ORWH is hosting three virtual meetings to celebrate 30 years of women’s health and sex and gender research within and beyond the NIH scientific community.
Celebrating its 20th year, BIRCWH is a mentored career-development program connecting junior faculty—known as BIRCWH Scholars—to senior faculty with shared interests in women’s health and sex differences research. The annual meeting brings BIRCWH Scholars and faculty together to share research and experiences. The 4th Ruth L. Kirschstein Memorial Lectureship will focus on the importance of and improvements made in mentoring young investigators. The plenary session will feature presentations on research findings by leading BIRCWH Scholars. A special “Innovation Talk” to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the BIRCWH program will close the event.
30th Anniversary Scientific Symposium
This symposium, titled “Advancing the Health of Women Through Science,” will feature opening remarks by NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins, a keynote address on women’s mental health across the life course, and a panel of directors from several NIH Institutes and Centers discussing their perspectives on women’s health. Additional presentations will discuss high-priority women’s health topics, such as applying the principle of studying sex as a biological variable across scientific disciplines.
The Specialized Centers of Research Excellence on Sex Differences, or SCORE, program is the only NIH cooperative agreement program supporting disease-agnostic research on sex differences. Each center serves as a national resource for translational research to identify the role of biological sex differences in the health of women. At this year’s SCORE Annual Meeting, Dr. Jocalyn Clark, Executive Editor of The Lancet, will present the keynote address: “Sex Differences Research and the Health of Women: An Editor’s Perspective.”
Virtual Q&A for the 3 Scholars : 11:45 am-12:00 pm EST/ 8:45 am - 9:00 am PST
John Balbus, M.D., M.P.H., is Senior Advisor for Public Health to the Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and is NIEHS’s liaison to its external constituencies, stakeholders, and advocacy groups. Dr. Balbus directs the NIEHS-WHO Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health Sciences. He serves as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) principal to the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) and co-chairs working groups on climate change and human health for the USGCRP and for NIH. Dr. Balbus served on several National Academy of Sciences committees related to toxicology and risk assessment and has authored numerous papers on vulnerable populations for environmental exposures.
Before joining NIEHS, Dr. Balbus was Chief Health Scientist for the nongovernmental organization Environmental Defense Fund for 7 years. He was also on the faculty of The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences and the Milken Institute School of Public Health, where he was founding Director of the Center for Risk Science and Public Health and Acting Chairman of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health. Dr. Balbus received his A.B. degree in biochemistry from Harvard University, his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, and his M.P.H. from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
In addition to being a current member of the National Academy of Medicine’s Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine, Dr. Balbus also served as a member of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science Advisory Board, the National Research Council’s Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology, and the EPA Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee. He is a member of the American College of Physicians, the American Public Health Association, and the Society of Toxicology.
Diana W. Bianchi is the Director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. In this role, she oversees the institute's research on pediatric health and development, maternal health, reproductive health, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and rehabilitation medicine, among other areas. These efforts include managing a staff of approximately 1,400 people and an annual budget of approximately $1.5 billion.
Dr. Bianchi has had a busy tenure since joining NICHD in 2016. She spearheaded efforts on the NICHD Strategic Plan, released in September 2019, which outlines goals and aspirations to guide institute research for the next five years. She also oversaw the crafting and vetting of the institute’s new vision statement—Healthy Pregnancies. Healthy Children. Healthy and Optimal Lives—as well as its new mission statement. The latter, generated alongside the strategic plan, underscores NICHD’s directive since its founding—to lead research and training to understand human development—and incorporates goals for all facets of NICHD—to improve reproductive health, enhance the lives of children and adolescents, and optimize abilities for all.
Dr. Bianchi received her B.A. magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania and her M.D. from Stanford University School of Medicine. She completed her residency training in Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital, Boston and her postdoctoral fellowship training in both Medical Genetics and Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine at Harvard. She is board certified in all three specialties and is a practicing medical geneticist with special expertise in reproductive genetics and genomics. Dr. Bianchi’s translational research focuses on two broad themes: prenatal genomics with the goal of advancing noninvasive prenatal DNA screening and diagnosis, and investigating the fetal transcriptome to develop new therapies for genetic disorders that can be given prenatally.
Dr. Bianchi has published more than 300 peer-reviewed articles, and she is one of four authors of Fetology: Diagnosis and Management of the Fetal Patient. This book won the Association of American Publishers award for best textbook in clinical medicine in 2000. The second edition was published in April 2010 and is in its third printing. It has been translated into Japanese, Mandarin, and Spanish.
