This application represents the competitive renewal of UNC's BIRCWH Award. This program seeks to identify, train, and mentor exceptional junior faculty members with the potential to conduct innovative women's health research. The goals of our BIRWCH Program are to: 1) facilitate the mentored career development of junior investigators pursing research of women's health or sex/gender factors;2) promote interdisciplinary team science that will enhance all types of women's health research;and 3) facilitate the translation of these research findings to improve community health. All Scholars participate in selected didactic programs including: the BIRCWH/KL2 Seminar;the BIRCWH Women's Health Seminar;and training in the responsible conduct of research. Other components of the curriculum are tailored to the background and training of the individual Scholar, each of whom also takes part in our Women's Health Research Day and the national BIRCWH Meeting. Finally, each Scholar has an intensive research experience with mentors drawn from multiple disciplines. In our application, we have focused on 8 research themes: 1) Cancers Affecting Women;2) Nutrition, Obesity, and Eating Disorders;3) Bone and joint Health;4) Cardiovascular Disease/Vascular Biology;5) HIV/Sexually transmitted Diseases;6) Alcohol and Substance Abuse;7) Mental Health;and 8) Pain. These themes were selected because they are all highly relevant to women's health, well-suited to interdisciplinary collaboration, and major strengths and areas of research emphasis at UNC. In addition, each has theme has numerous, nationally-recognized mentors who are willing and available to work with our BIRCWH Scholars. During our first 2 cycles of funding, the UNC BIRCWH Program has proven to be remarkably successful. Thus far, we have chosen and supported a total of 27 junior faculty members who exhibit broad diversity in terms of discipline, academic home, gender, ethnicity, and type of research. Finally, it is of note that each of the 20 graduates of our BIRCWH Program is the Principal Investigator on at least one NIH grant, grants that alone total over $33 million. Thus, the UNC BIRCWH Program has added a great deal to the UNC women's health research community, and we are convinced that it will continue to do so for many years to come.

Public Health Relevance

The goal of the UNC-CH BIRCWH Program is to create a training program that will prepare promising junior investigators to conduct innovative research in women's health. Through their mentored, interdisciplinary training, these Scholars will be ideally positioned to make important new observations and then translate them into advancements that will improve the health of women throughout the community.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Physician Scientist Award (Program) (PSA) (K12)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-PSE-H (50))
Program Officer
Davis Nagel, Joan
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University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
Chapel Hill
United States
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Flax, Valerie L; Thakwalakwa, Chrissie; Ashorn, Ulla (2016) Perceptions of Child Body Size and Health Care Seeking for Undernourished Children in Southern Malawi. Qual Health Res 26:1939-1948
Roberts, Megan C; Weinberger, Morris; Dusetzina, Stacie B et al. (2016) Racial Variation in the Uptake of Oncotype DX Testing for Early-Stage Breast Cancer. J Clin Oncol 34:130-8
Reeder-Hayes, Katherine; Peacock Hinton, Sharon; Meng, Ke et al. (2016) Disparities in Use of Human Epidermal Growth Hormone Receptor 2-Targeted Therapy for Early-Stage Breast Cancer. J Clin Oncol 34:2003-9
Dusetzina, Stacie B; Keating, Nancy L (2016) Mind the Gap: Why Closing the Doughnut Hole Is Insufficient for Increasing Medicare Beneficiary Access to Oral Chemotherapy. J Clin Oncol 34:375-80
Wheeler, Stephanie B; Roberts, Megan C; Bloom, Diane et al. (2016) Oncology providers' perspectives on endocrine therapy prescribing and management. Patient Prefer Adherence 10:2007-2019
Smitherman, Andrew B; Wilkins, Tania M; Blatt, Julie et al. (2016) Early Posttherapy Hospitalizations Among Survivors of Childhood Leukemia and Lymphoma. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol 38:423-8
Roberts, Megan C; Bryson, Amy; Weinberger, Morris et al. (2016) Patient-Centered Communication for Discussing Oncotype DX Testing. Cancer Invest 34:205-12
Flax, Valerie L; Hamela, Gloria; Mofolo, Innocent et al. (2016) Infant and Young Child Feeding Counseling, Decision-Making, and Practices Among HIV-Infected Women in Malawi's Option B+ Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission Program: A Mixed Methods Study. AIDS Behav 20:2612-2623
Crowley, Shannon K; O'Buckley, Todd K; Schiller, Crystal E et al. (2016) Blunted neuroactive steroid and HPA axis responses to stress are associated with reduced sleep quality and negative affect in pregnancy: a pilot study. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 233:1299-310
Flax, Valerie L; Ibrahim, Alawiyatu Usman; Negerie, Mekebeb et al. (2016) Group cell phones are feasible and acceptable for promoting optimal breastfeeding practices in a women's microcredit program in Nigeria. Matern Child Nutr :

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