On Monday, February 11th the Women's Health Research Institute at Northwestern University was featured on the front page of the Chicago Tribune. An article penned by Cindy Dampier, "Does that Rx work for women," highlighted the relaunch of the Illinois Women's Health Registry and the Institute's efforts to promote sex-inclusive biomedical research. The online article can be found here: Does that medicine work for women?
Please join us in congratulating Women's Health Research Institute Director, Dr. Teresa Woodruff, who was elected to the National Academy of Medicine. This prestigious honor is considered one of the highest achievements in the field of health and medicine. Members are chosen by their peers due to their professional accomplishments and commitment to service.
To read more about Woodruff’s appointment to the Academy, click here.
For over a decade, the Women’s Health Science Program at Northwestern University has supported young women interested in pursuing careers in science and medicine by providing academic support, hands-on laboratory training, and access to role models and mentors. The continued success of the program is exemplified by its alumnae, who refer to themselves as “Science Sisters,” the entirety of whom have gone on to pursue college degrees, with over 80% of those in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medical (STEMM) fields.
British Griffis, a 2011 alumna of the WHSP program Oncofertility Science Academy, is one such notable example. After attending high school at Young Women’s Leadership Charter School on the near-south side of Chicago, British pursued a degree in agricultural biotechnology at the University of Kentucky. Currently, she is serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal, providing technical training on updated agricultural practices, along with nutritional and health education, to rural communities.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.”
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 . 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.”
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