Our goal, as defined in this renewal of our career development program, entitled Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health in Pittsburgh (BIRCWH@Pitt), is to build on our success to train, nurture, and support talented University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) faculty scholars in personalized prevention, diagnostics, and therapeutics for girls and women. We have built our program on an unparalleled strength in reproductive sciences and women's health research, led by Magee-Womens Research Institute (MWRI) within Pitt. MWRI is located at the center of Pitt's campus, and is immediately adjacent to Magee-Womens Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, one of the nation's most robust integrated healthcare systems. Our 98 researchers are fully engaged in basic, translational, behavioral, clinical, and health services research, pursued at Pitt's six health sciences schools and at MWRI's research facility. We strive to catalyze training and research in women's health locally, regionally, and nationally, promote the dissemination of our research to communities, and advocate for policies that promote personalized medicine to women and girls. With MWRI as the programmatic hub of BIRCWH@Pitt, we have markedly strengthened our women's health network and created new and exciting investigative nodes within Pitt's Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI). We have also created a new core within Pitt's CTSI, designed to promote research on special populations, with a vanguard emphasis on women across the lifespan, including girls, adolescents, pregnant women, and postmenopausal and older individuals. These programs, as detailed in this application, represent a bold and far-reaching plan to include females of diverse ethnic groups or gender orientation and those living in rural communities or with disabilities. These recently established platforms enable us to focus on our long-term objectives of scholars' education, intellectual stimulation, hands-on training, intense career development toward full academic independence, motivation of new collaborative synergies, and implementation of sustainable women's health research. Cognizant of the fact that our scholars enter our program with diverse academic backgrounds and investigative skills, we have crafted individually tailored career development plans of 2-5 years, depending on each scholar's training and expertise. A team of mentors with diverse yet complementary skills is assembled, based on the scholar's background and needs, and works with each scholar to achieve her/his goals. Each scholar is guided by an interdisciplinary group of three mentors and overseen by an Advisory Committee comprised of researchers with heterogeneous scientific backgrounds. Resources garnered through our program are shared with other reproductive sciences trainees at MWRI and across Pitt's Health Sciences. Together, BIRCWH@Pitt emphasizes imaginative thinking, cross-fertilization, and collaboration that bridges basic sciences and clinical medicine, and serves to propel our scholars to successful careers in women's health and the dissemination of knowledge to academy and community.

Public Health Relevance

Despite impressive scientific advances in recent years, the field of women's health research continues to lag behind the forefront of scientific development. We propose to take advantage of the extraordinary academic environment at Magee-Womens Research Institute and the University of Pittsburgh schools of Health Sciences to offer an exceptional interdisciplinary training program across a woman's lifespan, emphasizing personalized prevention, diagnostics, and therapeutics for girls and women.

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)
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Ghim, Mimi M
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Magee-Women's Research Institute and Foundation
United States
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Chappell, Catherine A; Hillier, Sharon L; Crowe, David et al. (2018) Hepatitis C Virus Screening Among Children Exposed During Pregnancy. Pediatrics 141:
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