The Women's Reproductive Health Research (WRHR) Center, a career development program for obstetrician gynecologists, was established at the University of Washington in 1998.
The aim of the WRHR program at the University of Washington (UW WRHR) is to foster the education, training and scientific development of obstetrician gynecologists who demonstrate clear research potential and are committed to a career in academic medicine. Our long-term goal is to improve women's health. The program has successfully trained 6 individuals, with 3 additional scholars in training. This proposal describes a plan for continuation of the UW WRHR program. The goal remains a commitment to bridge the gap between clinical and research training to enable young physicians to establish research careers tailored to their specific interests and to become independent investigators. Proposed training is a multidisciplinary mentored experience for 2-5 years. During this period, a scholar devotes 80% of his/her time to research. The program aims to recruit individuals from other institutions and to recruit individuals from underserved backgrounds. The UW WRHR is unique in offering a broad menu of scientific disciplines and training environments designed to create the best opportunities for trainees. We have a distinguished group of 18 mentors with expertise in a diverse spectrum of specialties ranging from genomics to global health - with investigation in obstetrics, gynecology, and women's reproductive health research as the core activity. Particular strengths include: reproductive immunology, infectious disease, medical genetics, global health (e.g., HIV/AIDS, malaria), prematurity, behavioral medicine, cancer epidemiology, and placental pharmacokinetics. We believe that through partnerships with outstanding scientists in disciplines that lie outside of the traditional boundaries of obstetrics and gynecology (e.g., gynecologic oncology, perinatal medicine and reproductive endocrinology), our scholars have the greatest opportunity to achieve their scientific potential, build unique and successful interdisciplinary careers, and advance the cause to improve the health and well-being of women and their families. The Ob/Gyn Department and the School of Medicine at UW are prepared to make major commitments to support continuation of the UW WRHR program.
The UW WRHR Program plans to promote diversity in the approach, originality in the execution, and vision in the direction of training women's reproductive health researchers and thus foster the development of a national resource that grows and trains future generations of Ob/Gyn clinician-scientists. The novel multidisciplinary approach proposed is most apt to be successful in answering questions of greatest merit, with the greatest possibility of significantly impacting the health of all women.
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