Yulian Zhao, M.D., Ph.D., studies methodologies for reproductive tissue banking, especially fertility preservation for young cancer patients. Dr. Zhao is also researching quality indicators and success factors during in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment cycles, aiming to improve pregnancy outcome.
Cure rates and long-term survival of childhood cancer has increased significantly and one medical late effect of cancer treatment is infertility or compromised fertility. Dr. Zhao's research focuses on technologies to preserve fertility by preserving reproductive tissues (testicular and ovarian tissues) and regeneration of germ cells from gonadal tissues to be used in assisted reproduction.
- Optimizing methodologies for ovarian tissue cryopreservation for fertility preservation. This study examines the efficacy of slow cooling and vitrification processes aimed at maximizing the survival and functionality of ovarian tissue by the time of tissue thawing and utilization.
- Dissociation of spermatogonia stem cells from testicular tissues. The goal of this effort is to generate germ cells from immature testicular tissue with potential to restore fertility for prepubescent male patients at risk of compromised fertility.
- Examining and identifying success factors and indicators in IVF treatment cycles. Through machine learning, this research is to utilize data generated nationally and institutionally to assess the most important and relevant factors that affect IVF success.
Significance to patient care
Dr. Zhao's research aims to optimize and enhance the opportunities to help patient preserving fertility before fertility-threatening treatment, and to improve IVF outcomes through progression of assisted reproductive technologies.