Research and Innovation

  • Core Research Team

Dr Art Leader, MD, Research Director
Dr Paul Claman, MD, Partner
Dr Marie-Claude Léveillé, PhD, Scientific Director
Dr Jeff Haebe, MD, Ultrasound Director
Dr Bielanska, PhD, Embryology
Dr Tartia, PhD, Embryology
Danielle Dubois, RN, Clinical Nurse Manager
Jennifer McDowall, Clinical Research Program Coordinator


    The Ottawa Fertility Centre is committed to the advancement of knowledge in both the clinical and basic reproductive sciences. We have been and continue to be involved in important research projects, many of them in collaboration with other centres around the world. We have often been the only Canadian centre participating in these multi-national trials. Experience and expertise gained through participation in research keeps the Ottawa Fertility Centre at the forefront in the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of infertility. This research activity benefits not only our own patients, but all individuals and couples struggling to have a child.

    Our research activity is led by Dr Arthur Leader, who has extensive experience in clinical research. He has authored of more than 100 publications. Dr Marie-Claude Léveillé, our Scientific Director, is also heavily engaged in research activity and quality improvement projects that relate to reproductive biology and lab procedures.

    Research and Innovation are core values at the Ottawa Fertility Centre. Our pursuit of quality improvement permeates all aspects of our centre. We are driven to improve medical and laboratory outcomes, but we are also driven to create the best possible patient experience by using innovative technologies. Therefore, we are engaged in non-medical and non-laboratory projects as well.

    Key Attributes of Research and Innovation at Ottawa Fertility

    • Partnership with the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI)
    • Industry Partners to fund research and innovation projects
    • Dedicated and well-trained resources
    • Ethics approval on all clinical projects
    • Knowledge-to-Action” process – a systematic approach for introducing new services and lab techniques
    • Fellowship program, accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario


    The purpose of this study is to apply a clinic specific predictive model to reduce the incidence of multiple births from fresh IVF treatment cycles in women under 38 years old. Recruitment is now open. Contact Jennifer McDowall for more information.

    The purpose of this study is to identify women with sonographic features of adenomyosis (SoFA) who would be at a higher risk of adenomyosis. These women would then be compared to women with no sonographic features of adenomyosis who would be at low risk for adenomyosis. We would then compare their fertility treatment, and reproductive outcomes between the two groups. Recruitment is now open. Contact Jennifer McDowall for more information.

    An observational study of Endometrial Assessment in IVF: A new method of image analysis of the endometrium has been introduced and may reveal more information about the endometrial factors involved with successful implantation of an embryo at embryo transfer. Recruitment is now open. Contact Jennifer McDowall for more information.


    The advancement sought by Ottawa Fertility Centre (OFC) was to determine the best technique to cryopreserve human oocytes and embryos. One of the important applications of both of these techniques is for fertility preservation for women of reproductive age who have been diagnosed with cancer and will undergo cancer therapy. Another application of cryopreservation of embryos is freezing of surplus embryos for patients undergoing ART for infertility, so that they may later be used in a FET (frozen embryo transfer).

    The advancement sought by Ottawa Fertility Centre (OFC) was to determine if polarized light microscopy imaging could be used to better predict meiotic spindle maturity in order to better assist the timing of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) cycles. Polarized light microscopy is a non-invasive technique allowing assessment of egg quality based on two markers: presence of second meiotic spindle and retardance of inner zona pellucida. Spindle imaging allows an accurate assessment of egg maturation and consequently, the readiness of each egg to be fertilized. Based on the literature, the absence of spindle could indicate not only an immature egg but also an egg with chromosomal abnormalities.

    The purpose of this study is to measure specific “biomarkers” (protein levels etc.) in the follicular fluid, cumulus cells and the embryo culture media hopefully to better judge an egg’s quality. Recruitment Closed.

    The purpose of this study is to determine if growth hormone given before, during a cycle of IVF will improve outcomes in women who have had previous failure with IVF treatment using high doses of follicle stimulating medications and had a poor response (< 6 follicles). Recruitment Closed.


    A study on Arab immigrant women’s experience with fertility issues is being conducted by The Department of Health Sciences at the University of Ottawa, led by Lyne Jrade. The purpose of this study is to find out more about the experiences of women with infertility and seeking fertility treatments in the province of Ontario who are of Arab descent, as well as to identify possible avenues by which services could be improved in this area. Interviews for this study are conducted via telephone or Skype.

    This study is being conducted at the University of Ottawa; it is not affiliated with the Ottawa Fertility Centre.

    For more information regarding participation contact Lyne Jrade or download the study flyer below in:


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