Our research

The research at EXPPECT Edinburgh is led by Professor Andrew Horne and Professor Philippa Saunders.

Each group focuses on furthering understanding of the causes of chronic pelvic pain, endometriosis symptoms and the development of novel treatment strategies.

Find out more about their research below.

Professor Andrew Horne (MB ChB PhD FRCOG FRCP Edin)

Co-Director of EXPPECT Edinburgh, Professor of Gynaecology and Reproductive Sciences, Honorary Consultant Gynaecologist

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Chronic pelvic pain affects over 1 million UK women. Up to 50% will have underlying endometriosis but in the remainder no obvious cause is often identified. We have started a UK-wide multicentre trial to determine whether gabapentin, a drug commonly used to treat other chronic pain conditions, could be an effective treatment for chronic pelvic pain specifically. We have also shown that the cells lining the pelvis are different in women with endometriosis, leading to an altered environment in the pelvis. Our ongoing work aims to use targeted therapies to re-establish a normal healthy pelvic environment and relieve endometriosis symptoms.

Professor Andrew HornePersonal Chair in Gynaecology and Reproductive Sciences, Honorary Consultant Gynaecologist, University of Edinburgh


View the UK-wide multicentre trial, GaPP2, website here.

View Professor Andrew Horne's web page for more information.

Professor Philippa Saunders (PhD FMedSci)

Co-Director of EXPPECT Edinburgh, Chair of Reproductive Steroids, Director of Postgraduate Research

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My work with patient groups has identified that women with endometriosis want more effective medical treatments so that they can avoid repeated invasive surgeries and the unwanted side effects associated with current therapies. I believe that novel therapeutics targeting androgen receptors hold significant promise as a medical treatment for the symptoms associated with endometriosis. My team are working towards understanding the androgen-regulated processes relevant to the establishment, and maintenance of, endometriosis lesions and their interaction with pain pathways.

Professor Philippa SaundersPersonal Chair of Reproductive Steroids and Director of Postgraduate Research, University of Edinburgh

View Professor Philippa Saunders' web page for more information.