Meera Nanjundan, PhD
University of South Florida
Role of Autophagy in the Transition from Endometriosis to Ovarian Cancers
Dr. Nanjundan proposes that endometriosis, an inflammatory gynecological disease, is a “precursor lesion” leading to the development of endometrioid/clear cell ovarian cancers. Although less frequent relative to serous ovarian cancers, often the prognosis is worse. This project will investigate whether “autophagy,” a survival mechanism which could be activated in response to iron (a product of heme elevated in endometriotic cysts), is involved in the transition from endometriosis to ovarian cancer.