Dr. Valerie A. Flores, MD Receives Early Career Investigator Award for Endometriosis Research

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(Image by Rob Lisak via Yale School of Medicine OBGYN)

At Reproductive Partners San Diego Fertility Center (RPSD), we are constantly pushing the envelope to ensure we uncover the most effective methods in achieving healthy pregnancies for our patients. This year started on a high note as the Society of Reproductive Investigation (SRI) awarded Dr. Flores an Early Career Investigator Award for her submitted abstract #1406 – SUMOylation Mediates Progesterone Resistance in Endometriosis Treatment Failure and Endometriosis-Related Infertility.

We were fortunate to have Dr. Flores join our San Diego medical team mid-last year. As an endometriosis expert with an extensive research background, she embodies our commitment to excellence and upholds the promise of personal care we deliver to all patients we work with.

The Early Career Investigator Awards are supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and will be presented at the 70th Annual Scientific Meeting, which will be held in Brisbane, QLD, Australia. Our heartfelt congratulations go out to Dr. Flores as we look forward to new research and discoveries to come.

Exploring New Therapies Through SUMOylation

Per the SRI, the Early Career Investigator Awards were established to “enhance the career development of early investigators by facilitating interaction with other scientists in the field, development of research collaborations, and exposure to the latest technologies and scientific developments in reproductive biology and medicine.” SRI awardees are selected by competitive review by the Program Committee with special regard paid to representation of women and minorities.

Through her research and discovery, Dr. Flores recently found a molecule (a protein called SUMO) that can bind and modify the progesterone receptor in such a way that renders it non-functional. Since the progesterone receptor is an important target for treating endometriosis-associated pain as well as endometriosis-related infertility, identification of SUMO and its negative effects on the progesterone receptor will hopefully lead to novel therapies that are able to block SUMO activity.

A Continual Commitment to Excellence

In addition to this prestigious honor, Dr. Flores also serves as the Chair-Elect of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) Endometriosis Special Interest Group (Endo SIG). She also presented her research at the ASRM Annual Scientific Congress and led a discussion on Endometriosis and In-Vitro Fertilization this past October. The ASRM is deeply committed to advancing the practice of reproductive medicine through research, education, advocacy, and by providing excellent standards in patient care.

Suffice it to say, since her arrival at RPSD, she has continued solidifying a name for herself in the field to the benefit of our center and patients. Endometriosis is a debilitating gynecologic disease with multifactorial effects throughout the body, and through translational work like Dr. Flores’ we will not only increase awareness about endometriosis, but also ensure that we have the best treatment options available for patients.

If you have questions or concerns about endometriosis, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with us to discuss individualized treatment options for you.