Dr. Bianchi is widely recognized for her achievements. Prior to coming to NICHD, she spent 23 years at Tufts Medical Center, where she was the founding Executive Director of the Mother Infant Research Institute, as well as the Natalie V. Zucker Professor of Pediatrics, Obstetrics, and Gynecology at Tufts University School of Medicine. Dr. Bianchi also was the Vice Chair for Pediatric Research at the Floating Hospital for Children, Boston, and served for a time on the NICHD advisory council. She is currently Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Prenatal Diagnosis and is a Past President of the International Society for Prenatal Diagnosis and the Perinatal Research Society. She is a former member of the Board of Directors of the American Society for Human Genetics and a former council member of both the Society for Pediatric Research and the American Pediatric Society. She was elected to membership in the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) in 2013.
Dr. Bianchi has received several major lifetime achievement awards. In 2020, she received an honorary doctorate from the University of Amsterdam that recognized her contributions to the fields of fetal cell microchimerism and noninvasive prenatal testing using DNA sequencing of fetal and placental DNA fragments. The Pioneer Award was given in 2019 by the International Society for Prenatal Diagnosis to acknowledge her transformative contributions to the practice, science, and profession of prenatal diagnosis and therapy. The Colonel Harland D. Sanders Lifetime Achievement Award in Genetics, given to Dr. Bianchi in 2017 by the March of Dimes, recognized her pioneering work on maternal and fetal cellular communication, including its significance in disease and diagnostics, and for exploring treatments of fetal disorders. The 2017 J.E. Wallace Sterling Lifetime Achievement Award in Medicine recognized her achievements as an alumna of the Stanford University School of Medicine. The Maureen Andrew Award for Mentoring, given in 2016 by the Society for Pediatric Research, recognized her commitment to mentoring the next generation of clinician-scientists. The Landmark Award, from the American Academy of Pediatrics, was given in 2015 in recognition of her research and contributions to genetics and newborn care.
Janine Austin Clayton, M.D., was appointed Associate Director for Research on Women’s Health and Director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2012. Dr. Clayton has strengthened NIH support for research on diseases, disorders, and conditions that affect women. She is the architect of the NIH policy requiring scientists to consider sex as a biological variable across the research spectrum, a part of NIH’s initiative to enhance reproducibility, rigor, and transparency. As co-chair of the NIH Working Group on Women in Biomedical Careers with NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins, Dr. Clayton also leads NIH’s efforts to advance women in science careers.
Dr. Clayton was previously the Deputy Clinical Director of the National Eye Institute (NEI). A board-certified ophthalmologist, Dr. Clayton’s research interests include autoimmune ocular diseases and the role of sex and gender in health and disease. Dr. Clayton has a particular interest in ocular surface disease and discovered a novel form of disease associated with premature ovarian insufficiency that affects young women, setting the stage for her commitment to rigorous, thoughtful exploration of the role of sex and gender in health and disease. She is the author of more than 80 scientific publications, journal articles, and book chapters. Her clinical research has ranged from randomized controlled trials of novel therapies for immune-mediated ocular diseases to studies on the development of digital imaging techniques for the anterior segment.
Dr. Clayton, a native Washingtonian, received her undergraduate degree with honors from Johns Hopkins University and her medical degree from Howard University College of Medicine. She completed a residency in ophthalmology at the Medical College of Virginia. Dr. Clayton completed fellowship training in cornea and external disease at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins Hospital and in uveitis and ocular immunology at NEI.
Dr. Clayton has received several awards and has been recognized as a leader by her peers. She received the Senior Achievement Award from the Board of Trustees of the American Academy of Ophthalmology in 2008, was selected as a 2010 Silver Fellow by the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, and won the European Uveitis Patient Interest Association Clinical Uveitis Research Award in 2010. In 2015, she was awarded the American Medical Women’s Association Lila A. Wallis Women’s Health Award and the Wenger Award for Excellence in Public Service. Dr. Clayton was granted the Bernadine Healy Award for Visionary Leadership in Women’s Health in 2016. She was also selected as an honoree for the Woman’s Day Red Dress Awards and the American Medical Association’s Dr. Nathan Davis Awards for Outstanding Government Service in 2017.
Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. was appointed the 16th Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate. He was sworn in on August 17, 2009. On June 6, 2017, President Donald Trump announced his selection of Dr. Collins to continue to serve as the NIH Director. In this role, Dr. Collins oversees the work of the largest supporter of biomedical research in the world, spanning the spectrum from basic to clinical research.
