Ectopic Pregnancy Study
Goal of the study:
Ectopic pregnancy (the implantation of the embryo outside of the uterus) affects approximately 1 in 40 pregnancies. Unfortunately, there are currently no treatments that can be utilized to save the life of the baby, meaning that such cases of ectopic pregnancy end with the termination of the baby’s life.
The goal of our study is to investigate the potential for developing a surgical technique that could be used to transfer an embryo/fetus in the case of an ectopic pregnancy. As it is not ethical to conduct this experimentation in humans, the goal of our work is to develop this technique in an animal (the laboratory rat) in the hope that the information can benefit humans.
While the reproductive anatomy of the rat is different from that of the human, its design gives us an opportunity to investigate a scenario that would allow us to understand the potential factors that would be involved in such a transfer.
In summary, it is our hope that the findings from our study will provide the medical community with a foundation for the further investigation of such a surgical procedure in the human, preserving both the life of the mother and the baby.
Background & Other Information
The principal investigator, Dr. Stephen Sammut, has been conducting research in animal models for over 20 years. He has authored and co-authored several papers in leading scientific journals related to the research he has conducted and has also presented his work at various conferences and institutions, both nationally and internationally.
Over the past 5 years, using privately donated funds, two smaller grants and donated equipment, totalling over $200K, Dr. Sammut has set up a lab that has the basic necessities for conducting animal research for the benefit of humanity. He manages the lab facility according to the required ethical standards and works within a very limited budget, making the most out of the funds available.
The proposal discussed above has been reviewed scientifically and an initial start-up grant of $50,000 was awarded by the Watson Bowes Research Institute (www.watsonbowesresearchinstitute.org). These funds have been utilized to purchase some of the necessary equipment, as well as to pay a part-time salary for a research assistant who works full-time, volunteering for the other half of the time.
In order for this work to continue, it is necessary to obtain funding for maintaining the research assistant position (at the very least at part-time level, $20K/year) and both maintaining and purchasing more of the necessary equipment (~$40K). Much of the equipment that is needed can also be utilized for the other projects being conducted in the lab. We currently have a commitment of $30,000 ($10K/year) to cover half of the part-time salary for the research assistant. We are looking for donations to match this amount for the salary, as well as for the equipment mentioned above.
Your donation will assist in allowing this important research to continue and potentially save many lives.