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How Your Help Can Fund the Next Discovery in Women's Health Research

June 21, 2021

Over this trying and sometimes surreal year, we have all been reminded that scientific breakthroughs are the result of committed action and, very often, enduring effort. For example, apparent rapid developments, like the COVID-19 vaccines, are built on years of careful progress and investment in understanding our immune systems.

Our mindset at Women’s Health Research at Yale for the past 23 years has been committed action to uncover and use new findings to advance health, while also continuing to set the stage for the next major breakthroughs.

Right now, we are setting that stage by building a new classification strategy to better recognize heart attacks in women. We are exploring how CBD, a non-intoxicating component of cannabis largely used by women, affects the brains of women; seeking non-addictive alternatives for pain relief; determining how genetic mutations lead to breast cancer; identifying biological markers to allow the early diagnosis and treatment of colon cancer; figuring out the relationship of stress to psychological resilience in health care providers; and so much more.

Over the years, WHRY has discovered that a product of the body’s immune system associated with the disease lupus can penetrate cancer cells, offering a new path for treating cancers that develop from certain gene mutations. We were the first to test a behavioral therapy for girls with autism spectrum disorder that is now in clinical use. We demonstrated how beneficial bacteria in the body can lead to autoimmune disease, providing a promising target to advance treatment options.

We do this because today’s investigations lead to both findings we can use now and to tomorrow’s discoveries.

It is why we build collaborations across medical disciplines, share our findings with the public and medical communities, train the next generation of researchers and medical practitioners, and establish support for data-based policies to improve the health of everyone.

All this is possible because of your generous support and commitment to better science and better lives. Thank you!

At WHRY, we often say, “We don’t know what we don’t study.” If the challenges of the past year have taught us anything, it is that we must continue working to understand all that we can about health and disease. And when it comes to sex and gender, we should not wait for the next crisis before addressing these critical components of our health.

With the greatest appreciation for your generous support,

Barbara Riley

Philanthropy Chair

Submitted by Rick Harrison on June 10, 2021