When your father is an OB/GYN and surgeon and your mother is a labor and delivery nurse, you’d think there was some pressure to walk the well-worn path of women’s healthcare.
“But there wasn’t,” said Dr. Franasiak, who grew up in Chesapeake, Va. “While it was never part of my parents’ plan to push me into medicine, they never discouraged what I wanted to do.”
The reason behind his decision to become a fertility doctor?
“The human journey behind the infertility diagnosis,” Dr. Franasiak said, “and the vast potential for research breakthroughs in the field.”
“I’m very drawn to the emotions that come with the diagnosis of infertility,” he said, “and, because infertility is an evolving area of medicine, I wanted to be a part of the scientific discovery of answers to questions that persist in the field.”
While he’s been working to build upon scientific discoveries and breakthroughs, construction workers have been building RMANJ Marlton’s new home for hopeful parents: a brand new fertility center complete with a world-class embryology lab that opened April 9.
Located at 95 Old Marlton Pike West in Marlton, New Jersey, the three-story center provides the full range of fertility services offered at RMANJ’s flagship center in Basking Ridge. Marlton’s embryology lab, which Dr. Franasiak will oversee as laboratory director, will be RMANJ’s second in the state, after Basking Ridge.
As laboratory director, Dr. Franasiak works with the Marlton embryology team to ensure the laboratory operates in accordance with the highest standards. But it’s not just his job – he’s got a deep passion for reproductive medicine. You might even say scientific and clinical excellence is in his genes.
At the completion of his fellowship at RMANJ’s Basking Ridge office in 2016, Dr. Franasiak had contributed to over 50 published scientific papers – some of which were seminal advancements that have been recognized, celebrated, and adopted as the standard of care.
When he’s not helping patients, Dr. Franasiak can be found in the lab working on, you guessed it, research.
Dr. Franasiak’s research is focused on increasing the chances of live birth through IVF. That includes past research on the link between a woman’s age and embryo chromosomal abnormality; research on how Vitamin D impacts egg and ovary health; continued research on embryo and endometrial synchrony; and how the emerging field of the microbiome impacts reproductive outcomes.
“The microbiome is a collection of all the microorganisms that interact with the human body,” Dr. Franasiak explained. “There are many more of these organisms in the body than human cells. We have just realized they exist in high numbers in the male and female reproductive tracts – areas we previously thought were sterile.”
“The goal of our research is to see what effect they have on fertility outcomes and if the microbiome can be manipulated to increase fertility.”
At the end of the day, that’s Dr. Franasiak’s main goal: to constantly improve the quality of care at RMANJ clinics across the state, including the newest addition in Marlton.
“Infertility is a challenging and life-altering diagnosis,” he said, “and my job is not only to help my patients understand the process and offer treatment but do the additional work to ensure that treatment is constantly improving and evolving.”