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The GHDB supports basic, translational and clinical research programs related to gynecologic health throughout the reproductive lifespan, beginning at puberty and extending through the early menopause. The Branch also supports research training and career development programs for investigators interested in women’s reproductive health. Research in the GHDB portfolio may be funded through grants, cooperative agreements, or contracts.
As a newly established branch, efforts focus on sponsoring research in selected gynecologic areas that have either been overlooked or underfunded, including socioeconomic, racial and ethnic disparities in reproductive health outcomes. The Branch portfolio includes studies on menstrual disorders, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, ovarian cysts and polycystic ovary syndrome, pelvic floor disorders, as well as studies of the mechanisms underlying chronic pelvic pain, vulvodynia, and dysmenorrhea. Obstetric fistula and female genital cutting are also of interest as they apply to both international and immigrant communities. Emerging emphasis is placed on the role of genomics and epigenomics in elucidating etiology and providing novel approaches for treatment options in an array of gynecologic disorders.
Research directed at gynecologic disorders will provide high quality evidence to direct the development of novel methods for prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of gynecologic disorders with the overall goal of improving women’s reproductive health and quality of life.
- Scientific Meetings, Conferences, and Events
- Advances in Uterine Leiomyoma Research: 3rd NIH International Congress This conference brought together researchers working in the fields of medicine, epidemiology, basic research, and therapeutics to foster an exchange of scientific information among members of the uterine leiomyoma research community. The results of this meeting can be found at: Proceedings from the Third National Institutes of Health International Congress on Advances in Uterine Leiomyoma Research: comprehensive review, conference summary and future recommendations [Human Reproduction Update, May/June 2014 (online January 8, 2014) PMID: 24401287
- Research Plan
- The NIH Research Plan on Vulovodynia lays out a scientific agenda for the NIH to conduct and gather rigorous scientific evidence needed to answer questions and fill in knowledge gaps about vulvodynia.
- Branch-Supported Publications:
- Pelvic Floor Disorders
- Sung VW, Rogers RG, Bann CM, Arya L, Barber MD, Lowder J, Lukacz ES, Markland A, Siddiqui N, Wilmot A, Meikle SF, Pelvic Floor Disorders Network. Symptom outcomes important to women with anal incontinence: a conceptual framework. Obstet Gynecol. 2014 May; 123(5): 1023-30. PMID: 24785855
- Barber MD, Brubaker L, Burgio KL, Richter HE, Nygaard I, Weidner AC, Menefee SA, Lukacz ES, Norton P, Schaffer J, Nguyen JN, Borello-France D, Goode PS, Jakus-Waldman S, Spino C, Warren LK, Gantz MG, Meikle SF, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Pelvic Floor Disorders Network. Comparison of 2 transvaginal surgical approaches and perioperative behavioral therapy for apical vaginal prolapse: the OPTIMAL randomized trial. JAMA. 2014 Mar; 311(10): 1023-34. PMID: 24618964
- Nygaard I, Brubaker L, Zyczynski HM, Cundiff G, Richter H, Gantz M, Fine P, Menefee S, Ridgeway B, Visco A, Warren LK, Zhang M, Meikle S. Long-term outcomes following abdominal sacrocolpopexy for pelvic organ prolapse. JAMA. 2013 May; 309(19): 2016-24. PMID: 23677313
- Visco AG, Brubaker L, Richter HE, Nygaard I, Paraiso MF, Menefee SA, Schaffer J, Lowder J, Khandwala S, Sirls L, Spino C, Nolen TL, Wallace D, Meikle SF, Pelvic Floor Disorders Network. Anticholinergic therapy vs. onabotulinumtoxina for urgency urinary incontinence. N. Engl. J. Med. 2012 Nov; 367(19): 1803-13. PMID: 23036134
- Uterine Fibroids
- Aissani B, Wiener H, Zhang K. Multiple hits for the association of uterine fibroids on human chromosome 1q43. PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e58399. PMID: 23555580
- Nair S, Curiel DT, Rajaratnam V, Thota C, Al-Hendy A. Targeting adenoviral vectors for enhanced gene therapy of uterine leiomyomas. Hum Reprod. 2013 Sep:28(9):2398-406. PMID: 23820419
- Dyson MT, Roqueiro D, Monsivais D, Ercan DM, Pavone ME, Brooks DC, Kakinuma T, Ono M, Jafari N, Dai Y, Bulun SE. Genome-wide DNA methylation analysis predicts an epigenetic switch for GATA factor expression in endometriosis. (2014) PLOS Genet. Mar 6;10(3):e1004158. PMC3945170. PMID: 24603652
- Brown CS, Bachmann GA, Foster DC, Gabapentin (GABA) Study Group. Challenge of conducting a multicenter clinical trial: experience in commencing a vulvodynia research protocol. Womens Health (Larchmt). 2013 Mar;22(3):291-2. PMID: 23421582
- Chakrabarty A, Liao Z, Smith PG. Antiogensin II receptor type 2 activation is required for cutaneous sensory hyperinervation and hypersensitivity in a rat hind paw model of inflammatory pain. J Pain. 2013 Oct:14(10):1053-65. PMID: 23726047