Dr Alison Hey-Cunningham

Research Fellow
Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Central Clinical School

Telephone +61 2 9351 4613

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Biographical details

My work focuses on developing a better understanding of endometriosis, with the aim of leading to improved treatments and a better quality of life for women affected by this common disease.

Endometriosis affects 10-15% of women, causing significant pain and suffering, and is a major financial burden on Australian society.

When women have the disease, tissue like the lining of the womb (endometrium) grows in places it shouldn't. These growths (endometriotic lesions) cause pain and can make it difficult for women to get pregnant.

The cause of endometriosis is unknown and how it leads to pain and infertility is poorly understood.

My research looks at what is going wrong in endometriosis and how it causes these distressing and sometimes debilitating symptoms.

Better understanding of the disease will help improve treatment and quality of life for women with endometriosis in future.

Research interests

Pathogenesis of endometriosis

Reproductive immunology

Endometrial vasculature and immunology

Endometriotic lesion characterisation

Selected grants

2012

  • A novel study of development of peritoneal endometrosis: micro-anatomical characterisation of lesions by stages of development; Hey-Cunningham A; Australasian Gynaecological Endoscopy and Surgery Society Ltd/Research Grant.

Selected publications

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Book Chapters

  • Fraser, I., Tokushige, N., Hey-Cunningham, A., Berbic, M., Ng, C. (2010). Pelvic mechanisms involved in the pathophysiology of pain in endometrosis. In Linda Giudice, Johannes L. H. Evers, David Healy (Eds.), Endometriosis: Science and Practice, (pp. 212-229). Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.
  • Berbic, M., Hey-Cunningham, A., Ng, C., Tokushige, N., Maridas, D., Ganewatta, S., Markham, R., Fraser, I. (2010). The role of immunology in endometriosis. In Lucy A Mitchell (Eds.), Endometriosis Symptoms, Disease and Treatment. Nova Science Publishers.

Journals

  • Berbic, M., Ng, C., Black, K., Markham, R., Russell, P., Basten, A., Fraser, I., Hey-Cunningham, A. (2013). A Novel Pilot Study of Endometrial Stromal Cells and Immune Cell Populations in Sentinel Uterine-Draining Lymph Nodes During the Menstrual Cycle and in Endometriosis. Reproductive Sciences, 20(11), 1339-1348. [More Information]
  • Hey-Cunningham, A., Peters, K., Barrera Villa Zevallos, H., Berbic, M., Markham, R., Fraser, I. (2013). Angiogenesis, lymphangiogenesis and neurogenesis in endometriosis. Frontiers in Bioscience, E5(3), 1033-1056. [More Information]
  • El-Hamarneh, T., Hey-Cunningham, A., Berbic, M., Al-Jefout, M., Fraser, I., Black, K. (2013). Cellular immune environment in endometrial polyps. Fertility and Sterility, 100(5), 1364-1372. [More Information]
  • Hey-Cunningham, A., Markham, R., Fraser, I., Berbic, M. (2013). Dysregulation of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors and Their Neuropilin Receptors in the Eutopic Endometrium of Women With Endometriosis. Reproductive Sciences, 20(11), 1382-1389. [More Information]
  • Hey-Cunningham, A., Fazleabas, A., Braundmeier, A., Markham, R., Fraser, I., Berbic, M. (2011). Endometrial Stromal Cells and Immune Cell Populations Within Lymph Nodes in a Nonhuman Primate Model of Endometriosis. Reproductive Sciences, 18(8), 747-754. [More Information]
  • Hey-Cunningham, A., Berbic, M., Ng, C., Markham, R., Fraser, I. (2011). Lymphatic vessels in peritoneal endometriotic lesions. Journal of Endometriosis, 3(2), 59-66. [More Information]
  • Berbic, M., Hey-Cunningham, A., Ng, C., Tokushige, N., Ganewatta, S., Markham, R., Russell, P., Fraser, I. (2010). The role of Foxp3+ regulatory T-cells in endometriosis: a potential controlling mechanism for a complex, chronic immunological condition. Human Reproduction, 25(4), 900-907. [More Information]

Conferences

  • Berbic, M., Hey-Cunningham, A., Ng, C., Tokushige, N., Ganewatta, S., Russell, P., Markham, R., Fraser, I. (2010). Foxp3 expression in eutopic endomeh·ium and peritoneum of women with and without endometriosis. Society for Gynaecological Investigation, Glasgow, Scotland: Society for Gynaecological Investigation.
  • Hey-Cunningham, A., Berbic, M., Ng, C., Black, K., Markham, R., Fraser, I. (2010). Immune cell populations in sentinel uterine-draining lymph nodes of women with endometriosis. Society for Gynaecological Investigation, Glasgow, Scotland: Society for Gynaecological Investigation.

