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First White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research to Be Directed by Yale’s Carolyn M. Mazure

November 13, 2023
by Isabella Backman

President Biden has announced the launch of the first-ever White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research, an effort to be led by first lady Jill Biden and the White House's Gender Policy Council, and directed by Carolyn M. Mazure, PhD, founder and director of Yale School of Medicine’s Women’s Health Research at Yale. Mazure is Norma Weinberg Spungen and Joan Lebson Bildner Professor in Women's Health Research and professor of psychiatry and of psychology at Yale.

Historically, research on women’s health has been chronically underfunded, with often significant consequences for women’s health care. This first-ever White House initiative will strive to advance women’s health research and shed light on conditions that are specific to women, disproportionately affect women, or affect women differently.

“I have always believed in the power of research to save lives and to ensure that Americans get the high-quality health care they need,” President Biden said in a White House press release. “That’s why today, we’re establishing a new White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research so that my Administration—from the National Institutes of Health to the Department of Defense—does everything we can to drive innovation in women’s health and close research gaps.”

“Every woman I know has a story about leaving her doctor’s office with more questions than answers,” first lady Jill Biden added. “Our new White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research will help change that by identifying bold solutions to uncover the answers that every woman and her family deserves.”

Yale has been a leader in women’s health research for over two decades

For 25 years, Mazure’s nationally recognized center, Women’s Health Research at Yale, has been leading innovative and interdisciplinary research on women’s health and on the influence of sex and gender on health outcomes. “I’ve had the opportunity to see women’s health research become a recognized field of study that spans all health conditions experienced by women, its exponential growth in published data, innovations in care, and new careers in women’s health research,” says Mazure. Nevertheless, women remain at higher risk for chronic disease and disability, for acute and chronic pain syndromes, and to die following heart attack. Women are also at higher risk for adverse effects of treatments and for co-occurring conditions. “There is a tremendous need for science to move forward in supporting research that targets the health of women to improve outcomes for women.”

The White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research will pioneer the next generation of women’s health discoveries. Mazure’s first steps in collaboration with the White House Gender Policy Council will include bringing together agencies across the federal government to generate concrete recommendations within 45 days that will advance women’s health research. They also will be deciding on priority areas of focus with these agencies and exploring new public-private partnerships with philanthropic leaders. “This initiative elevates the importance of women’s health research in the nation, which is really extraordinary,” says Mazure. “We have outstanding opportunities to make the progress that we need.”

Submitted by Robert Forman on November 14, 2023