Dr. Collins is a physician-geneticist noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes and his leadership of the international Human Genome Project, which culminated in April 2003 with the completion of a finished sequence of the human DNA instruction book. He served as director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at NIH from 1993-2008.
Before coming to NIH, Dr. Collins was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at the University of Michigan. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in November 2007, and received the National Medal of Science in 2009. In 2020, he was elected as a Foreign Member of the Royal Society (UK) and was also named the 50th winner of the Templeton Prize, which celebrates scientific and spiritual curiosity.
As Acting Deputy Director of NIEHS, Gwen Collman, Ph.D., assists NIEHS and the National Toxicology Program Director, Rick Woychik, Ph.D., in the formulation and implementation of plans and policies necessary to carry out NIEHS missions. Collman works with Woychik in the administrative management of NIEHS and speaks on behalf of the institute as appropriate.
For the past 11 years, Collman has been an active member of the NIEHS executive leadership team in her role as director of the NIEHS Division of Extramural Research and Training (DERT). She has led approximately 80 professional staff in areas of scientific program administration, peer review, and the management and administration of about 1000 active grants each year. During this time, DERT has developed many new areas of research support tied to the NIEHS Strategic plan. Collman has directed scientific activities across the field of environmental health sciences including basic sciences organ-specific toxicology, public health related programs and training and career development. She also oversees the implementation of the Superfund Research Program and the Worker Education and Training Program.
As Director of DERT, Collman led the implementation of many exciting scientific programs with partners from other NIH ICs and Federal agencies. These includes the CHEAR/HHEAR exposure resource, Time Sensitive Research Awards, the Gulf Oil, PRIME mixtures, Nanotechnology, and TARGET Consortia, and Telomeres Network to name a few. She was actively involved in creating and promoted the Translational Research Framework and it’s uptake by the many multidisciplinary Centers NIEHS supports to the highlight impact of NIEHS supported research. The framework helps investigators describe many scientific advances and their trajectory across the translational path across basic science to application in community, policy or clinical advances.
Collman joined NIEHS in 1984 in the Epidemiology Branch. In 1992, she became a Program Administrator in DERT. She is credited with building the NIEHS grant portfolio in environmental and molecular epidemiology, and she developed several complex multidisciplinary research programs. These included the NIEHS Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Centers Program, the NIEHS/EPA Centers for Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention, and the Genes, Environment and Health Initiative. Also, under her guidance, a team created a vision for the Partnerships for Environmental Public Health programs for the next decade.
In recognition of her achievements, Collman has received many NIEHS Merit Awards, two NIH Director's Awards, and the HHS Secretary's Award for Distinguished Service. Collman received a Ph.D. in Environmental Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina School of Public Health where she was awarded the 2009 H.A. Tyroler Distinguished Alumni Award.
Karen Freund, M.D., M.P.H., is the Sara Murray Jordan Professor of Medicine at the Tufts University School of Medicine and a Vice Chair in the Department of Medicine at Tufts Medical Center. She also holds a Harry and Elsa Jiler American Cancer Society Clinical Research Professorship. She serves as co–Principal Investigator of the Tufts Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) program and has received local and national awards for her work on career development, especially for women and underrepresented women scientists.
Dr. Freund’s research career has focused on women’s health, with much of her work specifically on health disparities in women. She is internationally recognized for her work in patient navigation to reduce disparities and on the impact of insurance reform on care. Her research portfolio includes work funded through ORWH to examine the factors associated with the lack of progression of women, especially women from underrepresented populations, in biomedical careers. She and her colleagues have conducted the only national longitudinal study of medical school faculty. This study evaluated longitudinal career trajectories of both Ph.D. and M.D. faculty along the domains of satisfaction with academic career, compensation, academic productivity, advancement, and retention. This work has demonstrated that women continue to lag behind men in career advancement and leadership, even accounting for their academic achievements, and has outlined specific institutional interventions to reverse these inequities.
Dr. Monica Webb Hooper is Deputy Director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD). She works closely with the Director, Dr. Pérez-Stable, and the leadership, to oversee all aspects of the institute and to support the implementation of the science visioning recommendations to improve minority health, reduce health disparities, and promote health equity.
Dr. Webb Hooper is an internationally recognized translational behavioral scientist and clinical health psychologist. She has dedicated her career to the scientific study of minority health and racial/ethnic disparities, focusing on chronic illness prevention and health behavior change. Her program of community engaged research focuses on understanding multilevel factors and biopsychosocial mechanisms underlying modifiable risk factors, such as tobacco use and stress processes, and the development of community responsive and culturally specific interventions. Her goal is to contribute to the body of scientific knowledge and disseminate findings into communities with high need.
