The Iowa Women's Reproductive Health Research Career Development Center, the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Carver College of Medicine, the University of Iowa, is an outstanding site to house a Women's Reproductive Health Research (WRHR) Career Development Center. This application draws upon the following specific strengths: (1) the exceptional research milieu and infrastructure as well as the national prominence of the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine in research and education, (2) a successful model of research career development for young faculty that is already in place, (3) established and successful research themes in women's health in the department of obstetrics and gynecology and throughout the college of medicine, (4) an already existing strategic research plan that will be integrated into the WRHR Center, (5) an experienced and highly qualified Principal Investigator, Kimberly Leslie, M.D. (former WRHR Program Director at the University of Colorado and an AAOGF and RSDP scholar), and an acclaimed scientist and teacher, Mario Ascoli, Ph.D., who will serve as the Research Director, (6) an impressive cadre of senior scientists and leaders from the department and throughout the college who will serve as mentors and advisors, (7) a broad based applicant pool from which to recruit with an emphasis on an innovative mini-sabbatical program to recruit scholars from underrepresented groups, and (8) very strong institutional support that will contribute to our success. Two research tracts (basic and clinical) and six programmatic themes, chosen because Iowa has world class research in these fields, are supported by the University of Iowa WRHR. The research themes are (1) cancer and hormones, (2) epidemiology of reproductive disorders, (3) genetics and genomics, (4) hormones and signaling, (5) host defense, and (6) hypertension and the vasculature. A well-integrated WRHR Program that supports both basic and clinical-epidemiologic investigation is in place. Scholars will benefit from pertinent didactic coursework along with intensive training in the finest basic and clinical laboratories throughout the institution. The University of Iowa proposed WRHR has all of the components to meet the ultimate goal of the program, to develop a successful cadre of academic investigators who will excel in research and expand the frontiers of knowledge in women's reproductive health going into the future.
Women's reproductive health research has been stymied by a lack of trained physician scientists to enhance discovery in this important area of science. Research to ensure the best reproductive outcomes is critical to the survival of our species. The Women's Reproductive Health Research Career Development Center at the University of Iowa is now poised to recruit and train the physician investigators of the future in this field.
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