The long-term goal of the WRHRCDC at Northwestern University is to continue to foster and develop an outstanding mentored research training program for obstetrician-gynecologists, and to prepare our WRHR trainees (Scholars) to become independent investigators in women's health research. Since it has been first funded in 2005, our WRHRCDC has made major progress in reaching this goal. We have successfully trained 4 Scholars, who published 27 papers and received 18 grant awards including 6 from NIH, and met all our WRHRCDC benchmarks. The Dept of Ob/Gyn will continue to coordinate and administer the WRHRCDC Program and make full use of the scientific wealth and reproductive research infrastructure at Northwestern in its entirety. The key leadership at Northwestern made strong institutional commitments to the WRHRCDC Program. Sherman Elias, MD, Chair of Ob/Gyn and Serdar Bulun, MD, the Division Director of Reproductive Biology Research will continue to serve as the PI and WRHR Research Director, respectively. The Department of Ob/Gyn at Northwestern has traditionally recruited high quality residents, subspecialty fellows and junior faculty;currently 16% of this group are underrepresented minorities (URM). One of our current WRHR Scholars is an URM. Thus, we have a large and active pool of candidates for WRHR Scholar selection. These Scholars will have an opportunity to choose between highly competitive clinical research teams or laboratories conducting research in the areas of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Genetics and covering the reproductive portion of hypothalamic-pituitary axis, ovary, uterus, placenta and the fetus. The WRHR Scholars will interact with existing two P01, two U54, and one SCOR Center grants and one T32 training grant specifically in the area of obstetrics and gynecology. As the Northwestern WRHRCDC Program, we are fully equipped to continue to recruit top-quality obstetrician-gynecologists and train them to conduct research and compete for federal grants and retain them as they become independent investigators. Our excellent track record during the past funding period strongly supports our application.
There is a severe shortage of physicians who conduct research in obstetrics and gynecology. During the first funding period since 2005, we have successfully developed an outstanding mentored career development program conducive to transition obstetrician/gynecologists to become independent investigators. Our trainees became extremely successful. Here, we propose to continue to improve this Program.
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