University of Pittsburgh focuses on building careers in womens health

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 14 The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Magee-Womens Research Institute are among a dozen institutions nationwide to share in an innovative effort to foster the expansion of women's health research and training through the National Institutes of Health's Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health (BIRCWH) program. The Pittsburgh team is receiving a total of $2.2 million in government support spread over five years.

"This grant will help to formalize relationships among women's health investigators throughout the University of Pittsburgh, who are coming together for this opportunity to train future researchers in women's health," said James M. Roberts, M.D., director of the Magee-Womens Research Institute (MWRI) and professor and vice chair of research in the department of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. "Mentors and leadership for this initiative come from four schools and eight departments within the university."

Dr. Roberts is principal investigator for the effort. He will work alongside Melissa McNeil, M.D., who is women's health program director for the University of Pittsburgh Physicians and professor of medicine at the university's School of Medicine. Dr. McNeil will serve as program director for the grant project. The money will be used to provide career development for junior faculty planning careers in fundamental, clinical, epidemiological or health services avenues of women's health research. The program touches many areas of women's health throughout the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC Health System by incorporating four themes, which span women's health for all ages. These themes are:

"Gender Specific Developmental Medicine: From Gametogenesis to Birth" recognizes that gender specific differences in health predate even conception, beginning with the female gamete, or egg. The formation of these cell

Contact: Michele Baum
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

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