University of Adelaide and The Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Michelle is well known in the field of basic and applied embryo research. She reported that the conditions the preimplantation embryo is exposed in vitro can have profound effects on subsequent fetal development. A consequence of this research has been a change in the media formulations used in clinical IVF. In 1999 she identified a new way to freeze oocytes and embryos, via a new vitrification procedure, a technique has subsequently been used on several species such as rodents and horses. More recently Michelle’s research has been focussed on establishing how the oocyte and early embryo maintain ionic and metabolic homeostasis and therefore subsequent development and ability to establish a pregnancy. By understanding how embryos maintain developmental competence we can begin to determine what long-term consequences may be programmed as a result from early exposure to stress.