Focused on improving our global community through excellence in discovery, learning, creativity, and leadership.
Improving Health Through Discovery
Focused on improving our global community through innovative and quality clinical & translational research.
Dr. Azziz’s laboratory has made major discoveries concerning our understanding of Androgen Excess disorders in women, and on the physiology and regulation of androgen, particularly adrenal, steroidogenesis. Select accomplishments, include but are not limited to: i) establishing the populational prevalences of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), idiopathic hirsutism, and 21-hydroxylase deficient non-classic adrenal hyperplasia (NCAH); ii) elucidating the molecular, genetic and physiologic mechanism(s) resulting in adrenal androgen (AA) excess in PCOS; iii) uncovering the mechanisms underlying the AA excess of NCAH, which primarily results from alterations in intra-adrenal enzyme kinetics, and not cortisol deficiency and ACTH excess, as was commonly thought; iv) establishing the familial risk for PCOS and discovering many of the candidate genes and genetic variants which play a role in the disorder; and v) beginning to identify the molecular defects in adipose (fat) tissue present in PCOS which results in the disorder’s metabolic dysfunction and the increased risk for diabetes and other complications suffered by these patients.
Dr. Azziz’s laboratory has made major contributions to translating research data into better care for patients, including, but not limited to: i) leading the development of the Androgen Excess & PCOS Society, Inc.’s diagnostic criteria for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS); ii) proposing a phenotypic approach to the diagnosis and classification of PCOS, which would allow for the recognition that there are different types of patients with varying risks of metabolic dysfunction (diabetes, etc.); iii) formulating and corroborating the clinical strategy for the screening of 21-hydroxylase deficient non-classic adrenal hyperplasia (NCAH); and iv) devising simplified approaches to evaluating hirsutism (excess male-like hair growth) in women.
As a physician-scientist, Dr. Azziz has been focused on ensuring the education and training of established and emerging scientists, healthcare professionals, patients and their families, our elected and appointed representatives, and the greater public, concerning the impact and importance of women’s health, reproductive medicine, and Androgen Excess (AE) disorders, including Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). He has lectured extensively worldwide on his team’s research findings, and holds and has held numerous teaching positions at various top universities.
In the field of reproductive endocrinology he served as founding Program Director of the Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility (REI) Fellowship Training at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), and Co-Director, REI Fellowship Training Program at UCLA. He was also the Program Director for the Ob/Gyn Residency at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (CSMC). Additionally, he is the Founder of the Androgen Excess & PCOS Society, Inc. (AE-PCOS Society), the only international organization dedicated to promoting the generation and dissemination of knowledge related to all aspects of AE disorders.
He has served as a strong advocate for the study of AE disorders and PCOS, through his roles in the Androgen Excess & PCOS Society, Inc., in the establishment of the Androgen Excess Special Interest Group with the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, and by working with a number of patient advocacy groups including the Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Association (PCOSA) and PCOS Challenge. For his efforts, he was awarded the PCOS Challenge Leadership and Advocacy Award in 2014.