Circle of Giving Awards $250,000 to Women's Health Research Projects

Wei Huang OHSU Circle of Giving grant awardee for MRI research
L-R: Teri Oelrich, Circle of Giving co-chair; Wei Huang, Ph.D.; Patti Warner, Circle of Giving co-chair; Renee Edwards, M.D., co-chair of the OHSU Center for Women's Health

Women's Health Monthly: June 2017

Since its founding in 2005, the Center for Women's Health has sought to provide comprehensive medical care for women. Through a unique program called the Circle of Giving, the CWH invests in expanding research in women's health. This year the program, which is supported by a group of women who are passionate about advancing women's health research at OHSU, has awarded two $125,000 research grants.

Wei Huang, Ph.D., proposes to develop a safer, faster and lower-cost MRI exam that can detect breast cancer with high accuracy and can be used following positive mammographic findings to improve diagnostic accuracy and reduce unnecessary biopsies. His goal is that the MRI exam will be about ten minutes and will not require the need for contrast injections, which currently make MRIs more expensive and unsafe for some women. 

Kimberly Beatty, Ph.D., and Jim Korkola, Ph.D., winners of a $125,000 grant from the OHSU Center for Women's Health Circle of Giving

Kimberly Beatty, Ph.D., and Jim Korkola, Ph.D., propose to use new molecular technology to investigate drug resistance mechanisms in HER2+ breast cancers. The technology will allow them to tag and track the locations and interactions of breast cancer receptors in cancer cells. This research could reveal new information about why patient responses to treatment varies and identify new opportunities for treating drug-resistant, HER2+ breast cancers.

The CWH is grateful for the Circle's continued support and partnership, as well as the myriad staff and faculty who devoted time and effort to the granting process –from idea conception to scientific review to the research presentations. Their participation magnifies the impact we're making to women's health outcomes and the work we're doing to illuminate the value of gender-based health care.

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