“The EFA’s mission is to fund landmark endometriosis research,” Tamer Seckin, MD, fellow of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and EFA’s founder and medical director, said in a press release.
“Research is so important because it helps us to understand the sub-types of endometriosis; something that will assist us to develop better treatment strategies. This research embraces the pertinent and important topics that cover the social impact of endometriosis as well as looking at the cellular and molecular make-up of the disease,” Seckin added.
The awards, totaling $200,000, are for these projects:
- Stanford University – “Reducing reactive aldehyde levels to treat endometriosis-associated pain,” led by Eric R. Gross MD, PhD
- Johns Hopkins School of Medicine – “Analyze the Molecular Genetic Landscape of Endometriosis,” led by principal investigator Ie-Ming Shih, PhD
- UT Health San Antonio – “Enhanced endometrial-mesothelial gap junction communication in endometriosis,” led by Nameer Kirma, MD
- College of Human Medicine of Michigan State University – “Altered Hippo Signaling Pathway in Endometriosis,” led by Niraj R. Joshi, MD
- Southern Illinois University (SIU) School of Medicine – “Utilizing the Microbiome to Diagnose Endometriosis,” led by Andrea Braundmeier-Fleming, PhD
- University of Cincinnati – “The Environmental Contaminant di-(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) Induces Endometriosis,” led by Katherine A. Burns, PhD
- Columbia University Medical Center – “Phendo, an App to Track and Understand Endometriosis” led by Noemi Elhadad, PhD
- George Mason University – “Innovations in understanding and responding to the psycho-social health impacts of endometriosis among young adult women,” led by Jhumka Gupta, ScD, MPH
- Fundacion Incliva – “Global multivariant analysis of putative biomarkers identified through a combined multi-technical approach for the early non-invasive detection of endometriosis,” led by Raul Gomez Gallego
- UT Health San Antonio – “Estrogen receptors alpha and beta influence attachment of endometrial cells to peritoneal mesothelial cells,” led by Jennifer Knudtson, MD.
“I am very grateful to the EFA for supporting the work of the Citizen Endo project (Phendo App),” said awardee Noemie Elhadad. “There is a disconnect between the women’s experience of endometriosis and the current medical understanding of its symptoms and potential treatments, and as such there is a dire need for researchers to bridge this gap.”
“We are seeing some great opportunities to understand endometriosis from all perspectives,” said Seckin. “The prevalence of endometriosis is approximately one in 10 women. The world tends to know much more about life-threatening diseases that are less prevalent than endometriosis, but do not consider how much endometriosis can affect one’s life as well as the lives around the sufferer. Research is going to open the door to new diagnosis and treatment options,” Seckin said.
Last year, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) had a total budget of $32.3 billion. Only $11 million was allocated for endometriosis research, the same amount that was allotted for 2017, according to the EFA. EFA is leading the effort to push government agencies, foundations and others to recognize the importance of endometriosis and prioritize research funding for 2018.