News Archive

September 29, 2017

WHRI Director, Dr. Teresa Woodruff was recently interviewed by U.S. News and World Report for their latest piece highlighting gaps in Women’s Health Research. The piece features insights into sex- and gender-based health issues, including the need for sex-inclusive science.

To read more about Dr. Woodruff’s insights into the next generation of discoveries which consider sex as a biological variable, click here

August 28, 2017

The Academy of Women's Health profiles WHRI Director, Dr. Teresa Woodruff, in their latest blog post. The article, "From Bench to Bedside To Babies to Boardrooms: Teresa Woodruff is Making an Impact," discuss her scientific research and advocacy efforts to promote sex inclusive science.

In 2017, the Academy of Women's Health awarded Dr. Woodruff the Journal of Women's Health Award for Outstading Achievement in Women's Health Research.

To read the entire article click here.

December 12, 2016

WHRI Director, Dr. Teresa Woodruff, was featured in an episode of the Freakonomics Podcast entitled “Bad Medicine,” which explored some of mistakes and errors made by scientists and clinicians over the last century. In this episode, Dr. Woodruff discusses the history behind the exclusion of premenopausal and pregnant women in clinical trials and the lasting impact it has held on the field of biomedical research.

Click here to access the full transcript of the podcast!

September 26, 2016

The Women's Health Research Institute was featured in a video at the Friends of Prentice Benefit Dinner held on Friday, Septeber 16th, 2016. Check out the video below to learn more about the scope and mission of the WHRI! 


September 12, 2016

This month, the Feinberg School of Medicine's monthly newsletter featured a question and answer session with Dr. Niki Woitowich, Director of Science Outreach and Education for the Women's Health Research Institute. Click here to learn more about Dr. Woitowich and her insights into the WHRI! 



September 7, 2016

On August 31st, 2016, Northwestern University welcomed NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins and Illinois Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) to campus for a discussion of biomedical research funding in the United States. At a press conference following the discussion, Director Collins addressed an issue central to the Women’s Health Research Institute – the inclusion of women in biomedical research.

“The percent of participants in clinical trials across the board at NIH is about 54 percent women,” he said. “That’s very different than it was 30 years ago.”

Collins also addressed the “Consideration of Sex as a Biological Variable,” policy set for by the NIH in January of 2015 stating, “…We’ve also made a requirement on researchers who were studying animal models of human disease. They have to study males and females, which often times was not done in the past.”

August 22, 2016

Members of the WHRI Leadership council have been longstanding champions for the consideration of sex within biomedical and clinical research studies. Recently, a new study conducted by members of the WHRI Leadership and colleagues, was published in the journal JAMA Surgery [1]. The authors analyzed over 1,600 surgical-based research studies and found that sex biases exist in the reporting and analysis of data.

Study author Dr. Melina Kibbe, Chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of North Carolina, and former WHRI Leadership Council member, shares her thoughts on the results, “While I was happy to see that both sexes are being included in surgical research, I was surprised to see that only a third of the manuscripts presented sex-based results.”

April 18, 2016

Northwestern University has established a Master of Science in Reproductive Science and Medicine. The 18-month, full-time degree program will provide training in reproductive science focusing on mammalian reproductive biology and medicine with an emphasis on applications to human health.

February 18, 2016

BY  ON FEB 17, 2016

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine News Center

U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky joined the Women’s Health Research Institute (WHRI) in celebrating recently announced National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Food and Drug Administration policies to include women in basic science and clinical research studies.

January 4, 2016
Copyright © 2015, Chicago Tribune

Before a drug or treatment hits the market, it has to be extensively tested. Usually, the test subjects include laboratory animals — mice, rats, pigs. For decades, those critters shared one trait: They were predominantly male. Scientists seeking breakthroughs experimented almost exclusively on male animals. (We'll get to human test subjects in a moment.)

Researchers shunned female animals because they feared the animals' reproductive cycles or hormonal changes could skew the results. Even for diseases prevalent in women, researchers used predominantly male animals in their studies.