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Full NameProfessor Sabine Koelle
Department:School of Medicine and Medical Science
Organisation:University College Dublin
- genetics, genomics and molecular biology
- cell and developmental biology/regenerative medicine
Other Research Fields:
Reproductive medicine, gynecology, andrology, assisted reproductive technology
Postgrad Medical Specialties
- General Practice
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Other Medical Specialties:
Reproductive medicine, gynecology, andrology, infertility
Professor Koelle's research is focused on reproductive medicine including gynecology, andrology and assisted reproductive technologies. Recent research projects include the effects of diseases such as endometrial cancer, ovarian cysts and tubal inflammation on gameto-maternal interaction and embryo-maternal communication in humans and animals. Furthermore, her research team is investigating the effects of medications and hormonal treatments on sperm-oviduct interaction. Additionally she is establishing new criteria for functional sperm and oocyte assessment by mimicking the interaction of the gametes with the genital tract in laboratory assays.
In the last years she has developed new technologies for in vivo imaging of gameto-maternal interaction, fertilization and early embryogenesis in the female genital tract such as digital videomicroscopy, probe-based laser endomicroscopy (pCLE) and optical coherence tomography (OCT). These imaging technologies are also applied in the male genital tract in order to localize vital spermatozoa in the testis and epididymis.
The ultimate goal of Prof. Koelle's research is to establish new diagnostic and therapeutic tools for effective treatment of diseases of the male and female genital tract. Furthermore, Prof. Koelle`s research aims to improve treatment options for infertility and to increase the success rates of assisted reproductive technologies.
The potential research project is entitled 'Endometriosis and its effects on tubal function - new insights by digital videomicroscopy and probe-based confocal laser endomicroscopy'. It will investigate the alterations in the oviduct induced by endometriosis by using novel imaging technologies.
Endometriosis is characterized by growth of uterine tissue outside the uterus - mostly in the ovaries or in the fallopian tube. The main symptoms of this disease are pelvic pain and infertility. It might also cause dysmenorrhea, dyspareunia and dysuria. Endometriosis occurs in 6-10 % of the women, mainly in their thirties and forties. However, in the US, about 27 % of the women with endometriosis had had the symptoms for at least 6 years before it was diagnosed. In addition to that the precise cause for endometriosis is unknown to date - theories such as the retrograde menstruation theory or the theory of an autoimmune disease have not been able to explain all instances of endometriosis.
Therefore, the aim of the project is to shed light on the precise mechanisms of this disease by investigating the effects of tubal endometriosis on the functional integrity of the female genital tract. First, the effects of endometriosis on morphology and physiology of the fallopian tube will be analysed. Second, the effects of endometriosis on sperm-oviduct interaction as well as on the communication between oocyte and ampulla before and after fertilization will be examined. In the third step, the applicability of probe-based confocal laser endomicroscopy for application in routine diagnostic procedures will be evaluated. In summary, the ultimate goal of the project is to elucidate the precise mechanisms of endometriosis and to establish new diagnostic tools for this disease.