As part of our ongoing commitment to excellence in patient care, Shady Grove Fertility has been a national leader in fertility research and is one of the few fertility centers in the country to employ a full-time dedicated research staff, under the leadership of Kevin Richter, PhD.
We are an active participant in pharma-sponsored clinical trials investigating the efficacy and safety of new medications, therapeutic devices, and treatment protocols, and are typically enrolling patients in at least one or two such clinical trials at any given time. Participation in these trials is completely voluntary and follows a transparent process of independent Institutional Review Board (IRB) review and careful informed consent. These trials allow our patients to have access to these new options and can also reduce costs of IVF cycles and / or medications for those patients volunteering for these sponsored trials. We also have an extensive program of unsponsored research, including “in-house” clinical trials and reviews of our extensive records of treatments and outcomes. This research has involved issues such as optimizing embryo culture and embryo cryopreservation, embryo viability, assisted hatching, indications for and clinical value of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), endometrial receptivity, oxidative stress and infertility, and elective single embryo transfer. Every year, Shady Grove Fertility is a major contributor to the annual scientific meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), the national organization dedicated to the field of reproductive medicine. Over the past several years, Shady Grove has presented the results of dozens of research studies at the ASRM annual meetings. Many of these studies are eventually published in the world’s leading scientific journals for reproductive medicine, such as Fertility and Sterility or Human Reproduction. Click here to review a list of Shady Grove research publications.
Why does a private fertility clinic that is dedicated to its mission of helping patients have a family also take the time, effort and expense of doing research? The answer is multifold :
- The wealth of clinical success at Shady Grove Fertility, and our size as the largest clinic in the country, gives us the ability to gain insight into the best fertility practices in a few months of patient care that may take many other clinics, or even groups of clinics, years to gather. We take this responsibility to ‘give back’ to our field seriously for the benefit of all patients, not just our own. In addition, this constant review and analysis of our practices and protocols and methods keeps us innovating on your behalf.
- The trials in which pharmaceutical companies seek our participation give us early access to some of the newest medications and treatment protocols. They also allow volunteers for these trials to take advantage of lower cost for IVF cycles and / or drugs in these sponsored trials.
- All of the physician staff and much of the laboratory staff at Shady Grove Fertility (including Michael Tucker, PhD our IVF Lab Director and William Kearns, PhD, our PGD Lab Director) began their training, and often part of their careers, in academic medical centers. These centers are traditionally the only seat of academic research. From that background we realize that an invigorating, stimulating atmosphere can contribute to clinical excellence. Therefore we have reconstructed that academic atmosphere within the privacy and patient oriented setting of our practice, melding the best of both worlds. In addition, Shady Grove Fertility is honored to participate in academic teaching as all of the physicians have clinical appointments to Georgetown University School of Medicine. With Dr. Eric Widra, one of our partners, as the Division Director, we are the seat of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology’s Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Fertility, lecturing and teaching Residents about infertility. And recently, Shady Grove Fertility has been asked to participate in the highest level of training and teaching by being a partner in the combined NIH and Walter Reed Fellowship Program. These activities keep us on the “cutting edge” of clinical excellence, excellence that we translate into clinical success for you.
- Because our research efforts lead to many publications, we are invited to many national meetings and symposia to present our results. Many physician leaders and scientists visit Shady Grove Fertility to learn directly from us. As such, we are in constant communication with these physicians and scientists giving us the opportunity to exchange ideas and learn from our combined experience. All this keeps us young and enthusiastic about our ever-evolving field.
Thus, we at Shady Grove Fertility do research for a variety of reasons, each of which we believe enhance our ability to bring the most innovative and successful modes of practice to you; a service that few, if any other, fertility centers provide.
- The Physician, Laboratory & Research Teams at Shady Grove Fertility