Before joining NIMHD, Dr. Webb Hooper was a Professor of Oncology, Family Medicine & Community Health and Psychological Sciences at Case Western Reserve University. She was also Associate Director for Cancer Disparities Research and Director of the Office of Cancer Disparities Research in the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Dr. Webb Hooper completed her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of South Florida, internship in medical psychology from the University of Florida Health Sciences Center, and her Bachelor of Science from the University of Miami.
Shaheen Lakhan, M.D., Ph.D., is the Executive Director of the Global Neuroscience Initiative Foundation, an Adjunct Professor of Neuroscience at Virginia Tech University, and a consultant in neurology and pain management with Cambridge Health Alliance. Dr. Lakhan is a physician-scientist and has over 15 years of experience in academia and industry focusing on neuroscience research. He is board-certified in both neurology and pain medicine, with clinical training from the Cleveland Clinic and Massachusetts General Hospital. He is an expert in comprehensive, holistic, patient-empowering pain management and patient-centric clinical development of drugs, medical devices, and digital therapeutics.
Dr. Lakhan’s research focuses on using advanced technologies—such as wearables, artificial intelligence, and machine learning—in coordinated virtual care platforms to facilitate brain health and wellness. He continues to serve patients as a practicing neurologist and pain specialist principal in the development of a comprehensive pain management service line at Cambridge Health Alliance.
In addition to exemplary clinical service, Dr. Lakhan has an extensive research, education, advocacy, and philanthropy portfolio. He has numerous peer-reviewed publications, books, and book chapters. Dr. Lakhan has received several prestigious awards, including the American Academy of Neurology’s A.B. Baker Teacher Recognition Award, the President’s Volunteer Service Award, and the President’s Call to Service Award.
Helene Langevin, M.D., was sworn in as director of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) on November 26, 2018. Prior to her arrival, she worked at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, jointly based at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston. Dr. Langevin served as director of the Osher Center and professor-in-residence of medicine at Harvard Medical School since 2012. She has also served as a visiting professor of neurological sciences at the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine, Burlington.
As the principal investigator of several NIH-funded studies, Dr. Langevin’s research interests have centered around the role of connective tissue in chronic musculoskeletal pain and the mechanisms of acupuncture, manual, and movement-based therapies. Her more recent work has focused on the effects of stretching on inflammation resolution mechanisms within connective tissue. She has authored more than 70 original scientific papers and is a fellow of the American College of Physicians.
Dr. Langevin received an M.D. degree from McGill University, Montreal. She completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in neurochemistry at the MRC Neurochemical Pharmacology Unit in Cambridge, England, and a residency in internal medicine and fellowship in endocrinology and metabolism at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.
As NCCIH director, Dr. Langevin will oversee the Federal government’s lead agency for scientific research on the diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine. With an annual budget of approximately $142 million, NCCIH funds and conducts research to help answer important scientific and public health questions about natural products, mind and body practices, and pain management. The center also coordinates and collaborates with other research institutes and Federal programs on research into complementary and integrative health.
Pauline M. Maki, Ph.D., is a Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Obstetrics & Gynecology, the Director of the Women’s Mental Health Research Program, and Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). She received her Ph.D. in experimental psychology from the University of Minnesota in 1994. She received postgraduate training at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the dementias of aging and training at the National Institute on Aging (NIA) in neuroimaging. In 1999, Dr. Maki joined the NIA Intramural Research Program. In 2002, she joined the faculty at UIC. She has been continuously funded by the NIH for the past 25 years and has over 185 publications in women’s health.
Dr. Maki is best known for her contributions to the field of menopause and women’s brain health. A central focus of her research has been the effects of menopause and sex steroid hormones on cognition, mood, and brain function in women. She is credited with conducting the first neuroimaging studies of hormone therapy (HT) and brain function in women. Her work has elucidated the complex effects of HT on cognition and brain function. These effects appear to depend on such factors as the timing of treatment initiation, the type of HT used, the cognitive status of the woman initiating treatment, and the severity of menopausal symptoms. Her leadership in this area led to her serving as President of NAMS and Trustee of the International Menopause Society. Her work has influenced clinical practice. As an expert panel member, she contributed to national and international practice guidelines on hormone therapy and non-hormonal treatments for menopausal symptoms. With NAMS and the National Network on Depression Centers, she co-led the first guidelines for the identification and treatment of perimenopausal depression. Dr. Maki’s research on women’s cognitive health and mood extends to the study of women with HIV, and she is credited with spearheading the nation’s first longitudinal study of brain health in women with HIV, which is now in its 14th year. Lastly, she conducts research on perinatal affective disorders with a focus on the gut microbiome and the use of technology-based screening and treatment options.
