MSc by Research Student
I am a medical doctor from Slovenia, graduated from University of Ljubljana and University of Heidelberg. During my Masters of Science by Research in Women's and Reproductive Health, I will be focusing on the immunological background of infertility in patients with endometriosis. I am supervised by Dr Jennifer Southcombe, Dr Ingrid Granne, and Assist. Prof. Christian Becker and supported from Rotary International, Tuma Scholarship and Municipality of Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Endometriosis is a disabling disease effecting approximately 175 million women worldwide with a significant proportion of women being subfertile. It is proposed that an unknown change to the immune system is one cause. For the successful implantation of an embryo into the endometrium, immunological adaptations are made, and certain inflammatory pathways must be carefully regulated. CD8T cells are one such type of cell that, if they were strongly activated, could hinder establishment of pregnancy. Indeed, it has been clearly shown that in mice CD8T cells are effectively repelled from the site of embryo attachment. In my project, I will explore if endometrial CD8T cells are different in women with endometriosis, which could contribute to endometriosis associated subfertility.
As a research-oriented clinician, I am motivated by the individual burden of these patients I see in clinic and would like to find a way to improve their quality of life as well as their opportunities for family planning.