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Spring 2012 - Message from Director Caughey

Now that Spring has finally arrived, I feel a renewed sense of excitement about the work we do here at the Center for Women’s Health. Just recently, while looking over a roster of all of the women’s health research projects taking place at OHSU, I was struck by the fact that we are taking on the questions that really matter. Fundamental questions whose answers will have the potential to transform women’s lives. Here are just a few examples.

What causes breast cancer tumors to grow? In looking at this question at the cellular level, Lisa M. Coussens, Ph.D., is fundamentally changing our understanding of how tumor microenvironment determines breast cancer development.

What role can maternal nutrition play in causing (or preventing) disease later in life? Much more than was previously thought, as is clear from the groundbreaking work of OHSU’s Susan Bagby, M.D., David Barker, M.D., Ph.D., Kevin Grove, Ph.D., Antonio Frias, M.D., and Kent Thornburg, Ph.D.

How can we improve quality of life for breast cancer survivors suffering from vulvar pain? Martha Goetsch, M.D., is testing a novel approach to pain reduction, making physical intimacy possible again for women.

How can we predict due dates for at-risk pregnancies? Leonardo Pereira, M.D., is identifying new methods for predicting delivery time for women at risk of preterm birth, greatly improving the chances that pre-term babies will receive the early care they need to thrive.

How can we improve the odds for women facing ovarian cancer? This year Tanja Pejovic, M.D., Ph.D. published an exciting study showing that more ovarian cancer patients than initially thought could benefit from a new class of drugs – a promising development that could boost survival rates for this deadly form of cancer. Just recently Pejovic received a Department of Defense grant for her groundbreaking work.

I thank you for the role you play in finding answers to the questions that matter most. With private philanthropy, OHSU has been able to attract the trailblazers who are willing to take on the big questions and fund the projects with the most potential to improve women’s lives.

What are the questions that matter most to you? You’ll have an opportunity to raise questions and learn about the latest women’s health advances at our Annual State of Women's Health Address & Dinner in October.

Please save the date.

Annual State of Women’s Health Address & Dinner
October 9, 2012 Hotel De Luxe

 

Best,

Aaron Caughey, M.D., Ph.D.
Julie Neupert Stott Director
OHSU Center for Women's Health Chair
OHSU Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology