My primary focus is in exploring molecular and genetic mechanisms explaining the cause of endometriosis. Endometriosis is a disease where the lining of the uterus is implanted in the abdomen. The exact cause of this disease is unknown. We are looking into specific changes in the genome of those patients that may explain the disease. As a result, specific targeted treatment could be developed for this devastating disease.

The other focus of our research is to look into mechanisms to improve on the in vitro conditions of human embryo development. We are also looking to optimize the current techniques used for embryo freezing.

In addition, we are looking into the safety aspects of doing minimally invasive surgery using robotics.


Fibrinolytics System Gene Polymorphisms and Endometriosis Risk: A Prospective Nested Case-Control Investigation from the Nurses Health Study II
Background: Several studies have identified associations between gene polymorphism in the inhibitors and stimulators of fibrinolysis in women with endometriosis. It remains unclear whether these polymorphisms are etiologically related to endometriosis.

Objective: To examine single gene polymorphisms (SNPS) in the inhibitors of fibrinolysis, i.e., the plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (PAI-1), and tissue activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor (TAFI), and stimulators of fibrinolysis, i.e. tissue (tPA) and urokinase (uPA) plasminogen activator genes, in endometriosis patients and controls.

Surgical anatomy for supraumbilical port placements: implications for laparoscopic surgery
With advent of robotic surgery and laparoscopic surgery for large masses, supraumbilical port placements are required. Understanding the surgical anatomy of this region is mandatory for safe and succesful access.

The objective of this study is to establish the location of the aorta and the inferior vena cava (IVC) in relationship to and at one-centimetre increments above the umbilicus (one to five centimetres), and determine if it varies as a function of the abdominal wall thickness and patient BMI and to evaluate safety when operating laparoscopically in an obese population.

Progesterone receptor expression and different endometriosis phenotypes
Study question: Does endometriosis alter the expression profiles of progesterone receptor isoforms (PR-A and PR-B) consistently in eutopic endometrium, peritoneal and ovarian endometriosis?

Summary answer: A PR A dominant state is detected uniformly in eutopic endometrium, peritoneal endometriosis and ovarian endometriomas in all phases of the menstrual cycle compared to healthy controls.


Title: Assessment of Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) Levels in Prepubertal Children Undergoing Gonadotoxic Chemotherapy Source: Cleveland Clinic Foundation Position: Principal investigator Period: 2006-2009 Direct Costs: $35,000

Honours & Awards

Society for Reproductive Surgery Award, (Surgical Anatomy of the Supraumbilical Region: Implications for Laparoscopic and Robotic surgery). at the 69th Annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and the IFFS, Boston, MA, USA, October 12-17, 2013.

ASRM Star Award, at the 69th Annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and the IFFS, Boston, MA, USA, October 12-17, 2013.

Research Group Members

Lobna Abdellatif, Graduate Research Assistant
Sukainah Alfaraj, Graduate Research Assistant
Fahad Alotaibi, Trainee
Amy Castiglione, Program Assistant
Olena Maydan, Research Assistant, Research Assistant
Sunaina Sharma, Graduate Research Assistant
Ali Sobhani Sanjbad, Visiting Professor