Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

New therapeutics for endometriosis; Understanding the role of the micro-environment in the pathogenesis of endometriosis


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Dr Fiona Cousins is a post-doctoral research scientist within the Women's Health Group, led by Professor Caroline Gargett, at Hudson Institute. Her current research projects are focused on the immunomodulation of the peritoneal environment in women with endometriosis and identifying new targets for endometriosis treatment.

After completing a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Reproductive Biology in 2007 at The University of Edinburgh, Dr Cousins worked for bio-manufacturer Alba Bioscience (Quotient) before pursuing a Master of Science degree in Biomedical Sciences at Edinburgh Napier University in 2009.

From 2010-2014, Dr Cousins completed her PhD under the supervision of Professors Philippa Saunders and Hilary Critchley at The University of Edinburgh. Her project focused on delineating the mechanisms that contribute to the restoration of endometrial integrity following menstruation. During her PhD, Dr Cousins was also part of a group that developed an animal model for the study of endometriosis, closely mimicking the human disease. Dr Cousins undertook her first post-doctoral position with Professor Saunders from 2014-2015, exploring the inflammatory environment of the endometrium during post-menstrual repair.

In 2015, Dr Cousins was recruited to The Ritchie Centre under the supervision of Professor Caroline Gargett to continue her work on endometrial regeneration and endometriosis. Dr Cousins’ main research interests are in endometrial function and dysfunction and how the latter may contribute to endometrial pathologies including endometriosis, adenomyosis or heavy menstrual bleeding.

Research interests

Women's health, endometrial disorders, endometriosis, endometrial cancer, heavy menstrual bleeding, endometrial repair mechanisms, immune cell function

Supervision interests

I am currently offering projects on endometriosis pathogenesis and new therapeutics for endometriosis.


I also supervise students from our group who work on pelvic organ prolapse, using animal models and in vitro techniques.

Community service

I sit on many committees within the Hudson Institute including the Early Career Researchers committee, The Hudson Social Committee, The MHTP Microimaging Steering Group, The MHTP Histology Users Group. I am a fire warden and first aider for The Ritchie Centre.

I peer review for many journals including PlosONE, Human Reproduction, Molecular Human Reproduction, BMC Women's Health, Stem Cells and Development.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Community Sciences and Clinical Health, PhD

Award Date: 17 Mar 2014

Biomedical Sciences, MSc, Edinburgh Napier University

Award Date: 19 Nov 2009

Reproductive Biology, BSc Hons, University of Edinburgh

Award Date: 21 Jun 2007

Research area keywords

  • endometrium
  • endometriosis
  • endometrial repair
  • endometrial regeneration

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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