World Endometriosis Research Foundation launches at ASRM

22 OCTOBER 2006

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) and the World Endometriosis Society (WES) are proud to announce the first global endometriosis project initiated jointly by these three professional organisations: the establishment of the World Endometriosis Research Foundation.

Logo from World Endometriosis Research Foundation (WERF)The World Endometriosis Research Foundation (WERF) is the first global charitable organisation with an aim to foster research into endometriosis to improve knowledge and treatment(s) of this enigmatic disease

Endometriosis affects an estimated 176 million women around the world, yet its origin is poorly understood, most treatments have side effects, and there is no cure. Endometriosis is commonly associated with infertility and pain in women. The symptoms can leave a woman unable to finish an education or maintain a career and have a significant effect on her quality of life as well as a substantial socio-economic impact.

WERF will achieve its aim of fostering research by providing a platform to attract sufficient funding from a variety of sources to:

  • Facilitate and carry out large scale international multi-centre trials involving sufficient patient numbers to provide results of statistical significance;
  • Support specific research projects investigating disease mechanisms.

An early deliverable will be the establishment of a global research registry.

Says founding trustee Professor Robert Schenken:

“The ASRM, ESHRE and WES have recognised the lack of large scale international clinical trials in endometriosis, the lack of overall funding for research into the disease and, not least, the potential overlap of effort from country to country when centres work in isolation and can’t share data.

This collaboration will allow us to share vital resources within the endometriosis community and work towards improving our knowledge about prevention, early diagnosis and treatment.”

WERF is a registered charity in the United Kingdom, but will operate globally. Its board has representatives from all three founding organisations, with the first board comprising:

  • Professor Robert Shaw (United Kingdom) – president
  • Professor G David Adamson (USA)
  • Professor Thomas D’Hooghe (Belgium)
  • Professor Linda Giudice (USA)
  • Dr Stephen Kennedy (United Kingdom)
  • Professor Robert Schenken (USA)
  • Dr Martyn Stafford-Bell (Australia)
  • Professor Carlos Sueldo (Argentina)

The board has appointed Lone Hummelshoj as Chief Executive.

It is possible to make donations to endometriosis research via WERF’s website: http://www.endometriosisfoundation.org/

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