Dr. Maki has made mentorship a priority in her career and mentored many women at the undergraduate, graduate, and assistant professor levels. At UIC, she has held many leadership positions in mentorship, including her role as Dean of Faculty Affairs and Program Director of the UIC Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) program. She is a frequent national and international speaker and was awarded the 2018 Woman in Science Award from the American Medical Women’s Association and the 2017 Thomas Clarkson Outstanding Clinical & Basic Science Research Award from the North American Menopause Society.
Virginia M Miller, MBA, PhD is Professor Emeritus of Surgery and Physiology at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. She received a BS from Slippery Rock University, a MBA from the University of Minnesota, and her PhD from the University of Missouri. Her research included work with experimental animals and clinical studies focused on how sex steroids, and conditions unique to women, that is, pregnancy and menopause, affect cardiovascular health and cognition. She served as the Principal Investigator of the Mayo Clinic Building Interdisciplinary Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) scholars program and of the Mayo Clinic Specialized Center of Research on Sex Differences, and as Director of the Mayo Clinic Women’s Health Research Center from 2010-2020. She has authored over 250 original publications and reviews. Her awards include the Bernadine Healy Award for Visionary Leadership in Women’s Health, Women’s Day Magazine Red Dress Award, the Paul M. Vanhoutte Named Lecture in Vascular Pharmacology, and the Walter B Cannon Award from the American Physiological Society. Her professional service has included various grant review panels and editorial boards, a member of the Council for the American Physiological Society, and as President of the Organization for the Study of Sex Differences.
Judy Regensteiner, Ph.D., is the Director of the Center for Women’s Health Research and Professor of Medicine in the Divisions of General Internal Medicine and Cardiology at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, where she leads an interdisciplinary team of researchers who focus on women’s health and sex differences research. She holds the Judith and Joseph Wagner Endowed Chair in Women’s Health Research and is a Principal Investigator for NIH’s Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) grant and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s Fund to Retain Clinical Scientists. She is also on NIH’s Advisory Committee on Research on Women’s Health. She attended the University of Colorado Boulder, where she received a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in anthropology and her doctoral degree in physiological anthropology. She completed her postdoctoral training at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center.
Dr. Regensteiner’s research expertise is in the cardiovascular effects of diabetes, with a specific focus on women with type 2 diabetes. Her current and prior research projects funded by the American Diabetes Association, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, NIH, and investigator-initiated industry grants have led to important discoveries about the causes and consequences of decreased exercise capacity in type 2 diabetes. She was lead author in the development of a questionnaire that evaluates walking impairment in claudication observed in type 2 diabetes. The Walking Impairment Questionnaire remains the most widely used health-related questionnaire on quality of life with peripheral artery disease (PAD) and has been translated into more than 50 languages for use worldwide. Her lab has been funded for over 25 years, and she has authored more than 150 research publications. She has been the recipient of many honors and awards throughout her career. In June 2020, she received the Bernadine Healy Award for Visionary Leadership in Women’s Health.
She has participated in a leadership role in several large multicenter NIH trials, as well as in current guideline writing for the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association. She also has a long track record of successful mentorship of junior faculty and postdoctoral trainees.
Norman E. “Ned” Sharpless, M.D., was officially sworn in as the 15th director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) on October 17, 2017. Prior to his appointment, Dr. Sharpless served as the director of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina (UNC), a position he held since 2014.
Dr. Sharpless was a Morehead Scholar at UNC–Chapel Hill and received his undergraduate degree in mathematics. He went on to pursue his medical degree from the UNC School of Medicine, graduating with honors and distinction in 1993. He then completed his internal medicine residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital and a hematology/oncology fellowship at Dana-Farber/Partners Cancer Care, both of Harvard Medical School in Boston.
After 2 years on the faculty at Harvard Medical School, he joined the faculty of the UNC School of Medicine in the Departments of Medicine and Genetics in 2002. He became the Wellcome Professor of Cancer Research at UNC in 2012.
