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The Endometriosis Foundation of America (Endofound) announced today, as part of Endometriosis Awareness Month, they have awarded a total of $200,000 in research funding to research projects focusing on endometriosis.
“The Endofound’s mission is to fund landmark endometriosis research,” said Tamer Seckin, MD, FACOG, and Founder & Medical Director of the Endofound. “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.”
The research studies range from understanding the pathogenesis of endometriosis to lead to improved treatments, to developing a biomarker to predict endometriosis earlier while also potentially uncovering a therapeutic strategy for endometriosis-associated pain, to a mobile app to track and understand the disease.
"I am very grateful to the Endofound for supporting the work of the Citizen Endo project (Phendo App). 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. With the growing awareness about endometriosis, the voice of women suffering from the disease getting louder, and advances in big data and health analytics, it is an exciting time to contribute to research in endometriosis and work towards a cure.," said awardee Noemie Elhadad, PhD, an Associate Professor of Biomedical Informatics and Computer Science at Columbia University. Her work is at the intersection of medicine, big data, and more recently mobile health.
Jhumka Gupta, an Assistant Professor of Global and Community Health at George Mason University, is studying how endometriosis (including symptoms suggestive of endometriosis) might impact the social, academic, and economic well-being of college-aged women.
“We are seeing some great opportunities to understand endometriosis from all perspectives,” said Seckin.
In 2016, The National Institutes of Health (NIH) had a total budget of $32.3 billion and only $11 million was allocated for endometriosis research, the same amount allotted for 2017. The Endofound is pushing for government agencies, foundations and others to recognize and prioritize endometriosis funding for 2018.
“The prevalence of endometriosis is approximately one in ten women,” said Seckin. “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.”
The Endofound, a nonprofit organization dedicated to combating endometriosis, a debilitating reproductive disease that affects one in ten women of childbearing age in the United States, strives to increase disease recognition, provide advocacy, facilitate expert surgical training, and fund landmark endometriosis research.
The research awards were given to projects at the following universities: