Clinical Fellowship and Doctorate of Medicine (MD) with Professor Wingfield and University College Dublin.
Dr. Reidy’s research interests include endometrial innate immune pathways and the associated microbiome in endometriosis-associated infertility.
Laurentina Schäler – Clinical Fellow, MD Research Program
Dr. Laurentina Schäler graduated with Honours from the Charité Medical School, Humboldt University, Berlin 2013. Since moving back to Ireland, she has embarked on a career in Obstetrics and Gynaecology under the guidance of The Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and has also been awarded an Honours MSc in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (UCC) and Healthcare Management (RCSI).
Dr Schäler’s research interests include CAYA fertility preservation in cancer, impacts of FP counselling on patients and parents and development of national guidelines for identification of CAYA cancer patients most at risk of future fertility loss.
Helen Groarke – Senior Research Nurse Specialist
Helen Groarke is a senior Fertility Nurse Specialist in Merrion Fertility Clinic. She is also the liaison nurse between Children’s Health Ireland (Crumlin) and Merrion Fertility Clinic. Helen is a Nurse Midwife and has been working in assisted reproduction for many years. She trained in Dublin, the United Kingdom and New York, and spent many years as a Fertility Nurse in Columbia Presbyterian Medical Centre in New York. Helen was involved in fertility research projects and has attended international conferences and completed fertility nurse courses. She has completed a national survey looking at fertility nursing in Ireland and completed a study on the impact of high BMI on fertility and pregnancy. She has also completed a degree in Economics and German.
Helen’s interest in fertility preservation for children and young people stems from her personal interest in the survivors of childhood cancer and in improving these young people’s chance of having a family in the future.
Niamh Cantwell – PhD Student, UCD School of Agriculture / Merrion Fertility Clinic
Niamh Cantwell graduated from UCD in 2016 with a first class Bachelor’s degree in Animal and Crop Science. Niamh completed her Research Master’s degree with UCD in Reproductive Physiology from 2018-2019, where her initial research focused on the effect of culture medium on the in-vitro development of bovine oocytes and embryos. Subsequent research involved the analysis of progesterone and progesterone signalling on oocyte quality, specifically, the resumption of meiotic maturation as an evaluation of oocyte competence, and chromosomal alignment using 3D reconstructive imaging software.
In 2019, Niamh was awarded a grant from the Irish Research Council to complete her PhD in human fertility with UCD, in collaboration with Merrion Fertility Clinic. Her PhD research will focus on male infertility, in particular the characterisation of sperm from men presenting for assisted reproduction and improvement of clinical assays that assess sperm function.
Research at Merrion Fertility Clinic is aimed at improving knowledge, expertise and care pathways in the field of reproductive medicine. Our research spans a range of topics, from the basic biology of infertility to identification of new clinical biomarkers.
Merrion Fertility Clinic has established strong links with several of Ireland’s top research institutions, including University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin and the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland. Merrion Fertility is also a member of the UCD Perinatal Research Centre at the National Maternity Hospital.
The role of the endometrium in implantation (Link)
Failure of the embryo to properly implant in the uterus is a likely major cause of infertility, and may account for up to 50% of failed IVF cycles. Merrion Fertility Clinic works closely with the Comparative Immunology Group at TCD to study immune factors in the uterine lining (endometrium) that influence embryo implantation in unexplained infertility and infertility related to endometriosis.
Using Next-Generation sequencing, our researchers are also analyzing endometrial molecular signatures that are associated with successful embryo implantation, clinical pregnancy and livebirth outcomes after ART. This work is funded by the Grant for Fertility Innovation (Merck).
In collaboration with investigators in UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science, Merrion Fertility researchers are studying non-invasive markers of egg and embryo quality. The goal of this research is being able to better predict how well an oocyte or embryo can develop into a successful pregnancy.
Merrion Fertility Clinic researchers are investigating ways to improve on current clinical sperm analysis assays in unexplained male infertility. This project, a collaboration with the Reproductive Biology group at UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science, is funded by the Irish Research Council.
Merrion Fertility researchers have conducted a number of studies to investigate public and patient perceptions and knowledge of fertility testing and fertility preservation. We are also focused on understanding the psychological impact that ovarian reserve testing can have on patients.
Merrion Fertility Clinic are collaborating with Children’s Health Ireland and the National Maternity Hospital to establish the National Fertility Preservation Program for Children, Adolescents and Young Adults (CAYA) with cancer.
The Merrion Fertility Research Publications
Our clinical, nursing and scientific teams are active members of the following professional associations:
- British Fertility Society (BFS)
- Irish Clinical Embryologists (ICE)
- Irish Cancer Society
- Senior Infertility Nurses Group (SING) UK
- Sharing Best Practice Nurses Group
- European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE)
- Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (IOG)