Research Team

The Reproductive Medicine Division is recognised by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Hong Kong College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists for subspecialty training in Reproductive Medicine. It provides a tertiary referral service in reproductive medicine in Hong Kong. The Division is actively collaborating with a number of centres in Mainland China and other countries on various aspects of reproductive medicine. There are 10 PhDs within the division to provide support for basic scientific research.

Longitudinal studies were carried out in a cohort of about 500 women showing the prevalence of menopausal symptoms changed with time.
Longitudinal studies were carried out in a cohort of about 500 women showing the prevalence of menopausal symptoms changed with time.
Endometrial and subendometrial blood flow determined by three-dimensional power Doppler ultrasound and shell technique Endometrial and subendometrial blood flow determined by three-dimensional power Doppler ultrasound and shell technique

Reproductive Medicine

Staff
  • Prof. P.C. HO
  • Prof. Ernest H.Y. NG
  • Prof. William S.B. YEUNG
  • Dr. Raymond H.W. LI
  • Dr. Calvin K.F. LEE
  • Dr. Estella Y.L. LAU
  • Dr. Philip C.N. CHIU
  • Dr. Cherie Y.L. LEE
  • Dr. W.M. LIU
  • Dr. Rachel W.S. CHAN
  • Dr. Keith C.L. LEE
  • Dr. Kevin K.W. LAM

1. Fertility Regulation

We are conducting a clinical trial to assess whether moistening the misoprostol tablets can improve its clinical efficiency.

As mifepristone is not available in many countries, we are investigating whether letrozole, an aromatase inhibitor, can facilitate medical abortion induced by misoprostol. Our preliminary results showed that letrozole can improve the efficacy of misoprostol in termination of pregnancy up to 63 days. The efficacy of letrozole appears to be less effective than mifepristone. Moreover, it does not appear to be effective in the second trimester. We are trying to refine the regimen of administration of letrozole to improve its efficacy. We are also studying the possible mechanisms of letrozole in facilitating medical abortion in the first trimester.

We are currently starting a clinical trial to assess the efficacy of UPA in EC before and after ovulation. We are also commencing on a series of laboratory studies to investigate the effect of UPA on expression of ovulation-related genes in ovarian granulosa cells and on tubal function, sperm function and embryo-endometrial attachment.

  1. Effects of ovarian stimulation on endometrial receptivity

    Endometrial and subendometrial blood flow determined by three-dimensional power Doppler ultrasound and shell technique

  2. Psycho-social aspects of assisted reproduction
  3. Menopausal studies

    A double-blind randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial on the effects of Chinese medicine formula (Erxian Decoction) on menopausal symptoms has been started to further study the role of CM in menopause.

    A study on "Fracture incidence reduction and safety of TSE-424 (Bazedoxifene Acetate) compared to Placebo and Raloxifene in Osteoporotic Postmenopausal Women" is ongoing. Genetic study on menopause in Chinese women is also being planned.

  4. Genetic and lifestyle factors associated with age at menarche in Hong Kong Chinese Females
  5. Interaction of sperms and embryos with the female reproductive tract
  6. Glycodelin and reproduction
  7. Study on the genetic causes of male infertility
  8. MicroRNA in reproduction

    MicroRNAs are small non-coding RNAs. They do not code for proteins but suppress their production. They are important in a number of developmental processes. Recently, microRNAs have been reported to be involved in reproduction. We have also data showing that they are important for early embryo development and implantation. Research opportunities for Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy are open for studying the role of microRNAs in early embryo development.

  9. Endometrial Stem Cells

    We are now continuing with the characterisation endometrial stem cells and its involvement in the development of the gynaecologic disease - endometriosis. Research opportunities for Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy are open for studying the role of stem cells in human and mouse endometrium.

    1. A representative culture dish displaying the distribution of endometriotic colonies and variation of colony size after 21 days of culture.
    2. A typical small colony of endometriotic stromal cells
    3. A typical large colony

11. Anti-Mullerian Hormone in Reproductive Medicine

  1. Effect of hormonal contraceptives on serum AMH level: our study demonstrated that serum AMH concentration is not influenced by the use of exogenous hormones
  2. Serum AMH level in women with secondary amenorrhoea: our study suggested that AMH serves as a useful diagnostic tool in differentiating the different causes of secondary oligo-amenorrhoea with very good diagnostic accuracy. Serum AMH concentration is significantly increased by 2 to 3 times in women having WHO group 2 anovulation including polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and is significantly reduced to very low levels in premature ovarian failure (POF), while remaining unchanged in hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism and hyperprolactinaemia compared to ovulatory women.
  3. The significance of serum AMH level in controlled ovarian stimulation and intrauterine insemination: our study showed that higher serum AMH level was associated with significantly higher cumulative live birth rate, and serum AMH level has a modest predictive value on ovarian hyper-response
  4. The significance of serum AMH level in in-vitro fertilisation: We are working on the role of serum AMH in predicting cumulative live birth rates in patients undergoing IVF. We are also planning for clinical trials on the utilisation of serum AMH level in determination of the optimal ovarian stimulation regimen.
  5. Serum AMH in pregnancy: We carried out a retrospective analysis on the role of maternal serum anti-Mullerian hormone level in predicting Down's syndrome pregnancies. There was no significant difference in maternal serum AMH level between pregnancies affected and unaffected by foetal Down syndrome. However, we incidentally found that our first trimester serum samples had higher AMH concentration compared to second trimester samples. We will further investigate the longitudinal change of serum AMH level throughout pregnancy, which may hopefully give some insight on its physiological role and clinical utility during the antenatal period.
  6. AMH in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): we have performed some preliminary work on the correlation between insulin resistance, obesity, hyperandrogenaemia and serum AMH in women with PCOS.

12. Adrenomedullin in oviductal physiology and pathophysiology

We are collaborating with the Departments of Anatomy and Physiology in studying the role of adrenomedullin in ciliary beat and muscular contractility of human oviduct, and its possible pathophysiological role in tubal ectopic pregnancy.

Research opportunities for Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy are open in the following areas of studies:

  1. Gamete-Reproductive Tract interaction: Genomic, Transcriptomic and Proteomic approaches (Prof WSB Yeung, Dr CKF Lee, Dr PCN Chiu)
  2. Glycomic studies on Glycodelin functions and Zona pellucida binding (Prof WSB Yeung, Dr PCN Chiu, Dr CL Lee)
  3. Endometrial Receptivity (Prof EHY Ng, Dr CKF Lee, Dr RTK Pang)
  4. MircoRNA on embryo implantation and cancer development (Dr WM Liu, Dr RTK Pang)
  5. Ectopic pregnancy: Role of Adrenomedullin and Olfactomedin (Dr RH Li, Dr CKF Lee)
  6. Stem cell differentiation and Endometrial stem cell nich (Prof WSB Yeung, Dr CYL Lee, Dr RW Chan)
  7. Spermatogenesis regulation using transgenic/knockout mouse models (Dr CKF Lee)
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