The division of Reproductive Biology Research was awarded a five year P01 Program Project, funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development.
Uterine fibroids, also known as uterine leiomyoma, are benign tumors originating from the muscle layer of the uterus, called the myometrium. These tumors can range from a few millimeters to over 20 cm in size. Leiomyomas are common and can occur in up to 77 percent of women while up to 20 percent of women suffer from pain and discomfort, and excessive menstrual bleeding greatly affecting quality of life. Current therapies for fibroids are limited with hysterectomy being the major mode of treatment.
P01 Program Project
Principal Investigator: Serdar Bulun
Goal: To study the basic biology of uterine fibroid growth in response to hormones in order to identify novel targets for therapy.
Project I: Serdar Bulun (PI)To study how fibroids are affected by progesterone and how anti-progestins work to shrink the tumors
Project II: J. Julie Kim (PI), Debu Chakravarti (PI)To study how progesterone activates the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway which promotes growth and survival of fibroids. The effect of inhibitors to this pathway on fibroid tissues and cells are being investigated.
Project III: Romana Nowak (PI; UIUC)To study how proteins involved in fibrosis, such as collagen, which are abundantly made by fibroids, affect growth and survival of fibroids. Antifibrotic compounds are being tested as potential therapeutics for uterine leiomyoma.