Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death among women. Complex diseases such as CVD are multifactorial in origin, with their causes and sequelae spanning multiple scientific and medical disciplines. Researchers and clinicians that can work across disciplinary boundaries are needed to effectively understand and reduce the burden of CVD in women. This application for an NHLBI Mid-Career Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research seeks support for Dr. Rebecca Thurston, a mid-career investigator with a strong track record in interdisciplinary mentoring, training, and research in midlife women's cardiovascular health.
The specific aims of this Project are to provide Dr. Thurston with the training, resources, and protected time to strengthen and amplify the public health impact of her NIH-supported research program by: (1) providing outstanding mentorship and support for young investigators from the fields of behavioral medicine, psychology, epidemiology, and medicine to address issues of importance to women's cardiovascular health;(2) supporting training for Dr. Thurston in interdisciplinary mentoring, sleep research methods, and advanced time-series methods;and (3) support extension of the aims of an ongoing NHLBI R01-supported research project testing the relation between menopausal hot flashes and cardiovascular risk to: a) investigate the role of sleep in these associations and to b) utilize th multiple streams of ambulatory time series data collected in this protocol to more innovatively model the dynamics of human physiology and behavior. The mentoring and career development activities are highly integrated, with the mutually reinforcing goals of advancing trainee careers and enhancing Dr. Thurston's growing program of research in women's cardiovascular health.

Public Health Relevance

This Midcareer Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research enables Dr. Thurston to develop the careers of the next generation of scholars in interdisciplinary and translational patient-oriented research on women's cardiovascular health. It would also support expansion her research program on the development of cardiovascular disease risk in midlife women, the leading cause of death of women. This award both extends the impact of funded research and provides a forum for mentoring new trainees in patient-oriented research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Midcareer Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research (K24)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZHL1-CSR-X (M1))
Program Officer
Ludlam, Shari
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University of Pittsburgh
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Thomas, Holly N; Thurston, Rebecca C (2016) A biopsychosocial approach to women's sexual function and dysfunction at midlife: A narrative review. Maturitas 87:49-60
Fisher, William I; Thurston, Rebecca C (2016) Measuring hot flash phenomenonology using ambulatory prospective digital diaries. Menopause 23:1222-1227
Thurston, Rebecca C; Johnson, B Delia; Shufelt, Chrisandra L et al. (2016) Menopausal symptoms and cardiovascular disease mortality in the Women's Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation (WISE). Menopause :
Thurston, Rebecca C; Matthews, Karen A; Chang, Yuefang et al. (2016) Changes in heart rate variability during vasomotor symptoms among midlife women. Menopause 23:499-505
Thurston, Rebecca C; Chang, Yuefang; Barinas-Mitchell, Emma et al. (2016) Menopausal Hot Flashes and Carotid Intima Media Thickness Among Midlife Women. Stroke 47:2910-2915
Thurston, Rebecca C; Aizenstein, Howard J; Derby, Carol A et al. (2016) Menopausal hot flashes and white matter hyperintensities. Menopause 23:27-32
Thurston, Rebecca C; Maki, Pauline M; Derby, Carol A et al. (2015) Menopausal hot flashes and the default mode network. Fertil Steril 103:1572-8.e1
Fu, Polly; Matthews, Karen A; Thurston, Rebecca C (2014) How well do different measurement modalities estimate the number of vasomotor symptoms? Findings from the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation FLASHES Study. Menopause 21:124-30