Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility

Division Head Introduction

A message from Dr. Mohamed Bedaiwy, Head of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility.

The Division of Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility strives to achieve excellence in patient care, teaching and research, as these relate to the subspecialty. Historically, it has been a leader nationally and internationally.

 

 

 

For a complete list of the Department’s programs, visit the Education section.

Undergraduate & Postgraduate

The Division provides educational activities for residents, undergraduates and visiting trainees. Residents in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology spend three-month rotations within the Division, making regular presentations at the weekly Division Rounds, attending clinics and participating where possible in research activities.

Division members are actively involved in the curriculum of UBC MD undergraduate program, especially in Phase 2 (preclinical) problem-based learning and in Phase 4 (clerkship) activities in ambulatory and hospital-based care. In addition, UBC undergraduates regularly undertake elective rotations and summer studentships with Division members.

Division members are also very active in the graduate program in Reproductive and Developmental Sciences.

The Division accepts students in the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute Summer Student Research Program. Information about the program and how to apply are available via BCCHR website.

The Division also accepts students in the Faculty of Medicine Summer Student Research Program. For more information, please visit the Program website.

The Division is also involved in the UBC Vancouver Summer Program for international undergraduate students from cooperating universities. Division Members are primarily involved in the From Conception to Life Saving Surgery Across the Lifespan package.

UBC students are eligible to apply for Work Learn Program positions with the Division. Job postings and applications are available on the CareersOnline portal.

 

Fellowship

The Division offers a Fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. This two-year subspecialty residency training training program is accredited by the Royal College, and provides comprehensive clinical and research training in GREI.

Please note, the GREI Fellowship applicants must meet the RCPSC certification standards to be considered for this Program.

Our Division also offers a comprehensive Research Fellowship in Reproductive Medicine.  The goal of this program is to train each individual to become a successful researcher and professional. Fellowships range from one to four years.  We accept students who are seeking degrees and fellows who are seeking research training to acquire the necessary skills and techniques required to carry out substantial and independent scientific research. Non-degree seeking applicants should contact the Research Manager.

For further details on the Research Fellowship please contact Ariadna Fernandez, the Research Manager.

Continuing Medical Education

Divisional activities in Continuing Medical Education have been centred on the Division’s presentations at the D.A. Boyes Society Annual Meeting. Individual members have also participated in CME activities associated with the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada and with the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Dr. Anthony Cheung chairs the Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Committee of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada.

For a list of research areas in the Division, visit the Research by Division page.

The Division’s research activity encompasses basic and clinical research, in addition to collaborative multidisciplinary activities.

Five members of the Division currently hold funding for research projects and Division members have consistently generated publications in peer-reviewed and other journals. Individual members have presented original work at meetings of the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Furthermore, members have participated significantly in the development and publication of Clinical Practice Guidelines under the auspices of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada.

Dr. Peter Leung’s Laboratory
Dr. Leung’s lab is recognised for the discovery and characterisation of the gene encoding the human gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) receptor, which is a key regulator in reproductive endocrinology and fertility.  His studies on the autocrine and paracrine roles of the GnRH, as well as other growth factors, in different cellular models have shed new light on the molecular mechanisms underlying the control of reproductive function.

BC Women’s Research Laboratory
Through the collaborative work between Drs. Mohamed Bedaiwy and Paul Yong, ongoing research activities in this lab are focused on investigating the molecular alterations associated with endometriosis.  In addition, this research is focused on the key regulators of invasiveness and transition of endometriosis into cancer.

Women’s Health Centre for Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Research Program

The recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) clinic is a highly specialised clinic, unique of its kind in BC. The RPL clinic will be the site of randomised controlled trials to assess therapeutic interventions for RPL. In addition, we focus our attention to characterise unexplained recurrent pregnancy loss. We also strive to develop national and international collaborations to study the genetic basis for miscarriage.

Female Infertility
Several clinical trials are ongoing at different sites to optimise controlled ovarian stimulation. In addition, we are studying different alternatives for poor responders and fertility preservation in cancer patients.

Male Infertility
Through our work on the genetics of human development, we hope to better understand the pathophysiology of male infertility and to design techniques to select the healthiest spermatozoa for subsequent use in assisted reproduction.