Dr. Sharpless is a member of the Association of American Physicians and the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and is a Fellow of the Academy of the American Association of Cancer Research. He has authored more than 160 original scientific papers, reviews, and book chapters, and is an inventor on 10 patents. He cofounded two clinical-stage biotechnology companies: G1 Therapeutics and Sapere Bio (formerly HealthSpan Diagnostics).
Dr. Sharpless served as Acting Commissioner for Food and Drugs at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for 7 months in 2019, before returning to the NCI directorship.
Dr. Turi’s doctoral training at the University of Illinois is in a quantitative field, combining epidemiology with biological computation and economics. During his doctoral training, Dr. Turi was awarded a computational genomics pre-doctoral fellowship where he was integrated with a team of investigators from various quantitative backgrounds to investigate the effect of environmental stressors on the genome-wide transcriptomic changes on black women. He joined Vanderbilt University as T32 supported post-doctoral fellow in 2015. Dr. Turi transitioned to junior faculty supported by BIRCWH K12 training grant since 2018. As BIRCWH scholar, he was among three scholars selected for oral presentation at the 2019 BIRCWH annual meeting. Dr. Turi’s research focus is on identifying and understanding phenotypes and endotypes of childhood asthma and allergic diseases using multi-omics data. He integrates infants' and children's immune responses and metabolome to understand asthma and allergic disease development including the origin of sex differences in allergic diseases. Dr. Turi was recently awarded NIH/NHLBI K01 mentored training grant to pursue his goal of becoming an independent investigator.
Nora D. Volkow, M.D., is Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) at the National Institutes of Health. NIDA supports most of the world’s research on the health aspects of drug use and addiction.
Dr. Volkow’s work has been instrumental in demonstrating that drug addiction is a disease of the human brain. As a research psychiatrist and scientist, Dr. Volkow pioneered the use of brain imaging to investigate the toxic and addictive properties of abusable drugs. Her studies have documented changes in the dopamine system affecting, among others, the functions of frontal brain regions involved with motivation and self-regulation in addiction. She has also made important contributions to the neurobiology of obesity, ADHD, and aging and to the imaging field.
Dr. Volkow was born in Mexico, attended the Modern American School, and earned her medical degree from the National University of Mexico in Mexico City, where she received the Robins award for best medical student of her generation. Her psychiatric residency was at New York University, where she earned the Laughlin Fellowship Award as one of the 10 Outstanding Psychiatric Residents in the USA.
Most of her professional career was spent at the Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) in Upton, New York, where she held several leadership positions including Director of Nuclear Medicine, Chairman of the Medical Department, and Associate Director for Life Sciences. Dr. Volkow was also Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Associate Dean of the Medical School at the State University of New York (SUNY)-Stony Brook.
Dr. Volkow has published more than 780 peer-reviewed articles, written more than 100 book chapters and non-peer-reviewed manuscripts, and co-edited the Neuroscience for the 21th Century Encyclopedia and edited four books on neuroimaging for mental and addictive disorders.
She has been the recipient of multiple awards. She received a Nathan Davis Award for Outstanding Government Service, was a Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal (Sammies) finalist and was inducted into the Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) Hall of Fame. She was elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine in the National Academy of Sciences and into the Association of American Physicians, received the International Prize from the French Institute of Health and Medical Research for her pioneering work in brain imaging and addiction science, and was awarded the Carnegie Prize in Mind and Brain Sciences from Carnegie Mellon University. She has been named one of Time magazine’s “Top 100 People Who Shape Our World”; “One of the 20 People to Watch” by Newsweek magazine; Washingtonian magazine’s “100 Most Powerful Women” in 2015, 2017, and 2019; “Innovator of the Year” by U.S. News & World Report; and one of “34 Leaders Who Are Changing Health Care” by Fortune magazine. Dr. Volkow was the subject of a 2012 profile piece by CBS’s 60 Minutes and was a featured speaker at TEDMED 2014.
Mary Woolley, M.A. is the president of Research!America, an alliance that advocates for science, discovery, and innovation to achieve better health for all. Woolley is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and served two terms on its Governing Council. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and serves on the National Academy of Sciences Board on Higher Education and the Workforce, having previously served on the Board of Life Sciences. She is a Founding Member of the Board of Associates of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and a member of the University of Chicago Division of the Biological Sciences and the Pritzker School of Medicine Council. Woolley holds honorary doctoral degrees from Wayne State University and the Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED). Woolley has also served as president of the Association of Independent Research Institutes, as a reviewer for the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation, and as a consultant to several research organizations. She has a 30-year publication history on science advocacy and research related topics, and is a sought-after speaker, often interviewed by science, news, and policy journalists.
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