Inside one in ten women, an invasive disease is ravaging reproductive and surrounding organs, causing serious pain and in some cases, infertility.
Endometriosis is caused by tissue growing and invading the areas around the pelvis, creating rigid scar tissue that reduces the mobility of organs and impedes their function. Professor Grant Montgomery is researching the genetic risk factors behind endometriosis.
He and his team led the largest-ever endometriosis study that confirmed nine locations on the genome associated with endometriosis risk and uncovered five new regions. They are now uncovering targets within these regions.
“It’s a difficult problem, and we are still a long way off identifying all the pieces of the puzzle, but we are making progress and it’s going to come together,” Professor Montgomery said.
“I believe there is potential to use similar processes to those that have been successful in uncovering the genetic factors to also identify the environmental factors.”
If this methodology works, it will pioneer a method for exploring many common diseases, all of which have a combination of genetic and environmental risk factors.
“It’s unlikely that we will complete this puzzle for current sufferers, but I’m hopeful that we can help their daughters.”