The Discriminating Female

How the choosy female immune system exercises reproductive quality control

The success or failure of human reproduction has been thought to depend on many things over the years, but the female immune response isn’t one of them. In fact, it was widely believed to remain passive throughout the process.

Recent research at the University of Adelaide’s Robinson Institute, however, is turning the conventional wisdom on its head.
The woman’s immune system has been shown to play a critical role from conception to embryo implantation to placental development, actively assessing sperm quality, embryo viability and embryo-maternal compatibility, then “deciding” whether or not to proceed.

Professor Sarah Robertson will discuss these fascinating insights and explore their exciting implications for the treatment of many fertility disorders.

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About the Speaker

Professor Sarah Robertson is Co-Director of the Research Centre for Reproductive Health at The Robinson Institute, University of Adelaide. She is an NHMRC Principal Research Fellow, has published over 100 peer-reviewed journal papers and is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Reproductive Immunology.

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