Protein and antibody arrays have emerged as a technology to study protein expression and protein function in a high throughput manner. RayBiotech, Inc., as a protein array pioneer company, has developed many unique protein and antibody array technologies and products for the research community. These protein and antibody arrays present a new opportunity to profile protein expression levels in endometriosis patients'samples and identify useful biosignatures for diagnosis, drug development, and patient care. We have now developed innovative platforms that we believe can accelerate the accomplishment of these goals. Currently, there is no safe, easy and cost-effective way to diagnose endometriosis. As the operative procedures for diagnoses are not without risks, many clinicians elect to forgo surgical confirmation of endometriosis, particularly in adolescents and young women. Thus, many women are subjected to empiric therapies without a definitive diagnosis. Standard medical endometriosis treatments include medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), danazol and GnRH-agonists;therapies that are only partially effective and commonly produce untoward side effects stemming from estrogen deficiency. Hence, a diagnostic alternative to laparoscopy or other surgical procedures is desperately needed. It is our contention that the protein array technology developed by RayBiotech, Inc can fulfill this need of offering a low cost, simplified alternative for the diagnosis of endometriosis as well as provide a guide in clinical patient management. In this grant application, we will profile the protein expression patterns, tyrosine phosphorylation status, and glycosylation patterns of 247 biomarkers in 50 patients'and 50 control biopsy tissues. The data will be collected and analyzed using biostatistical and bioinformatic tools. From the initial screening, we expect to identify a panel of biomarkers which have power to distinguish normal subjects from endometriosis patients. In phase II, we will develop quantitative antibody arrays to simultaneously detect all relevant biomarkers identified in phase I. The quantitative protein arrays will be used to assay 400 samples of endometriosis and 400 control biopsy tissues, analyze the data using biostatistics and bioinformatics, and develop a prediction algorithm for clinical diagnosis of endometriosis. Furthermore, some key factors identified in this study may stimulate questions into their basic roles in the development and progression of endometriosis which could become the subject of future investigations. Our long term goal is to identify biomarkers and biosignatures for diagnosis and personalized treatment of endometriosis.

Public Health Relevance

Identification of biomarkers for endometriosis will significantly increase benefits for the treatment of endometriosis patients. Combining biomarker platforms developed by RayBiotech and high quality specimens from the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Emory University School of Medicine, we hope to identify a biosignature of the endometrium of endometriosis patients that will provide a low cost, simplified surgical alternative for the diagnosis of this disease.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Grants - Phase I (R41)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-EMNR-E (10))
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Raybiotech, Inc.
United States
Zip Code
Browne, Aimee S; Yu, Jie; Huang, Ruo-Pan et al. (2012) Proteomic identification of neurotrophins in the eutopic endometrium of women with endometriosis. Fertil Steril 98:713-9