Endometriosis, Adenomyosis and Leiomyomas

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Richard E. Leach , MD, FACOG, FACS

Professor and Chair

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Fazleabas, Asgi T., PhD

Professor and Associate Chair of Research

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Jeong, Jae Wook, PhD

Associate Professor

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Ford, Sabrina, PhD

Assistant Professor

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Teixeira, Jose M., PhD

Professor

 

Dr. Fazleabas research lab established a baboon model for endometriosis. The focus of these studies are to understand the etiology and pathophysiology of Endometriosis, a poorly understood, enigmatic disease that affects five to fifteen percent of all women of reproductive age and has an estimated economic impact of approximately 22 billion dollars in the US.

 It is reported to be the leading cause of infertility in women. The unique nature of the primate model that he has developed to study endometriosis and the strong multi-disciplinary group that he has established has led to important and fundamental findings regarding the causative effects of endometriosis on aberrant gene expression in the eutopic endometrium that may contribute to infertility.  Furthermore, studies from  the. Fazleabas's laboratory has also identified the genes that may be involved with the process of angiogenesis and cell adhesion during the establishment of lesions in the peritoneal environment.

Major hallmarks of endometriosis are unopposed estrogen action and progesterone resistance. Elucidating the molecular mechanisms by which the steroid hormones control uterine physiology is paramount to understanding the pathology of endometriosis . Dr. Jeong has identified Mitogen Inducible Gene 6 (Mig-6) as a target gene of Progesterone Receptor (PR) action in the uterus. His laboratory has observed a decrease in MIG-6 expression in women with endometriosis. They have demonstrated that Mig-6 is an important mediator of the inhibition of E2-induced proliferation by P4 using knock-out mouse models.. The current focus in his laboratory is to investigate the negative regulatory role of Mig-6 in endometriosis and identify the molecular mechanisms by which Mig-6 governs this regulation.