Sex Steroid Hormone Action in Reproductive Health and Disease
Research in a Nutshell
Sex steroids including androgens and oestrogens are synthesised in the gonads and adrenals as well as in peripheral tissues e.g. adipose and skin. Steroids circulate in the blood and act as on tissues throughout the body. The endometrium is a multicellular tissue located within the womb (uterus) which is under endocrine control of ovarian hormones that fluctuate during the monthly menstrual cycle and regulate repetitive episodes of proliferation, angiogenesis, inflammation and tissue repair.
Endometrial cancer is the 4th most common malignancy in women and the most common gynaecological malignancy in developed countries. The incidence of endometrial cancer is rising, with alarming increases described in the 40-44 age group largely owing to escalating rates of obesity.
Professors Mark Arends and Alistair Williams (Pathology) – Diagnostic strategies for endometrial cancer
Professor Andrew Horne (MRC Centre for Reproductive Health), Professor Martin Gotte – Endometriosis: new treatment paradigms for pain
Professor Lee Smith (MRC Centre for Reproductive Health), Professor Charlotte Bevan (Imperial) – New models for measuring gender difference in response to androgens
Professor Hilary Critchley (MRC Centre for Reproductive Health) - Mechanisms underpinning heavy menstrual bleeding
Professor Ruth Andrew (BHF Centre for Cardiovascular Science) – Sex steroid profiling using MS/LCMS and tissue imaging
Dr Stephen Jenkins (MRC Centre for Inflammation Research) – Peritoneal disease – impact of immune cell populations and gender differences.
Partners and Funders (current)
2016-2021: MRC Programme Grant. Androgens and women’s health: developing new therapies for endometriosis. £ 1,813,379.
2016-2018: MRC Asset Sharing Scheme. CB2 agonists as a novel treatment for women with endometriosis-associated pain. PI. £302,097.
2016-2020: MOMENDO, H2020-MSCA-RISE-2015. Edinburgh lead. Consortium of six EU and two non-EU partners. 346,500 Euros.
2016-2018: Wellbeing of Women. Novel repurposing of anticancer drugs to treat endometriosis. AW Horne (PI), PTK Saunders, P Fowler, C Becker, D Hapangama, K Zondervan, S Sundar, MC Jones, E Greaves. £198,864.
2016-2021: Mass Spectrometry imaging in translational endocrine research, 202794/Z/16/Z. Wellcome Trust Multiuser Equipment Grant. Co-I. £793,450. [PI Andrew].
2015-2016: Bayer Pharma ‘Grants for Targets’ Title ‘A role for mast cells in oestrogen-dependent nociception in endometriosis?’ 50,000 Euros
2012-2016: MRC Developmental Clinical Studies. Reversing endometrial glucocorticoid deficiency in heavy menstrual bleeding. CoI £1,423,676 [PI Critchley]
2011-2017: MRC Programme Grant. Impact of oestrogens and androgens on immune cells, the vasculature and reproductive stroma. £3,811,883 [G1100356/1]
Current Funding to support individual trainees
2014-2018: PhD Studentship. Phoebe Kirkwood. Tissue Repair Programme. Funded by MRC DTG to UoE. ‘Mechanisms Responsible For Scarless Repair And Regeneration Of Endometrium’. £67,750.
2014-2017: Clinical Research Fellowship; Dr Peter Sanderson. CRUK Centre Grant. ‘Early Diagnosis and Treatment Strategies for Endometrial Cancer’ £170,000.