EndoFound supports a wide range of innovative research studies that aim to develop better strategies in diagnosing and treating endometriosis. These studies encompass a wide range of topics, from the social impact of the disease to the molecular level. Discover more about the researchers we have funded through our Researcher Spotlight interviews below!
Researcher Spotlight with Dr. Katie Burns
Dr. Katherine (Katie) Burns is an Assistant Professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in the Department of Environmental Health, who received an EndoFound grant in 2018 for her project titled "Exploring the effect of DEHP on endometriosis and and the immune system in a mouse model of endometriosis." EndoFound Research Advisor Deniz Kocas recently sat down with Dr. Katie Burns, an endometriosis patient herself, to discuss how her participation in a National Institute of Health (NIH) clinical trial inspired her to conduct research on endometriosis. Dr. Burns’ research focuses on environmental chemicals that may contribute to developing endometriosis, non-hormonal treatments for endometriosis, and immune cells that may initiate endometriosis. She also discusses why her relationship with EndoFound has been critical to her research, as well as the challenges endometriosis researchers face. Dr. Burns closes by offering suggestions for future endometriosis research.
Researcher Spotlight with Dr. Ie-Ming Shih
EndoFound Research Advisor, Deniz Kocas, recently sat down with Ie-Ming Shih, MD, PhD, who is the Richard TeLinde Distinguished Professor of Gynecologic Pathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In this interview, Dr. Shih discusses how he recognized the need for high impact research in endometriosis and applied his training in gynecologic pathology and cancer molecular genetics to conduct endometriosis research. His project, funded by EndoFound in 2018, revealed that deep-infiltrating endometriosis (DIE) harbors somatic cancer-associated mutations and was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. With excitement, Dr. Shih discusses how these preliminary results motivated him and his team to collaborate with other researchers and apply for an NIH grant. This has resulted in an award of over $3 million which Dr. Shih hopes will result in better diagnosis and treatment for women with endometriosis. Dr. Shih expresses his sincere gratitude to EndoFound for providing the seed funding for the initial project that made it possible to apply to the NIH.
Researcher Spotlight with Dr. Rama Kommagani
Dr. Rama Kommagani, Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis, joined EndoFound for this Researcher Spotlight with Deniz Kocas, EndoFound Research Advisor. Dr. Kommagani discusses how his research on genetic mutations in endometriosis, funded by EndoFound in 2018, can shed light on the development of new diagnostic tools and treatment for endometriosis. Furthermore, his other projects on the gut microbiome have demonstrated that just like environmental and genetic factors, specific bacteria from the diet we consume can impact endometriosis disease progression. Throughout the interview, Dr. Kommagani emphasizes the heterogeneous nature of endometriosis and that future research needs to address the diversity of the condition. He closes by noting that more collaboration and funding is necessary to advance endometriosis research.
Researcher Spotlight with Dr. Erin Greaves
EndoFound sat down with Dr. Erin Greaves, Assistant Professor at Warwick Medical School in the UK, to talk about the research grant she received from EndoFound in 2018. Dr. Greaves discussed how her team has been investigating mouse models of endometriosis to find a model that is most representative of the pathology of endometriosis in women. She explained that this is critical for research on endometriosis, as researchers need the "most physiologically relevant pre-clinical platforms" to test new therapies and find new therapeutic targets. Dr. Greaves also talked about other projects she is working on related to macrophages, a type of immune cell that is involved in the pathophysiology of endometriosis which contributes to pain. This work is trying to determine the source of these macrophages and the specific types that promote disease.