Megan Lindsay Falsetta Wood, Ph.D.View Contact & Scheduling
Assistant Professor - Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology (SMD)
Assistant Professor - Department of Pharmacology and Physiology (SMD) - Joint
Post-doctoral Training & Residency
Environmental Medicine, University of Rochester, School of Medicine and Dentistry 2013 - 2015
Center for Oral Biology, University of Rochester, School of Medicine and Dentistry 2010 - 2013
PhD | University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine. Microbiology. 2009
BA | Alfred University. Biology. 2004
International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health Fernand Labrie Distinguished Investigator Award. 2023
International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health Executive Board Research Grants Chair. 2023
International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health Scientific Program Committee Member. 2023
International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease Best Member/Fellow Presentation. 2022
Ecosanoid Research Foundation Young Investigator Award. 2022
International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health Best Abstract Prize. 2022
International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health Advocacy Committee Member. 2022
International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease Vulvar Disease Impact Committee Co-Chair. 2022
National Vulvodynia Association Research Fund Award. 2017
International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease Best Candidate Abstract. 2015
Localized provoked vulvodynia (LPV) is characterized by acute and lasting pain in response to light touch of the vulvar vestibule (area immediately surrounding the vaginal opening), which is associated with a reduction in quality of life. Although women afflicted with LPV experience profound pain that negatively impacts their sexual, emotional, social, and relationship health, they show no overt signs of disease. The origins of vulvodynia are poorly understood, and no current therapy targets the root of the disease or is completely curative, perhaps save surgical amputation of the affected tissue. The goal of our research is to identify less invasive, ideally topical, therapies, while simultaneously uncovering the poorly understood mechanisms of disease.
We have determined that a persistent low level of inflammation, generally undetectable clinically, is a key contributor to vulvodynia. We have also discovered likely defects in the inflammation resolution machinery, which can be overcome with exogenous supplementation with specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs). SPMs could represent a highly promising, non-invasive therapy for vulvodynia. SPMs are naturally produced by the body through metabolism of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and are safe. Although our work in this area is ongoing, our findings suggest vulvodynia is the product of “two hits.” The first hit involves exaggerated inflammatory signaling, rendering the vestibule hypersensitive to inflammatory stimuli, such that a woman’s own natural flora may elicit a response. We are currently focusing on investigating the second hit, involving dysregulation of the resolution machinery.
Lichen planus (LP) and lichen sclerosis (LS) are common inflammatory dermatoses of the vulva characterized by intense pruritus (itching), burning, and changes in the architecture of the vulvar anatomy. Architectural changes can cause a loss of plasticity of the vagina, loss of mobility of the clitoral hood and/or fusion to the clitoral glans, and urinary symptoms (e.g. incontinence, dysuria). Additional manifestations include ulcers, erosions, and pre-cancerous or cancerous lesions. The standard of care for patients with LP and LS is topical application of ultrapotent steroids, more frequently to start and tapering off to weekly maintenance dosing, increasing frequency with flares or complications. Therefore, these are lifelong disorders, requiring long term treatment and regular follow up. Currently, there are no curative treatments available, and any architectural changes occurring prior to or during treatment are irreversible. The causes of lichen dermatoses are not well understood. Although these diseases are considered scarring dermatoses and the architectural changes are referred to as “scars,” limited and conflicting information about the role of scarring is available. There is some evidence to implicate alterations in scarring/wound healing in lichenoid vulvar disease, and our research in this area aims to evaluate the role of scarring in lichenoid disease by identifying specific pathways and targets that may be aberrant.
Bekauri T, Fischer S, Honn KV, Maddipati KR, Love T, Little C, Wood RW, Bonham AD, Linder MA, Yule DI, Emanuelle C, Falsetta ML
Pain.. 2023 October 26 Epub 10/26/2023.
Falsetta ML, Maddipati KR, Honn KV
Pharmacology & therapeutics.. 2023 June 5248 :108467. Epub 06/05/2023.
Xiao J, Zeng Y, Rustchenko E, Huang X, Wu TT, Falsetta ML
Journal of oral microbiology.. 2023 15 (1):2144047. Epub 11/09/2022.
Falsetta ML, Wood RW, Linder MA, Bonham AD, Honn KV, Maddipati KR, Phipps RP, Haidaris CG, Foster DC
The journal of pain.. 2021 April 1 Epub 04/01/2021.
Flores EM, Woeller CF, Falsetta ML, Susiarjo M, Phipps RP
FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.. 2019 March 33 (3):3353-3363. Epub 10/30/2018.
Duffney PF, Falsetta ML, Rackow AR, Thatcher TH, Phipps RP, Sime PJ
The Journal of clinical investigation.. 2018 July 2128 (7):2724-2731. Epub 07/02/2018.
Falsetta ML, Foster DC, Woeller CF, Pollock SJ, Bonham AD, Piekna-Przybylska D, Maggirwar SB, Haidaris CG, Phipps RP
Journal of lower genital tract disease.. 2018 January 22 (1):52-57. Epub 1900 01 01.
Falsetta ML, Foster DC, Bonham AD, Phipps RP
BJOG : an international journal of obstetrics and gynaecology.. 2017 January 124 (2):210-218. Epub 06/17/2016.