2013

  • Berbic, M., Ng, C., Black, K., Markham, R., Russell, P., Basten, A., Fraser, I., Hey-Cunningham, A. (2013). A Novel Pilot Study of Endometrial Stromal Cells and Immune Cell Populations in Sentinel Uterine-Draining Lymph Nodes During the Menstrual Cycle and in Endometriosis. Reproductive Sciences, 20(11), 1339-1348. [More Information]
  • Hey-Cunningham, A., Peters, K., Barrera Villa Zevallos, H., Berbic, M., Markham, R., Fraser, I. (2013). Angiogenesis, lymphangiogenesis and neurogenesis in endometriosis. Frontiers in Bioscience, E5(3), 1033-1056. [More Information]
  • El-Hamarneh, T., Hey-Cunningham, A., Berbic, M., Al-Jefout, M., Fraser, I., Black, K. (2013). Cellular immune environment in endometrial polyps. Fertility and Sterility, 100(5), 1364-1372. [More Information]
  • Hey-Cunningham, A., Markham, R., Fraser, I., Berbic, M. (2013). Dysregulation of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors and Their Neuropilin Receptors in the Eutopic Endometrium of Women With Endometriosis. Reproductive Sciences, 20(11), 1382-1389. [More Information]

2011

  • Hey-Cunningham, A., Fazleabas, A., Braundmeier, A., Markham, R., Fraser, I., Berbic, M. (2011). Endometrial Stromal Cells and Immune Cell Populations Within Lymph Nodes in a Nonhuman Primate Model of Endometriosis. Reproductive Sciences, 18(8), 747-754. [More Information]
  • Hey-Cunningham, A., Berbic, M., Ng, C., Markham, R., Fraser, I. (2011). Lymphatic vessels in peritoneal endometriotic lesions. Journal of Endometriosis, 3(2), 59-66. [More Information]

2010

  • Berbic, M., Hey-Cunningham, A., Ng, C., Tokushige, N., Ganewatta, S., Russell, P., Markham, R., Fraser, I. (2010). Foxp3 expression in eutopic endomeh·ium and peritoneum of women with and without endometriosis. Society for Gynaecological Investigation, Glasgow, Scotland: Society for Gynaecological Investigation.
  • Hey-Cunningham, A., Berbic, M., Ng, C., Black, K., Markham, R., Fraser, I. (2010). Immune cell populations in sentinel uterine-draining lymph nodes of women with endometriosis. Society for Gynaecological Investigation, Glasgow, Scotland: Society for Gynaecological Investigation.
  • Fraser, I., Tokushige, N., Hey-Cunningham, A., Berbic, M., Ng, C. (2010). Pelvic mechanisms involved in the pathophysiology of pain in endometrosis. In Linda Giudice, Johannes L. H. Evers, David Healy (Eds.), Endometriosis: Science and Practice, (pp. 212-229). Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.
  • Berbic, M., Hey-Cunningham, A., Ng, C., Tokushige, N., Ganewatta, S., Markham, R., Russell, P., Fraser, I. (2010). The role of Foxp3+ regulatory T-cells in endometriosis: a potential controlling mechanism for a complex, chronic immunological condition. Human Reproduction, 25(4), 900-907. [More Information]
  • Berbic, M., Hey-Cunningham, A., Ng, C., Tokushige, N., Maridas, D., Ganewatta, S., Markham, R., Fraser, I. (2010). The role of immunology in endometriosis. In Lucy A Mitchell (Eds.), Endometriosis Symptoms, Disease and Treatment. Nova Science Publishers.

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