Former BIRCWH Scholars (from left to right): Azure Thompson, Elise DeVito, Tomoko Udo, and Megan Smith
Developing world-class experts
The Yale Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) Scholar Program developed research skills across health fields. Junior faculty members learned through mentoring, coaching, and team science. The National Institutes of Health funded the program. The program developed independent investigators with the skills necessary to make lasting contributions to the prevention and treatment of addictive behaviors. The scholars who have graduated from the program earned research positions supported with grant funding.
Additional collaborations across Yale
Dr. Lisa Freed (left) of the Yale New Haven Hospital Women's Heart and Vascular Program
Learning from patients at Yale New Haven Hospital
WHRY’s training program also includes collaborations that advance research in clinical settings. For example, Dr. Lisa Freed is establishing research within Yale New Haven Hospital's Women's Heart and Vascular Program. This research is developing interventions to achieve better cardiac outcomes for women. Dr. Freed has also served as a mentor in WHRY’s Undergraduate Fellowship. As a mentor, she helps to prepare the next generation of clinicians to treat patients while paying proper attention to sex and gender.
A special focus on sex and gender
WHRY also collaborated with the student editors of the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine (YJBM) to publish an issue on the influence of sex and gender on health. The issue came out in June 2016 with peer-reviewed articles on smoking, stress and depression; the effect of tobacco smoking on mothers’ brains; the preference patients show for the gender of their physicians in a hospital’s Emergency Department; the effects of gender-based violence on unwanted pregnancy and abortion; the effect of marijuana on the female reproductive system; and other topics.
Applying a forward-thinking medical curriculum
Currently, WHRY is collaborating with Dr. Njeri Thande, a cardiologist and Assistant Professor at Yale School of Medicine, and her team of medical students on integrating a focus on sex and gender into the YSM curriculum. Their goal is for instructors to teach the latest findings concerning sex and gender across the different disciplines, thus leading to better outcomes for patients.