Clinical Programs & Services

Historically, the UBC In Vitro Fertilization program was established in 1983 when the first Canadian IVF baby was born.  For the time being, all clinical and educational assisted reproduction services including intracytoplasmic sperm injection, preimplantation genetic diagnosis  and Comprehensive Chromosome Screening are provided by various IVF programs in Vancouver, offering the widest possible range of services to patients while ensuring the highest possible level of safety.  These services are provided by various Division faculty members.  

This program offers a number of reproductive health services to women and their partners in the areas of pregnancy loss, infertility, premature ovarian failure, endometriosis and menstrual irregularities.  In addition, this program provides comprehensive evaluations of women with complex medical problems such as arthritis vascular and clotting disorders who are contemplating pregnancy. Diagnostic services include gynaecologic/early obstetrical ultrasound and office hysteroscopy.  This program provides three services:

Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Clinic
Early Pregnancy Assessment Clinic
Special Needs Gynaecology

For clinical matters contact Lauren Dobney.

This centre is one of a wide range of clinics at BC Women's Health Centre that provides specialised health services to women living in BC. It provides a tertiary level service approach to the management of chronic pelvic pain. The program has become a multidisciplinary activity and in 2010 began to offer an advanced training program in Endometriosis, Pelvic Pain and Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery to expand the tertiary level services within the province and beyond.  

This Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility was developed to support the academic mission of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. This includes supporting faculty and staff salaries, research projects, and the purchase of equipment to facilitate teaching and research in the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.

If you would be interested in supporting this initiative please click here.

Fertile Future is a Canadian national non-profit organization that provides fertility preservation information and support services to cancer patients and oncology professionals. UBC REI has strong representation with Drs. Dunne and Roberts on the board of directors and Dr. Nakhuda on the Vancouver gala committee.

The Division is very involved in Fertile Future lobby work across Canada for the public funding of fertility preservation services, with some notable progress in B.C.  On May 28th Drs. Dunne and Roberts visited the legislature as guests of MLA Sam Sullivan.  Also met with MLA Tracy Redies who is supportive of FP and IVF, and managed to catch the Minister of Health Adrian Dix in the halls for a quick conversation and photo op (attached).  For more information on Fertile Future please visit https://fertilefuture.ca/

Welcome Dr Niamh Tallon, REI Program Director!

Dr Tallon was raised in Dublin, Ireland and completed her undergraduate training at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, and moved to Canada in 2005, for residency in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and the University of Saskatchewan. She accepted a position into the UBC fellowship program in 2011 and has been a division member since. She is a fellow of the Royal College of physicians in Canada and has subspecialty accreditation in Gynaecologic Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.

Dr Tallon practices infertility management at the Olive Fertility Center in Vancouver, where is a Co-Director. Her areas of expertise include egg freezing, the evaluations and treatment of infertility, recurrent implantation/pregnancy loss and in the application of advanced fertility care. She has co-authored a number id publications in the field of infertility and actively participates in the ongoing education of trainees at all levels and in providing inter-disciplinary education. She has been actively involved in fellowship training for a number of years.

Thank you all for welcoming Dr Tallon to the Program Director role.

Congratulations to Dr. Sukainah A. Alfaraj on having her abstract titled “Sliding sign testing could be a potential alternative to laparoscopy to predict Endometriosis fertility index (EFI) in endometriosis-associated infertility” selected as a Top 3 Oral presentation for the 4th Annual Conference of the Canadian Society for the Advancement of Gynecologic Excellence.

Dr. Sukainah A. Alfaraj was born in Dhahran, Suadi Arabia. She received her M.D. from Dammam University and currently she is a master’s student in the Reproductive and Developmental Sciences program at the University of British Columbia. The master’s thesis topic of Dr. Alfaraj is focused on endometriosis-associated infertility. Dr. Alfaraj’s research interests include chronic pelvic pain in reproductive-aged women, fertility and assisted reproductive technology.

Congratulations to REI Fellow Dr Ann Korkidakis on winning best poster presentation (resident/fellow) at the 19th Annual ObGyn Academic Day!

Congratulations Dr Dunne on winning the APGO Teaching Award at the 19th Annual ObGyn Academic Day!