Welcome to the Oregon BIRCWH

The Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH), in the Director's Office of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), established the BIRCWH Program  in 2002 to advance mentored research career development of junior faculty who will be engaged in interdisciplinary basic, behavioral, clinical, or health services research in women's health. The Oregon BIRCWH program is dedicated to training tomorrow's leaders in women's health research.

2023 Northwest Women's Health and Sex/Gender Differences Research Conference

Friday, May 5, 2023 at OHSU Auditorium and Old Library

The Oregon BIRCWH Program, OHSU Center for Women's Health, and the OHSU Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology are proud to announce the 2023 Northwest Women's Health and Sex/Gender Differences Research Conference at Oregon Health & Science University.

This full-day in-person conference is designed to ignite cross-institution, multidisciplinary research partnerships within the Portland area and the greater state of Oregon. Previous conferences have been incredibly successful in developing new partnerships that have progressed to grant proposals, funding, and research. The conference takes place during OHSU Research Week to both highlight the BIRCWH and WRHR programs and their roles within the OHSU community, but also to give greater visibility to women’s health and sex/gender differences research on the OHSU campus.

View a recording of the 2023 conference

Conference Agenda

8:30 a.m. | Registration and Breakfast

9:15 a.m. | Translating science in medicine: The role of sex in the biology of non-AIDS age-related comorbidities
Dr. Ofotokun will discuss his program of research focusing on the threat that age-related comorbidities pose to healthy aging in persons with HIV and the disproportionate burden in women. Adopting a clinical and translational research approach, he leads an innovative global research collaboration to understand the pathobiology of these phenomena, and has demonstrated that age-related comorbidities may be driven by disruption in the organ-immune interphase (an amenable target); the higher burden in women may relate to synergy between gonadal impairment and chronic inflammation.

Igho Ofotokun, MD, MSc, FIDSA
Co-Director of the Emory BIRCWH
Professor of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine and co-director of the NIH-funded Emory Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) Clinical Research Core

10:15 a.m. | Oral Presentations

Methods for assessing self-reported gynecologic history in cardiovascular disease
Mary Roberts Davis, PhD
BIRCWH Scholar
Assistant Professor
OHSU School of Nursing

Mapping the unique lived experiences of middle to older age Latina women diagnosed with cervical cancer in the U.S.
Cirila Estela Vasquez Guzman, PhD
BIRCWH Scholar
Assistant Professor
OHSU Family Medicine, School of Medicine

Investigating sex and gender-related differences in immunotherapy treatment effects: the INSITE study
Deanne Tibbitts, PhD, MCR
BIRCWH Scholar
Research Assistant Professor
OHSU Division of Oncological Sciences, School of Medicine

The role of endometrial endothelial cells in heavy menstrual bleeding. From the lab to the clinic and back again
Bethany Samuelson Bannow, MD, MCR
BIRCWH Scholar
Assistant Professor
OHSU Division of Hematology/Medical Oncology, School of Medicine

Adolescents and menstrual bleeding patternsknowledge and preferences
Maureen Baldwin, MD, MPH
WRHR Scholar
Associate Professor
OHSU Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine

“Risk and resilience: Understanding the relationship between social disadvantage, maternal distress, and infant temperament”
Diana Vazquez Duque, MA
OHSU Clinical Psychology

Vitamin D metabolism is suppressed postpartum: Implications for targeting the postpartum window for breast cancer prevention
Sarah Bernhardt, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow
OHSU Cell Developmental & Cancer Biology

How race, gender, and the Covid pandemic have influenced the experiences of Asian American & Pacific Islander women healthcare workers
Qian Leng, MD, MPH
Postdoctoral Fellow
VA, Western University of Health Sciences CIVIC

12:15 p.m. | Lunch and Poster Sessions

1:15 p.m. | Improving diversity in clinical trials: OHSU Women's Health Research Unit approach
Overview of the approaches the OHSU Women’s Health Research Unit has taken to improve outreach and diversity in clinical trials. Review of a community survey on gender inclusivity and development of a community advisory council.

Marci R. Messerle Forbes, RN, MSN, ND, FNP
Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
OHSU School of Medicine

1:45 p.m. | Projected health and economic consequences of the end of Roe
Dr. Greene Foster will describe who is affected by Dobbs decision and likely consequences for people who live in a state with an abortion ban. Based on data from the Turnaway Study, she discusses the long-term consequences for people who are unable to get a wanted abortion and carry a pregnancy to term.

Diana Greene Foster, PhD
Professor in Residence, UCSF Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH)
Author of: The Turnaway Study: Ten Years, a Thousand Women and the Consequences of Having – or Being Denied – an Abortion

2:45 p.m. | Moderated Discussion
Panel of OHSU scientists respond to key questions in women’s health research.

Christopher L. Corless, MD, PhD
Professor of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, OHSU School of Medicine
Vice Chair, Molecular Pathology, OHSU
Chief Medical Officer, OHSU Knight Diagnostic Laboratories

Eneida R. Nemecek, MD, MS, MBA
Professor of Medicine, OHSU School of Medicine
Professor of Pediatrics, OHSU School of Medicine
Medical Director for Clinical Research, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, School of Medicine

Ellen Tilden, PhD, CNM, FACNM
Associate Professor, OHSU School of Nursing
Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, OHSU School of Medicine

3:45 p.m. | Raffle, Evaluation and Closing

4 p.m. | Cocktail Social Hour

We are excited to be a part of OHSU Research Week this year. Thank you to everyone who submitted abstracts for oral and poster presentations. 

Follow us on Twitter! @OregonBIRCWH

Announcements and updates

Headshot of Dr. Vasquez Guzman

Welcome to Cirila Estela Vasquez Guzman, PhD, one of our Oregon BIRCWH Scholars!

Dr. C. Estela Vasquez Guzman is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine, OHSU. Trained as a medical sociologist and working with the Health Experiences Research Network (HERN) at OHSU, her research focuses on analyzing the structural factors impacting cervical cancer journeys particularly among middle to older age Latina women. Using both audio and video she travels and meet participants to document complex and unique lived experiences with prevention and screening, diagnosis, as well as treatment.

Learn about Dr. C. Estela Vasquez Guzman and their project

Congratulations to 2023 OCTRI CTRC Career Development Support Award recipients Mary Roberts Davis, PhD, RN and Bethany Samuelson Bannow, MD! 

News and events

BIRCWH Annual Meeting, December 5, 2023.

BIRCWH & WRHR joint peer-to-peer meetings (virtual) - occur every other Friday from 1:00-2:30 p.m.