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Fertility and Infertility (FI) Branch

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The mission of the FI Branch (formerly the Reproductive Sciences Branch) is to encourage, enable, and support scientific research aimed at alleviating human infertility, uncovering new possible pathways to control fertility, and expanding fundamental knowledge of processes that underlie human reproduction. To this end, the FI Branch provides funds for basic, clinical, and translational studies that will enhance our understanding of normal reproduction and reproductive pathophysiology, as well as enable the development of more effective strategies for the diagnosis, management, and prevention of conditions that compromise fertility, with the ultimate goal of promoting a better quality of life for all individuals.

FI Branch High Program Priority Topic Areas

The FI Branch has identified ten high program priority topic areas using input from the NICHD Vision process, various advisory panels, meeting proceedings, and Branch staff. These areas (in alphabetical order) for the Branch for calendar years 2015 and 2016 are:

  • Developmental Studies Specifically Addressing the Maternal-Zygotic Transition
  • Early Pregnancy Loss (EPL) with special focus on oocyte aneuploidy, sperm quality, pre-placental processes including decidualization, implantation, vasculogenesis, embryo-uterine cross-talk, and development of biomarkers, screening tests, etc., to predict those at risk for EPL
  • Epigenomic studies and critical windows for epigenetic alteration in reproductive processes, and epigenetic contributions to transgenerational phenotypes
  • Genetics of Idiopathic Male and Female Infertility 
  • Improvement of Fertility Preservation Outcomes by Improving Existing and Developing Novel Technologies
  • Ovarian Aging and Reproductive Decline with special focus on developmental dynamics of primordial follicle pool establishment and regulation and development of new technologies and algorithms to assess and predict ovarian reserve
  • Relationship of Male Fertility Status to Overall Health and Health of Offspring
  • Role of Non-Coding RNAs in Reproductive Health and Disease
  • Role of the Tissue/Cellular Microbiomes in Reproductive Health and Disease
  • Systems Approaches to Assess the Interplay of Clock Genes, Metabolism, and Reproduction Throughout the Lifespan
Applications submitted to the NIH addressing these priority areas that fall below the institute payline will receive special consideration for discretionary funding opportunities. It should be noted, however, that due to current budgetary constraints, the number of applications supported via these funding opportunities will be very limited. ​​​​​​
Last Reviewed: 12/21/2015

Contact Information

Name: Dr Louis Depaolo
Branch Chief
Fertility and Infertility Branch
Phone: 301-435-6970
Fax: 301-480-0289

Staff Directory
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