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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
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The Urgent Need for New Uterine Fibroid Treatments with Serdar Bulun, MD

It is the most common tumor found in women and is the cause of 200,000 hysterectomies in the United States every year. Yet, uterine fibroids have not been a frequent topic of medical research. Northwestern’s Serdar Bulun, MD, leads one of the few research programs focused on the molecular and cellular abnormalities that may cause uterine fibroids and is investigating novel targets to treat the condition.


Serdar Bulun, MD

"Although we define uterine fibroids as a benign disease, it's not that benign. It destroys a lot of lives."

— Serdar Bulun, MD

  • Chair, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Interim Chief of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • John J. Sciarra Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Member of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center

Episode Notes

Serdar Bulun, MD, directs Northwestern’s Uterine Leiomyoma Research Center. His work has greatly advanced uterine fibroid research and many other understudied conditions that affect women’s health.

By age 50, about 70 to 80 percent of all women will develop uterine fibroids, noncancerous tumors also known as leiomyomas, and 15 to 20 percent of those patients experience severe symptoms that can include excessive uterine bleeding, anemia, recurrent pregnancy loss and fertility problems. Though fibroids are the most prevalent tumor in women, they have not been a frequent topic of research.

During the past decade he and his team of investigators have been awarded more than $20 million from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to study uterine fibroids. His program is the only National Institutes of Health-funded basic science research program focusing on fibroids in the world. The most recent renewal of this grant came in August 2019. 

Additional Reading:

  • Bulun was the senior author of a study published in Stem Cell Reports about creating uterine stem cells for the first time
  • A review article about uterine fibroids by Bulun, published in The New England Journal of Medicine
  • Bulun's Northwestern Medicine doctor profile

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