Women’s Health Research
Juneau Biosciences is dedicated to genetic discoveries that will revolutionize the approach to women’s health care. Our research is currently focused on developing diagnostic tools and therapies for endometriosis.
Chances are, you or someone you know suffers from endometriosis. The condition affects more than 10 million women in the United States. Every woman with endometriosis is affected in a different way; some experience pain, others infertility, others problems with their periods, and some have no symptoms at all. Endometriosis occurs when the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus (womb) appears in other parts of the body, most commonly in the pelvis.
Currently, there is no cure for endometriosis. Its treatment is individualized, and the options include hormonal medication or targeted destruction of the abnormal tissue during surgery. The response to treatment is variable, and many women require multiple therapies and repeat treatments to control their symptoms. The only way to definitively diagnose endometriosis is by visually inspecting the womb and pelvic area for lesions and other abnormalities during surgery. Due to the difficulties, invasiveness, and expense of diagnosing the condition, the majority of women suffering from endometriosis do so for many years before receiving any treatment.
The study Juneau Biosciences is undertaking is designed to identify the genes that contribute to the development of endometriosis. Once the genes involved are identified, we plan to develop a noninvasive diagnostic test and improved treatments of endometriosis based on that test.
For more details on our current endometriosis research, or to find out how you can participate in our study, please visit our End to Endo webpage.
Population-based Gene Mapping
For these scientific studies, the Juneau Biosciences research team is applying a population-based gene mapping approach. This type of research requires DNA samples from thousands of women with and without the disease; no single sample provides the information needed to make these discoveries. Participants complete a questionnaire along with their sample submission, and our research team reviews all relevant medical records. For the privacy of participants, no personally identifying information is provided to the laboratory or scientific personnel. State-of-the-art equipment is used to process each sample and bioinformatic specialist conduct an evaluation across the entire genome with comparison samples.
Statistical programs are then used to detect trends in the genetic information and match these trends with the clinical information. Gradually, a picture emerges of the genes that consistently play a part in the development of these disorders.
This approach has been used effectively to identify the genes responsible for many diseases. We are optimistic that the discoveries we will make in endometriosis will lead to improved diagnoses and treatment options for women.