UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE
Research Field: Reproductive Biology
One of the greatest challenges for IVF clinics is identifying which embryos are suitable for transfer back into the patient’s womb. The current gold-standard technologies include taking a small number of cells from the embryo (a biopsy), then sequencing the DNA to confirm that the embryo has the predicted number of chromosomes. As well as being invasive, this procedure is inaccurate.
Dr Dunning is developing new technologies that overcome the need for a cell biopsy, and instead, using light to take a non-invasive, “molecular photo”. This revolutionary procedure involves shining gentle doses of light upon an embryo and using the scattered light that comes back to reveal the intricacies of its biochemistry, providing insight into the health of the embryo.
Dr Dunning’s engagement activities include: presentations to >1000 primary and secondary school students, hosting high school student visits to her laboratory and invited talks to Rotary clubs.
Dr Dunning PhD was awarded in 2008 from the University of Adelaide. She is currently a Hospital Research Foundation Mid-Career Fellow at the University of Adelaide.