Gynecological conditions are major sources of infertility, chronic pelvic pain, decrease fecundity and psychological morbidity. Infertility is a worldwide public health issue with a prevalence that is reported to be the highest in the Middle East. The most common benign conditions underlying infertility are endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and uterine fibroids. Suggested contributing factors of the high prevalence of women health diseases in the Middle East are consanguineous marriages, war exposure, dietary risks and physical inactivity. Women health diseases are complex traits, where both genetic variants and environmental exposure interplay in the disease. The path to providing new methods of non-invasive diagnostic tools and novel therapeutic interventions lies to the advancement of understanding the fundamental pathogenic processes underlying gynecological diseases, both from an epidemiological approach and a genetic approach.
The aim of my project is to conduct an genetic epidemiological study of women health diseases in the Middle East. I will investigate the prevalence rate of gynecological conditions and differing lifestyle factors, geographic setting and related co-morbidities. The second aim of my project is to identify novel genetic variants of endometriosis by conducting a genome-wide association study (GWAS) from women with an Arab ancestry. The GWAS approach gives a clear investigation of whole allelic frequency spectrum to identify rare genetic variants associated with a phenotypic trait. I will be conducting the first Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS) of endometriosis in the Middle East, and the largest GWAS on women health conditions in the region.
Previously, I have achieved a Summa Cum Laude from my Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Science at the University of Central Florida, USA, and a Distinction for my Master’s degree in Prenatal Genetics and Fetal Medicine, University College London.