Professor Robert Gilchrist

Q: What is your role at the Randwick Health & Innovation Precinct (RHIP)?
A: I am a professor and research scientist conducting discovery and translational research in reproductive biology and reproductive medicine.
I am a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Investigator Fellow and Research Lead of the discipline of Women's Health, in UNSW’s Faculty of Medicine & Health.
I am head of the Oocyte Biology Research Unit, which is a laboratory research program based in the Wallace Wurth building on the Kensington campus. There I lead a group of academics and professional scientists, students and visiting fellows, conducting research on oocyte and ovarian biology as it pertains to fertility.
I also have a clinical role in the Fertility & Research Centre, based in the Royal Hospital for Women, Randwick. There I established a new clinical treatment called oocyte in vitro maturation (IVM). This is a low intervention infertility treatment for women with polycystic ovary syndrome and for fertility preservation for women and girls diagnosed with cancer. Based on my research and that of others, we are the first clinic in Australia to offer a new approach to IVM.
Q: What attracted you to this type of work?
A: Being a research academic is a privilege. I have the pleasure of leading a research program where we are continuously challenged by new science and new clinical directions. This gives me the opportunity to train young scientists and doctors for future discovery and/or clinical research roles.
I also get to travel the world to meet interesting people and to present my research outcomes. Most importantly, the outcomes of my research program impact the lives of couples trying to achieve their dream of having a family.
Q: What excites you most about the Precinct?
A: World-class clinical services require two sets of interactions:

  • Public health service providers interacting with clinical academics who are across the most recent developments in clinical practice, and;
  • Clinical academics that collaborate with biomedical scientists who are at the coalface of the latest approaches to treating disease.

The Precinct provides the right niche for this to happen.

Q: What do the next six months look like?
A: My group will continue to develop new insights into the basic mechanisms regulating oocyte quality, which forms the basic foundation of a woman’s fertility potential.
Meanwhile, I will continue, at a global level, to lead the clinical application of IVM through an international consortium of clinics, doctors and scientists, aiming to provide know-how, training and education about the modern approach to IVM.
Q: What’s your favourite quote?  
A: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” - Confucius.

Learn more about Randwick Health and Innovation Precinct’s partners, purpose and impact at, and follow RHIP on LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube to keep up to date with what’s happening across the Precinct. 

Published November 2023