Is the oocyte the main determinant of embryo quality? Strategies for the selection of the most competent oocyte

Precongress Course 14

MEFS MEFS Exchange course

Course co-ordinator
Johnny Awwad (Lebanon) and Mohammad Aboulghar (Egypt)


Course type


Course description
The oocyte is the key player in the sperm-egg interaction and the major determinant of embryo developmental potential. In addition to transmitting the maternal chromosomal complement, it also contributes the mitochondrial genome to the developing embryo. Surprisingly little research have focused on studying the oocyte contribution to a successful implantation. Determining oocyte quality remains restricted to a morphological analysis, a well-proven inaccurate science.

Alternative innovative strategies, the outcome of extensive research, could prove useful in enhancing the ability of the treating team to select the most competent oocytes for fertilization and subsequent embryo transfer. In addition to advancing our ability to alter reproductive pathways, such technologies have also greatly expanded our understanding of the biology of reproduction.
Oocyte competence could hence be better identified on the basis of minimally invasive enhanced diagnostic modalities, such as distribution pattern and function of mitochondria, polar body genomic analysis, cumulus cell molecular signature and many others. Some of these developments have also led to focused interventions designed to improve oocyte reproductive performance, namely mitochondrial enhancement and androgen priming.

This pre-congress course discusses biologic pathways which influence oocyte competence and evaluates diagnostic and therapeutic interventions designed to promote oocytes with the highest reproductive potential.


Target audience
  • Fertility Specialists and Reproductive Endocrinologists
  • Embryologists
  • Reproductive Molecular Biologists and Scientists


Educational needs and expected outcomes

At the completion of this pre-congress course, participants should be able to:
  • Describe the biologic pathways which determine oocyte competence
  • Evaluate the merits of minimally invasive diagnostic modalities in enhancing the selection of the most competent oocyte for fertilization
  • Develop an evidence-based assessment of the value of proposed interventions in improving the reproductive capability of women


Sunday 02 July 2017

Mohamed Aboulghar, Egypt
09:00 - 09:30
Oocyte competence: The mitochondria hypothesis
Dagan Wells, United Kingdom
09:30 - 09:45
09:45 - 10:15
Does oocyte mitochondrial injection improve outcomes in women with multiple IVF failures? An assessment of biological rational and clinical data
Kutluk H. Oktay, U.S.A.
10:15 - 10:30
10:30 - 11:00
Coffee break
Michel Abou Abdallah, Switzerland
11:00 - 11:25
Oocyte competence: The hypoxia hypothesis
Jeremy G. Thompson, Australia
11:25 - 11:50
Oocyte competence: The androgen hypothesis
Justin Chu, United Kingdom
11:50 - 12:15
Androgen priming of antral follicles prior to assisted reproduction: An oocyte rejuvenating therapy?
Johnny Awwad, U.S.A.
12:15 - 12:30
12:30 - 13:30
Lunch break
Johnny Awwad, U.S.A.
13:30 - 14:00
Oocyte competence: The aneuploidy hypothesis
Elpida Fragouli, United Kingdom
14:00 - 14:15
14:15 - 14:45
Does polar body analysis accurately predict the aneuploidy status of the developing embryo?
Alan H. Handyside, United Kingdom
14:45 - 15:00
15:00 - 15:30
Coffee break
Mohamed Aboulghar, Egypt
15:30 - 16:00
Oocyte competence: The follicle environment hypothesis
Jeremy G. Thompson, Australia
16:00 - 16:15
16:15 - 16:45
Human cumulus cells molecular signature: Does it predict oocyte competence and embryo implantation potential?
Samir Hamamah, France
16:45 - 17:00