Funding the Future of Women's Health

Seen from back, woman holds up hand during meeting

It's Granting Day – the exciting day each year when the members of the OHSU Center for Women's Health Circle of Giving gather together to invest $125,000 in promising new women's health research. 

"We're providing the seed funds that will help a talented OHSU research team take their innovative work to the next level," says Patti Warner, co-chair of the Circle of Giving. "That's why the decision we make today is so important," 

Teri Oelrich, also co-chair, adds. "On granting day, we make our mark on the future of women's health." 

They aren't kidding. 

To date, the Circle of Giving has invested $2.1 million in 19 OHSU research projects. From breast and ovarian cancer to heart disease to Alzheimer's, their investments have fueled transformative advances in women's health. 

Back in 2010, the Circle helped to kick-start the breakthrough gene editing researchconducted by OHSU's Shoukhrat Milalipov, Ph.D. and Paula Amato, M.D. And that's just one example. 

2018 grant award winner 

Julie Saugstad, Ph.D., and Ursula Sandau, Ph.D., from the OHSU Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, received $125,000 for their work looking at micro-RNA in the brain, and the role it plays in making Alzheimer's disease more common, and worse, in women. 

"Our long-term goal is to develop a new clinical test for the early detection of Alzheimer's disease, as well as new therapies to both treat and prevent the disease in women," said Dr. Saugstad. "We have the capability to do this right here at OHSU. And now, thanks to the Circle of Giving, we will be able to begin our journey." 

Learn more about the Circle 

"The Circle of Giving funds pilot research that prepares researchers to apply for large federal and other grants later," says Michelle Berlin, M.D., M.P.H., Director of the OHSU Center for Women's Health. "This is essential and a type of funding that is very difficult to find." 

We can't wait to see where these investments will lead in the years to come. In the meantime, you can learn more about the Circle, including the amazing studies it has funded to date.