APS Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology

Systemic Inflammatory Mechanisms Associated with Endometriosis: From Genes to Environment.

Symposium — Monday, April 4, 2022 — 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM — Convention Center, Room 202A
Sex/Gender Research Interest Group — Chair: Nina Stachenfeld — Co-Chair: Lacy Alexander

Endometriosis is a gynecological disorder dependent on estrogen for growth that causes considerable chronic pelvic pain, pain during intercourse, and is a major cause of infertility. This disorder affects 6% - 10% of reproductive age women, but can be as high as 35-50% in women experiencing pelvic pain and/or infertility. Robust epidemiologic data demonstrate a clear association between endometriosis, reproductive risk factors, inflammation, and increased cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. The estrogen dependency and associated CVD risk in women with endometriosis creates a conundrum: estrogen exposure is considered vasoprotective for women, but estrogen suppression (the standard of care from a clinical standpoint), may be beneficial for reducing inflammatory signaling and lesion proliferation.

This symposium will address the complex disorder that is endometriosis from a variety of unique basic science and clinical perspectives. As a systemic disease, the pathogenesis of endometriosis is complex, with recent data suggesting that endometrial derived cells can migrate to other tissues in the body, including the brain.

Dr. Hugh Taylor will describe the manifestations of endometriosis outside the gynecological system, including lesions in the brain and associated mRNA experiments.

Dr. Valerie Flores will discuss the role of progesterone receptors in endometriosis.

Dr. Idhaliz Flores will describe associated genetics, epigenetic and immune parameters of endometriosis. Finally, compelling data have also recently implicated environmental endocrine disruptors that may both cause and exacerbate endometriosis.

Dr. Katherine Burns will describe her studies demonstrating the impact and mechanisms for the effects of environmental endocrine disrupting chemicals that act estrogenically and as immunotoxicants on endometriosis.

This symposium will bring together experts that will show that endometriosis is a systemic disease process due to chronic systemic inflammation, and that environmental toxicant exposure exacerbate some of this inflammation.


  • Introduction
    Nina Stachenfeld — OB/Gyn and Reproductive Sciences, John B. Pierce Laboratory Yale School of Medicine
    3:30 PM - 3:35 PM

  • Endometriosis: A Complex Systemic Disease
    Hugh Taylor — Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Yale School of Medicine
    3:35 PM - 3:55 PM

  • Endometriosis and the Role of Sex Steroid Receptors in Precision-Based Therapeutics.
    Valerie Flores — Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences, Yale School of Medicine
    3:55 PM - 4:15 PM

  • Investigating Novel Epigenetic, Immune and Behavioral Therapeutic Interventions for Endometriosis
    Idhaliz Flores — Basic Sciences-Microbiology and Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ponce Health Sciences University School of Medicine and Ponce Research Institute
    4:15 PM - 4:35 PM

  • Environmental Immunotoxicants: Do They Affect the Development of Endometriosis
    Katherine A. Burns — College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati
    4:35 PM - 4:55 PM

  • Close
    Lacy Alexander — Noll Laboratory, Pennsylvania State University
    4:55 PM - 5:00 PM

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