Erin Carey, MD, director of the Division of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery at UNC OB-GYN, is principle investigator for a project on gynecologic pain that has received a 2019 Innovation Pilot Award of $50,000 from the School of Medicine.

Her co-principle investigator is Dr. Rahima Benhabbour of The Department of Biomedical Engineering.

Their project is called, “A Novel Drug-Delivery System for the Treatment of Vestibulodynia,” and will focus on developing a new treatment for vestibulodynia.

The award states: “Vestibulodynia (VBD) is a very common cause of sexual pain of reproductive aged women in the United States. One of the first-line treatments for VBD, topical lidocaine 5% ointment, cream or gel, is difficult to apply due to the content and lack of a directed delivery system. Innovative vestibule medication delivery systems are needed to permit longer, directed therapy. This project will be the first to apply a specialized thin film technology to the vulvar vestibule.”

The center offers internal pilot funding to UNC Health Care and UNC School of Medicine employees for health care innovations. Since introducing the Innovation Pilot Awards in 2013, the Center has awarded 24 teams over $1,015,000 total to support innovative pilots.