The Division of Women's Behavioral Health, Yale Department of Psychiatry

The Division of Women's Behavioral Health (DWBH) provides research coordination and intellectual leadership for all Department of Psychiatry investigations pertaining to women’s health and sex/gender differences. The Department of Psychiatry has a distinguished history of research contributions that are directly pertinent to understanding the etiology, course, treatment, and prevention of psychiatric and substance abuse disorders suffered by women. The overall goal of the DWBH is to focus this effort on improving the health and health care of all through the development of new found scientific knowledge on women’s health and gender differences in health and disease.

Women’s Health Research at Yale

Women’s Health Research at Yale, founded in 1998, funds interdisciplinary research on women's health and gender differences in health and disease. Women’s Health Research at Yale generates innovative interdisciplinary research findings on gender differences in health and disease through their Pilot Project Program. This program has awarded more than $4.5 million in "seed" money to fund nearly 70 pilot studies in areas of women's health that had previously received little attention, and the results of these projects have generated more than $52 million in new external grants for further research - an enormous “return on investment.” WHRY also: 1) integrates the study of gender differences in health into New Collaborative Grants with Key Research Partners in areas related to cardiovascular care, addictive behaviors, trauma, and reproductive behavioral health, 2) develops research training for the next generation through NIH Training Grants, and 3) creates partnerships with the community in providing Educational Initiatives to insure the translation of research findings for practical application.


The Yale BIRCWH (Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health) Scholar Program provides interdisciplinary research skill development for junior faculty interested in a research career focused on women's health and addictive behaviors. The Yale BIRCWH Scholar Program provides mentoring, coaching and team science experience for junior faculty interested in a research career focused on women’s health and addictive behaviors. Its goal is to develop independent investigators with the skills necessary to make enduring contributions to the prevention and treatment of addictive behaviors which result in direct practical benefit for women and their families. The program is funded by a $2.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health Office of Research on Women’s Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.


The Yale Center for Clinical Investigation (YCCI) is the operational home of the NIH-funded Yale Clinical and Translational Sciences Award (CTSA). The YCCI is committed to training clinical and translational researchers and to providing an infrastructure that facilitates and accelerates bidirectional translation of research discoveries in the laboratory to improved health within the New Haven, Connecticut, regional, and national communities. One key goal of YCCI is to attract highly talented pre- and post-doctoral students and junior faculty members across medicine, nursing, public health, biology, and biomedical engineering; imbue them with a spirit of discovery; train them in the use of state-of-the-art research tools; give them the skills to work within complex research teams; and support their professional development while at Yale and beyond. In parallel, YCCI fosters the translation of disease-related discoveries from the laboratory into the clinic and then into the community through multiple avenues including the creation of interdisciplinary teams of translational researchers; making state-of-the-art core facilities and biostatistical and bioinformatics resources available to scientists; developing new methods and technological advances; integrating community clinics into the research effort; and supporting pilot grants for clinical scholars engaged in community-based outcomes research.

Other SCOR Collaborators

In collaboration with the MUSC and Minnesota SCORs we conducted the first systematic review and meta-analysis examining the impact of menstrual cycle and ovarian hormones on tonic craving, cue-induced craving, ad-lib smoking, withdrawal, abstinence and relapse.

Weinberger AH, Smith PH, Allen SS, Cosgrove KP, Saladin ME, Gray KM, Mazure CM, Wetherington CL, McKee SA. Systematic and meta-analytic review of research examining the impact of menstrual cycle phase and ovarian hormones on smoking and cessation. Nicotine Tob Res. 2015 Apr;17(4):407-21. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntu249. Review. PubMed PMID: 25762750; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4429881.

In collaboration with the MUSC-SCOR and Roswell Park, the Yale-SCOR led an effort to examine data from the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation project. We examined smoking cessation medication utilization and efficacy by gender in a large international longitudinal sample of smokers.

Smith PH, Kasza KA, Hyland A, Fong GT, Borland R, Brady K, Carpenter MJ, Hartwell K, Cummings KM, McKee SA. Gender differences in medication use and cigarette smoking cessation: results from the International Tobacco Control Four Country Survey. Nicotine Tob Res. 2015 Apr;17(4):463-72. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntu212. PubMed PMID: 25762757; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4402353.

In collaboration with the Minnesota (lead) and MUSC SCORS, we are finalizing a methods paper detailing state of the art methods for assessing menstrual cycle phase and hormone levels for clinical research. This paper is under revision.

In collaboration with MUSC (lead), we are participating in an effort to merge resting state fMRI data to examine sex differences in functional connectivity. This project was funded as a supplement by ORWH to MUSC.