"Our goal is to deepen the medical and research community's understanding of women's health," Woodruff added. "The knowledge we gain through fundamental research will be translated into improved sex and gender-specific clinical care."
Vivian Pinn, M.D., director of the Office of Research on Women's Health for the National Institutes of Health, came to Chicago to speak at the recent inauguration of the Institute for Women's Health Research.
"It's rare to see this kind of commitment to research in women's health. I can count the institutions on my fingers," Pinn said. "The issues Northwestern is working on will hopefully unlock the answers for many of these health issues. The results will have implications for the health of women worldwide. To improve women's health care, it's important to generate new knowledge."
To produce that knowledge, Woodruff is reaching out to researchers at the university and its clinical affiliates with grants to encourage them to incorporate gender differences into their studies. "We are trying to instill the premise that biological sex matters in everybody's thought processes," she said, noting many scientists have never considered gender in their research.
One such physician was Melina Kibbe, M.D., assistant professor of surgery at the Feinberg School and a vascular surgeon at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center. Kibbe researches how to extend the effectiveness of such vascular procedures as balloon angioplasty and stenting, bypass grafting and other vascular procedures with limited durability.
Kibbe wasn't doing any gender-based research until Woodruff met with her a few months ago and asked if she would include a cohort of women in her research. Thus, Kibbe began a new study with funding from the new institute to see whether her therapy -- which extends the effectiveness of the vascular procedures with nitric oxide-- produced
|Contact: Marla Paul|