In the past, the research community assumed that beyond the reproductive system, differences between men and women simply did not exist or were not relevant. Some of the reasons researchers have preferred male subjects include: the cost of using both sexes, a sense of having to protect vulnerable women and/or a potential fetus, uniformity, avoiding the “complications” of the menstrual cycle, and perceived complexity of recruitment. However, the truth, as outlined in Dr.
The Women's Health Research Institute is exploring and implementing new ways to enhance training at all levels - students, residents and fellow - to ensure that they have a working knowledge of the sex and gender determinants of health and disease. Women's health mentors are being identified and supported to develop and sustain leadership roles for women scientists and clinicians. We are also invested and committed to provide learning experiences in laboratory and clinical settings for consumers of all ages who are interested in science and health.
While much progress has been made since the passage of the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (PL 103-43) mandating full NIH implementation of earlier policies for inclusion of women and minorities in clinical studies, there is still much work to be done to ensure that sex and gender equity exists across the full spectrum of women's health research and care and this issue is a top priority for the WHRI. In addition, we also advocate for policies that help the advancement of women in science.
The Women's Health Research Institute created the Women’s Health Science Program (WHSP) for High School Girls & Beyond to provide science education programs to females from underserved communities. WHSP targets young women who are considering careers in science and medicine and prepares them with valuable knowledge and skills to successfully become the next generation of women science leaders.
The Illinois Women’s Health Registry was created to encourage more women to participate in research, and to encourage more scientists and providers to include women in their research studies.
The Institute offers the Women's Health Research Monthly Forum. This is a one-hour educational program, during lunchtime, to feature professionals from Northwestern University and other institutions across the nation to present basic science research, clinical research, clinical practice guideline and social implications related to women. The Monthly Forum is a dynamic venue to encourage more sex- and gender-based studies and to provide support and role models for emerging women's health scholars.
The Women's Health Research Institute has compiled a list of sex-sensitive academic and clinical resources for researchers, providers, educators and students..
Repropedia is a reproductive dictionary created by an international team of scientists and clinicians led by investigators at Northwestern University. An editorial board reviews all entries to ensure that definitions are both accurate and accessible to scientists and non-scientists alike.