Aaron K. Styer, M.D.

Aaron K. Styer, M.D.

Investigator, Vincent Center for Reproductive Biology
Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, Harvard Medical School

The focus of our group’s work is the study of endometriosis and uterine fibroids, and the ultimate development of consistently effective medical therapies for this benign gynecologic disorder. Our studies have been based in the development and application of a novel immunocompetent, sygeneic mouse endometriosis model. Use of this model with mutant and wild type animals has been instrumental in characterizing the attachment and maintenance of endometriosis-like lesions in vivo. Notably, our recent work in this animal model has elucidated the functional role of the cytokine leptin, which has also been implicated in the pathogenesis of human disease. Specifically, we have demonstrated the mitogenic and neoangiogenic significance of leptin during the establishment of ectopic endometrial lesions and the early recruitment of vasculature (Endocrinology 2008; 149(2):506-14).

Ongoing studies have focused on the anti-inflammatory and anti-angiogenic role of omega three fatty acids during the incipient stages of endometriosis-like lesion development. Through continued investigation of our in vitro and in vivo models, we hope to increase our understanding of the potential application of this dietary supplement as an adjuvant therapy for human disease. In addition to animal studies, we will initiate gene express profile studies of banked human endometriosis and fibroids, with a long term goal to clearly understand the underlying mechanisms of disease development and recurrence.