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NIH/ORWH Announces New Bircwh Awards To Promote Interdisciplinary Research Careers In Women’s Health At 11 Institutions In 9 States


Bethesda, Maryland - The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) and other cosponsors recently awarded over $5 million to 11 new and continuing Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers In Women’s Health (BIRCWH) programs nationwide. This expands an innovative effort to foster women’s health research with an emphasis on mentored, interdisciplinary collaboration across a variety of disciplines through which 24 Centers have been established since the fall of 2000.
BIRCWH was developed to promote the career development of independent researchers working on women’s health issues by pairing scholars with senior investigators in a mentored, interdisciplinary scientific environment. A list of institutions receiving FY 2005 BIRCWH awards follows:

FY 2005 BIRCWH Awards:

Institution: Harvard University
Principal Investigator: Jill M. Goldstein, Ph.D.

Institution: University of California, Davis
Principal Investigator: Claire Pomeroy, M.D.

Institution: University of California, Los Angeles
Principal Investigator: Gautam Chaudhuri, M.D., Ph.D.

Institution: University of California, San Francisco
Principal Investigator: Deborah G. Grady, M.D., M.P.H.

Institution: University of Cincinnati
Principal Investigator: Leslie Myatt, Ph.D.

Institution: University of Kansas
Principal Investigator: Patricia A Thomas, M.D.

Institution: University of Kentucky
Principal Investigator: James E. Ferguson, II M.D.

Institution: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Principal Investigator: Timothy R.B. Johnson, M.D.

Institution: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Principal Investigator: Eugene P. Orringer, M.D.

Institution: University of Texas Medical Branch
Principal Investigator: Abbey B. Berenson, M.D.

Institution: Washington University
Principal Investigator: Kenneth S. Polonsky, M.D.

“The BIRCWH program offers tremendous opportunities to advance interdisciplinary women’s health research and allows scholars to gain valuable research experience and career mentoring by working with established scientists with diverse and broad expertise.” said Vivian W. Pinn, M.D., Director of ORWH"

The BIRCWH program fosters the career development of junior faculty members who are engaging in basic, clinical, translational, behavioral, or health services research in any area relevant to women’s health with an emphasis on sex and gender factors. BIRCWH Programs accomplish this goal by mentoring junior faculty to bridge advanced training with independent research in areas that integrate scientific disciplines. The Scholars learn not only research techniques, but also the skills to become independent investigators and mentors. The mentors at each site are established investigators who have a commitment to fostering interdisciplinary approaches to research in women’s health and sex and gender factors. This program develops a cadre of independently funded scientists who can further advance and perpetuate an interdisciplinary team approach to science and gender specific health care.

“NIH-supported research has led to important advances in the field of women’s health,” said Duane Alexander, M.D., Director of the NICHD. “The expansion of the BIRCWH program helps to ensure that qualified researchers will be available tomorrow to build upon the research advances of today.”

The ORWH leads the BIRCWH initiative, which is administered by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and cosponsored by the following Institutes, Offices and Agencies:

-- NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health

-- NIH Office of Dietary Supplements

-- National Institute on Aging

-- National Institute on Drug Abuse

-- National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

-- National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

-- National Institute of Mental Health

-- National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

-- Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) -- “The Nation’s Medical Research Agency” -- includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary Federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs:


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