The Oregon BIRCWH program at Oregon Health & Science University creates a stimulating and nurturing environment for junior faculty to develop into leading scientists in Women's Health. We provide a mentored scholarly research experience, including both salary support and protected time, which are absolutely essential to achieving success in scientific inquiry.
Our program's unifying theme is our emphasis on a lifespan approach and the importance of sex and gender-based differences in the diagnosis and treatment of illness in women. Research that can identify and modify events related to health and disease at any one point in the lifespan of a woman will affect all dimensions of health throughout her lifespan.
Our curriculum cultivates junior faculty to develop productive investigational careers in Women's Health and sex and gender-based medicine. This will be accomplished through direct supervision of scientific direction, grant proposal development, career issues, and coursework. "Parallel" mentoring, where new investigators mentor each other, has been found to be extremely effective and is a key component of the program.
This program brings together investigators from many research areas and encourages interactions across scientific areas, encompassing basic and clinical research. More important, however, we expect an outcome that cannot be achieved solely by interactions among researchers in any one domain. That is, a focus on lifespan will result in innovative research ideas and new scientific collaborations to address the changing health needs of women from childhood to senescence.
The BIRCWH program at OHSU is important for three reasons:
- There remains a critical need to increase the number of scientists trained both in sex and gender differences in disease who use a lifespan approach.
- The emphasis upon an integrated and collaborative pattern will set the stage for life-long research across specialties and approaches that our interdisciplinary Centers at OHSU provide.
- Identified differences and new insights from a sex and gender-based approach will define new target research areas as well as increase collaboration.