ScienceChallenge 3: Securing Female Ovarian Function
This challenge addresses two important and critical demographic and socioeconomic changes that our society is currently facing
First, many modern women delay childbearing until their thirties prioritizing education and carrier. With age, the number of eggs decreases and the ability to conceive becomes attenuated. Thus, many women will invariably experience difficulties in conceiving due to few or chromosomal deficient oocytes.
Secondly, one side the rising life expectancy is far beyond any historical records and is currently growing with one year every fourth year. In many parts of the world, women will live into their eighties and nineties, therefore, spend three to four decades in menopause, which on average is constant in the early fifties.
The aim of this challenge is to alleviate these problems by gaining detailed knowledge of ovarian function, which can be used to establish models which, in turn, can be applied for future treatment.
Thus, this challenge focus on the ovary as both an endocrine organ secreting sex-hormones that will influence healthy aging since menopause increases the risk of osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, dementia and cognitive decline due to the loss of circulating sex-steroids, especially in women who enter menopause prematurely (POI-women), but also on how to maintain and/or create oocytes that potentially may be used for reproduction. Diminished reproductive function is at the core of age-related reproductive issues. There are either no remaining follicles to secure steroid production (menopause) or that the eggs in reproductive-aged women do not sustain pregnancy sufficient effectively.
The aim of the present project is to substantially alleviate these problems by creating a human artificial ovary within a ten-year period.
Claus Yding Andersen