Alan DeCherney, MD, Director
The Program on Reproductive and Adult Endocrinology (PRAE) can point to a broad, comprehensive, and exceptional list of publications and activities in the areas of endometriosis, fibroids, infertility, and endocrine aspects of disease both basic and clinical. The Program has earned recognition as a national leader in the field; in fact, 10 percent of the papers accepted for presentation at a recent annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine came from the PRAE. A research project that will be presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Gynecologic Investigation includes developing a method of cellular therapy to treat endometrial diseases. Bone marrow derived cells engraft in the uterus; however, it is unknown which specific cell type is responsible for this engraftment. If the cellular subpopulation could be identified, this could be a way to introduce healthy cells into the uterus to treat scarring of the uterine cavity (Asherman s syndrome), recurrent miscarriage, abnormal uterine bleeding, or endometriosis. The primary goal is to develop and characterize the first model system to study endometrial engraftment, using a chimeric bone marrow model in both humans and non-human primates. The project has resulted in a successful Phase II application for the Reproductive Scientist Development program, and it also complements our clinical research projects. Newer (less toxic) methods of Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplant (PBSCT) have resulted in an expanding list of indications to treat nonmalignant conditions; however, their impact on fertility is not known. In collaboration with the hematology branch of NHLBI, we are characterizing fertility in patients undergoing PBSCT.