IVF Research - Making the difference


Here at Saint Mary’s Hospital we are constantly striving to improve IVF results by introducing new techniques and increasing scientific knowledge of fertilisation and embryo development. The success rate of IVF is continually improving as a result of ongoing research.

We have a Research Nurse and an Assistant Research Practitioner within the department and a variety of scientific staff based here and at the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University. Professor Daniel Brison is responsible for the research studies in this department. All of our research studies are HFEA approved and licensed. We hold the longest HFEA license, as well as one of the top academic and research active units within the UK.

A number of the studies require couples to donate their sperm, egg or embryos which are unsuitable for their treatment and would otherwise be discarded, to research. Other studies are looking to improve clinical treatment. The research is voluntary and clinical care is not affected by their decision to participate or not.

Couples having IVF treatment can participate in the following studies:

Stem Cell Research: Creating stem cell lines from discarded embryos, to find treatment and cures for major illnesses/diseases such as cancer, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes etc.

Sperm, Egg and Embryo: Improving IVF techniques from discarded sperm egg and embryos.

Sperm DNA Damage: Identifying external factors such and diet, occupation and lifestyle that may be associated with male infertility.

HABSelect: Part of a multi-centred research study within the UK, looking at improving the live birth rates for couples having ICSI treatment by changing the way sperm is selectes (will be closing to recruitment at the end of June 2016).

New Studies

E-FREEZE: Routinely couples have fresh treatment, but research has indicated that freezing embryos and replacing them in a later cycle may produce a better outcome clinically.

Endometrial Scratch: A procedure used to help embryos implant more successfully after in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) in patients who had failed cycles previously, despite the transfer of good quality embryos.


If you have any questions regarding the research studies, please do not hesitate to contact:

Principal Investigator: Professor Daniel Brison –

IVF Research Nurse: Claudette Wright –