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Our stories - Lynn Yiew


I have always been enthusiastic about science since I was a child. I came to university to study biology, studying the anatomy papers ignited my interest in reproductive biology. Realising how much we still don’t know about female fertility and its associated disorders steered me towards research in this field.

Every female was born with a reserve of eggs (oocytes) in their ovaries that will contribute to the ovulations in their lifetime, which means that this reserve is finite. However, not all these oocytes actually get ovulated. In fact, only a few of them gets selected to ovulation, while others die off. But we still don’t know why some oocytes were selected to ovulate and the others die.

My project aims to study the possible traits of oocytes that were predicted to ovulate through their DNA. From my experiments, I have discovered that these oocytes may be more capable of completing their maturation processes, which means they might have better qualities. The findings from studies could contribute to making assisted reproductive technologies like IVF more effective, as well as broadening the knowledge on the basic biology of the ovaries.

Studying and doing research at Otago has given me a lot of valuable experiences that I could use later in my career as well as life in general. I am looking forward to where my degree will take me next.