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Photo of Steven Young, MD
Steven Young, MD, PhD

UNC has been awarded one of only two NIH-funded center grants (P01 mechanism) to establish an Endometriosis Research Center. The Center will be led by Steven Young, MD, PhD, a professor in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology in the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.

Endometriosis is a common disease affecting over 5% of reproductive-aged women, causing pain and infertility in many. The health economic impact of the disease exceeds $60 billion in the U.S. alone. However, the disease is poorly understood, in part due to the need for surgery to obtain a definitive diagnosis. Additionally, there is a knowledge barrier among affected women and their physicians due to normalization of symptoms as well as social stigma that contribute to a deficiency in timely diagnosis and, thus, treatment.

The award of more than $7 million over five years is focused on developing new approaches to endometriosis diagnosis and treatment, an outreach program to educate women and caregivers in North Carolina about the disease, and experiments to better understand fundamental disease mechanisms. The grant was submitted through the UNC Center for Women’s Health Research in November of 2020.

The UNC Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology is partnering with UNC Radiology and other campus members, as well as Wake Forest Medical School, Michigan State School of Medicine, and Oregon Health Sciences University to provide new information and new approaches to this common, yet devastating disease.

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