The Center for Gynepathology Research (CGR, or The Center) launched in 2009 with the goal of bringing new frontiers of engineering to understanding the basic biology, physiology, and pathophysiology of the female reproductive tract. The Center sought to answer questions like, “We’re giving endometriosis patients drugs, but do we really know their level of pain, and exactly what’s causing it?” and basic science questions like, “How do endometriosis / adenomyosis lesions cause inflammation?” and “How do drugs affect endometriosis lesions?”
Since CGR’s founding, through collaboration among engineers, biologists, and clinicians, it has focused on both basic and translational research to make sense of three things related to endometriosis:
- the wide range of ways endometriosis / adenomyosis afflicts patients,
- the diversity of patient responses to available therapies for these common and morbid diseases, and
- the failure of many patients to respond to any existing therapies.
CGR investigators dive into these questions from the level of basic science – growing lesions from patient-derived tissues – all the way to the clinic – piloting new technologies to monitor patient pain and discomfort non-invasively at home. The Center fosters liaisons with industry, and its research leverages all facets of engineering, with an emphasis on “biological engineering”—fusing approaches from tissue engineering and systems biology to understand disease etiology and progression.
The Center hosts seminars and workshops on topics related to gynepathologies and provides infrastructure for experimental work with primary cells and tissues from patients, sharing new reagents they develop with investigators around the world. This fosters development of new gynepathology-related projects at MIT and in the local Cambridge/Boston community. The Center also has an active teaching outreach program at MIT, involving many undergraduate students in research and providing clinical exposure for MIT pre-medical students.
Please see the CGR People section for lists of current lab students, postdocs, staff, clinical fellows, collaborators, and advisors.