Published July 7, 2015
The 2015 Harry Reich Award acknowledges the difference Batt has made — through his practice, research and advocacy — in the lives of women living with endometriosis.
Batt, a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology and social and preventive medicine, is one of only two people in the United States to receive this year’s award.
Batt gave a keynote lecture, “The Theory of Müllerianosis: An Odyssey of Discovery and Verification,” at the EFA’s sixth annual medical conference.
The foundation described his lecture as “a highlight of the program” that offered “insightful evidence of the progress gained through a lifetime of work as well as hope for the future of endometriosis care.”
Batt’s lecture discussed his discovery, which he made 30 years ago, of a congenital müllerian anomaly that led to the theory of müllerianosis.
Müllerianosis is an organ-like structure composed of normal cervical epithelium, normal uterine epithelium, normal tubal epithelium — singly or in combination — that becomes misplaced within another normal organ during fetal development in utero, he explained.
“The theory of müllerianosis predicts that in some fetuses, müllerian tissue — the same tissue that normally forms the fallopian tubes, uterus, cervix and upper vagina — is misplaced within other organs during organogenesis,” he said.
This misplaced müllerian tissue results in the formation of four developmental müllerian diseases. Strong circumstantial evidence supports the existence of all four diseases in adult women, he said.
“This evidence explains the origin of these rare developmental embryonic diseases not explained by classical theories. Most importantly, direct evidence supports the existence of embryonic adenomyosis and embryonic endocervicosis.”
Batt has focused his most recent research on the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of the four acquired müllerian diseases: adenomyosis, endometriosis, endosalpingiosis and endocervicosis.
He has specialized knowledge in areas including endometriosis-associated infertility and conservative surgery, microsurgery and laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis in infertile couples.
The award is named for Harry Reich, MD, a pioneer in the field of laparoscopic surgery.
Reich is known for performing the first laparoscopic hysterectomy, the first pelvic lymphadenectomy for cancer and the first excision of cul-de-sac endometriosis that included rectal resection.