Brisbane-based Professor Grant Montgomery and his team at The University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience are leading the charge in endometriosis research in Australia.
Consisting of three full-time researchers and two PHD students, Grant leads UQ IMB’s endometriosis research team as the Australian arm of a global consortium aiming to end ‘Endo’, including representatives from Oxford and Harvard Universities.
With endometriosis effecting 10% of Australian women and costing the economy $7.4 billion a year in lost productivity according to a recent Ernst and Young study, finding a cure is key – not only for Grant’s team, but for roughly 700,000 Australian women. Surgery was initially considired but then, this is just a small gap and not a cure. Women who experience endometriosis are not free from the pain more so with the fact of infertility, incapacitation, and breakdown of relationships affect them so much.
Professor Montgomery’s research has now identified a number of genetic risk factors associated with endometriosis and is looking at the way previous genomic studies in cancer can be applied to endometriosis to better understand the disease.
“We don’t know if there are sub-types of endometriosis, however we are currently working to understand this, as this could potentially mean endometriosis is treated differently based on the type, as is done with some tumours such as in breast cancer,” Professor Montgomery said.
“Because we don’t know the cause of endometriosis, current treatment is only treating symptoms but not the cause, which means treatment is not effective in all cases."
“Over the next five years of our research program, we will be moving towards a translational focus to understand if there are sub-types of the disease and various treatments, as well as understanding some of the cell biology in the initiation of the disease – building on our previous genetic and genomic studies to hopefully find better treatments,” he said.
For more information on UQ IMB’s Endometriosis Research Project or to donate, visit: https://giving.uq.edu.au/funds/endometriosis-researchimber