Professor Neri Laufer, chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology since 1993, is world renown as a pioneer in the field of reproductive biology, specializing in infertility (IVF, in vitro fertilization). He was the founder of IVF centers in Yale, New Haven, CT and Mt. Sinai Hospital, NY and of both Hadassah IVF centers, Ein Karem and Mt. Scopus. Among his achievements is that he was the first to publish successful artificial preparation of the endometrium and oocyte donation in women without ovaries (1986). This clinical breakthrough led to a new understanding of the physiology of embryo implantation and the ability to artificially manipulate the endometrium for successful implantation reflected in twenty years of publications related to the issue of endometrial receptivity in natural and stimulated cycles. He pioneered the use of gonadotropins for follicular development and ovulation (1983-2004) and growth hormone for optimizing follicular development (1992). He initiated micromanipulation in IVF (1988) and was the first to employ laser drilling in assisted fertilization (1991) to allow sperm penetration of the oocyte.
Professor Laufer is recognized for his work in preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD)(1994). He reported the molecular analysis of RH factor in single blastomeres and was the first to report a detection method for two mutations of the cystic fibrosis gene using multiplex PCR followed by nested PCR as well as PGD of Jewish genetic diseases such as, familial dysautonomia (FD).
More recently (2004-present) his basic research interests have focused on the study of molecular mechanisms involved in reproductive aging as well as the genetic factors which allow some women to remain fertile well into their forties. In a collaborative effort with bioinformatics researchers he performed gene array analysis which revealed several gene families whose expression differed in an older fertile population. He currently uses a mouse model to investigate the molecular mechanism of the rejuvenation potential of pregnancy on stem cell activity.
Professor Laufer is past chairman of the Israel Fertility Society and a member of the advisory board of ESHRE (European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology). He serves on the editorial board of Fertility Sterility and is an associate editor for both The Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics and of Reproductive Sciences. He is a coauthor of over twenty chapters in books and has edited both Advances in Assisted Reproductive Technologies (Plenum Press, 1988) and Current Diagnosis and Treatment Obstetrics and Gynecology (Lange series, McGraw Hill, 2007).