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Krina Zondervan

Group Members

Lorraine Stayt (PA to Krina Zondervan)

Kelly Barrett (Research Nurse)

Cecilia Cheuk (DPhil Student)

Qian Feng (Recognised Research Student)

Kurtis Garbutt (Data Manager)

Karin Hellner (Senior Clinical Postdoctoral Fellow)

Carol Hubbard (Research Nurse)

Marina Maritati (Research Technician)

Mira Mousa (DPhil Student)

Hannah Nazri (DPhil Student)

Nilufer Rahmioglu (Senior Postdoctoral Fellow)

Nina Shigesi (DPhil Student)

Kavita Ssubramaniam (Postdoctoral Fellow)

Thomas Tapmeier (Senior Postdoctoral Fellow)

Outi Uimari (Visiting Clinical Research Fellow)

Affiliated:

Lisa Buck (MSc Student)

Lydia Coxon (DPhil Student)

Rebecca Dragovic (Senior Postdoctoral Fellow)

Katy Vincent (Senior Pain Fellow)

Biography

I came to Oxford on an Erasmus exchange scholarship in 1993, after an MSc in Biomedical Sciences (Cum Laude, 1995), at Leiden University, the Netherlands. I read for a DPhil (NDOG/DPH, St Edmund Hall, 1999) on the epidemiology of chronic pelvic pain, and was subsequently awarded an MRC Training Research Fellowship in Genetic Epidemiology based at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, which included an MSc in Genetic Epidemiology (Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands, 2001) and research periods at the Queensland Institute for Medical Research, Australia and the Dept of Human Genetics, University of Pittsburgh, USA.

In 2007, I was awarded a Wellcome Trust Research Career Development Fellowship and in 2012 became Co-Director of the Endometriosis CaRe centre in Oxford (with Christian Becker). I was appointed as Professor of Reproductive and Genomic Epidemiology in 2015.

Other current roles include: Board Member (Secretary), World Endometriosis Society; Chair, Research Directions Committee, World Endometriosis Society/World Endometriosis Research Foundation; Research Advisory Board, Wellbeing of Women UK; Lead for Genetic Discovery & Translation in the Oxford University-Bayer Healthcare Endometriosis Alliance; Scientific Advisory Board member of the Boston Center for Endometriosis (Harvard Medical School, USA); Section Head Endometriosis, Faculty 1000; Scientific Advisory Board member for AbbVie Inc, Bayer HealthCare, and Roche Diagnostics. I was recognised in 2013 as Outstanding Female Scientist (AcademiaNet, by Wellcome Trust nomination).

Krina T. Zondervan

MSc DPhil (OXON)


Professor of Reproductive & Genomic Epidemiology, Co-Director Endometriosis CaRe centre, Director of Graduate Studies

  • Deputy Head of Department

Research

My group works on understanding the pathogenesis of women's health disorders through genomic, molecular, and environmental epidemiological research methods.  We are based at NDOG (Endometriosis CaRe Centre, also comprising the Becker and Vincent groups) and the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics (WCHG), and collaborate with a network of other research groups (inter)nationally.

We focus in particular on endometriosis - a common, poorly understood chronic inflammatory condition in women of reproductive age, involving the presence of endometrial-like cells in extra-uterine pelvic sites. The condition causes pain and sub-fertility; is estimated to affect 5-10% of women in their reproductive years (176 million women worldwide and 1.5 million in the UK); has limited diagnostic and treatment options; and has a major impact on health-related quality of life of sufferers and their families.

Heritable factors are involved in endometriosis risk. Identifying which DNA variants underlie this heritability will improve our understanding of pathogenesis and inform treatment development. With the International Endometriosis Genome Consortium (IEC) we have conducted the largest collaborative genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of endometriosis to date, involving >17,000 women with endometriosis and >190,000 controls, identifying 19 DNA variants affecting endometriosis risk. The consortium has recently expanded to 16 research centres contributing GWAS data on over 60,000 women with endometriosis. We lead the currently ongoing analyses. In addition to continued genetic discovery work, we are now exploring what biological pathways these variants 'signpost', and how findings can aid discovery of novel treatment targets and biomarkers. This work is made possible through the much appreciated involvement of many women with and without the disease, who contribute information and samples to our studies - such as our ENDOX study (jointly led with Christian Becker), and through collaborations within the WERF EPHect network.

Funding

The Wellcome Trust; The Medical Research Council; National Institutes of Health USA; World Endometriosis Research Foundation; The European Union; and industry partners (Bayer AG, MDNA, Roche Diagnostics, Volition)