Abbey B. Berenson MD, PhD
This is an exciting time for women's health research in our country. New opportunities for research and funding have emerged in the last decade and continue to grow. NIH-supported research training and career development initiatives at UTMB include the NIH BIRCWH K12 program and the NIH/NRSA T32. The BIRCWH program for junior faculty promotes mentored research career experiences aimed at developing successful investigators in women’s health. It has supported 16 Scholars during two cycles of funding (2005-2015). The T32 program in women’s reproductive health supports postdoctoral fellows for a 2 year appointment. Now in its 7th year, most of this program’s former participants have advanced in academic standing and achieved sponsored support for their research activities.
Of the postdoctoral fellows who participated in the program from 2008-2013, 62% remain in academic research and have obtained faculty position at UTMB, UTHSC Houston, UT El Paso, University of California San Diego, University of Illinois Chicago, College of Charleston, and Iowa State University; 46% obtained extramural funding as Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator. Equally impressive is that during the first 5 years of the program, 12 postdoctoral fellows published 33 articles and had 37 abstracts accepted for poster presentations at national meetings.
The Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Women's Health will continue its efforts to develop and enhance this field by providing seed grant money, developing new collaborations of scientists, and providing awareness of funding opportunities in women's health.