Falsetta ML, Foster DC, Woeller CF, Pollock SJ, Bonham AD, Haidaris CG, Phipps RP
The journal of pain.. 2016 November 17 (11):1183-1197. Epub 08/18/2016.
Falsetta ML, Foster DC, Woeller CF, Pollock SJ, Bonham AD, Haidaris CG, Stodgell CJ, Phipps RP
American journal of obstetrics and gynecology.. 2015 July 213 (1):38.e1-38.e12. Epub 02/12/2015.
Foster DC, Falsetta ML, Woeller CF, Pollock SJ, Song K, Bonham A, Haidaris CG, Stodgell CJ, Messing SP, Iadarola M, Phipps RP
Pain.. 2015 March 156 (3):386-96. Epub 1900 01 01.
Falsetta ML, Klein MI, Colonne PM, Scott-Anne K, Gregoire S, Pai CH, Gonzalez M, Watson G, Krysan DJ, Bowen WH, Koo H
Infection and immunity.. 2014 May 82 (5):1968-81. Epub 02/24/2014.
Sommerfeld Ross S, Tu MH, Falsetta ML, Ketterer MR, Kiedrowski MR, Horswill AR, Apicella MA, Reinhardt JM, Fiegel J
Journal of microbiological methods.. 2014 May 100 :111-20. Epub 03/13/2014.
Nguyen PT, Falsetta ML, Hwang G, Gonzalez-Begne M, Koo H
PloS one.. 2014 9 (10):e111312. Epub 10/28/2014.
Koo H, Falsetta ML, Klein MI
Journal of dental research.. 2013 December 92 (12):1065-73. Epub 09/17/2013.
Bueno-Silva B, Koo H, Falsetta ML, Alencar SM, Ikegaki M, Rosalen PL
Biofouling.. 2013 29 (10):1233-42. Epub 10/07/2013.
Falsetta ML, Klein MI, Lemos JA, Silva BB, Agidi S, Scott-Anne KK, Koo H
Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy.. 2012 December 56 (12):6201-11. Epub 09/17/2012.
Djoko KY, Franiek JA, Edwards JL, Falsetta ML, Kidd SP, Potter AJ, Chen NH, Apicella MA, Jennings MP, McEwan AG
Infection and immunity.. 2012 March 80 (3):1065-71. Epub 12/19/2011.
Xiao J, Klein MI, Falsetta ML, Lu B, Delahunty CM, Yates JR, Heydorn A, Koo H
PLoS pathogens.. 2012 8 (4):e1002623. Epub 04/05/2012.
Phillips NJ, Steichen CT, Schilling B, Post DM, Niles RK, Bair TB, Falsetta ML, Apicella MA, Gibson BW
PloS one.. 2012 7 (6):e38303. Epub 06/06/2012.
Jeon JG, Pandit S, Xiao J, Gregoire S, Falsetta ML, Klein MI, Koo H
International journal of oral science.. 2011 April 3 (2):98-106. Epub 1900 01 01.
Jeon JG, Rosalen PL, Falsetta ML, Koo H
Caries research.. 2011 45 (3):243-63. Epub 05/12/2011.
Falsetta ML, Steichen CT, McEwan AG, Cho C, Ketterer M, Shao J, Hunt J, Jennings MP, Apicella MA
Frontiers in microbiology.. 2011 2 :75. Epub 04/18/2011.
Falsetta ML, McEwan AG, Jennings MP, Apicella MA
Infection and immunity.. 2010 May 78 (5):2320-8. Epub 03/15/2010.
Falsetta ML, Bair TB, Ku SC, Vanden Hoven RN, Steichen CT, McEwan AG, Jennings MP, Apicella MA
Infection and immunity.. 2009 September 77 (9):3522-32. Epub 06/15/2009.
Potter AJ, Kidd SP, Edwards JL, Falsetta ML, Apicella MA, Jennings MP, McEwan AG
The Journal of infectious diseases.. 2009 July 15200 (2):273-8. Epub 1900 01 01.
Srikhanta YN, Dowideit SJ, Edwards JL, Falsetta ML, Wu HJ, Harrison OB, Fox KL, Seib KL, Maguire TL, Wang AH, Maiden MC, Grimmond SM, Apicella MA, Jennings MP
PLoS pathogens.. 2009 April 5 (4):e1000400. Epub 04/24/2009.
Potter AJ, Kidd SP, Edwards JL, Falsetta ML, Apicella MA, Jennings MP, McEwan AG
The Journal of infectious diseases.. 2009 January 15199 (2):227-35. Epub 1900 01 01.
Lim KH, Jones CE, vanden Hoven RN, Edwards JL, Falsetta ML, Apicella MA, Jennings MP, McEwan AG
Infection and immunity.. 2008 August 76 (8):3569-76. Epub 04/21/2008.
Seib KL, Wu HJ, Srikhanta YN, Edwards JL, Falsetta ML, Hamilton AJ, Maguire TL, Grimmond SM, Apicella MA, McEwan AG, Jennings MP
Molecular microbiology.. 2007 January 63 (1):54-68. Epub 11/27/2006.