For Immediate Release
Monday, September 13, 2010
Contact:
Marc Stern
301-496-9472

NIH Women's Health Research Office celebrates 20 years, announces vision for 2020

The National Institutes of Health Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH) will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a day-long symposium on Monday, Sept. 27, in the Natcher Conference Center.

Discussed will be highlights of early accomplishments in women's health research, as well as a preview of the next decade A Vision for the Year 2020. Many of the advances involve medical differences between women and men, and implications for sex/gender — appropriate clinical care and personalized medicine.

Vivian W. Pinn, M.D., ORWH director, believes that individual women in good health can help maintain the well-being of their families, their communities, and much of society. Dr. Pinn is also the NIH Associate Director for Women's Health Research.

A keynote speaker will be former NIH Director Bernadine Healy, M.D., who launched the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), a $625-million effort to study the causes, prevention, and cures of diseases that affect women at midlife and beyond. The WHI study continues to uncover critical information, including recent evidence that combined hormone replacement therapy carries a greater risk for heart attack and stroke than previously thought, particularly in older women.

In 1991, hormones were being recommended for virtually all women for the rest of lives. The WHI findings challenged that advice. Since then, the more restrained use of post-menopausal hormones may have led to the lowered rate of new cases of breast cancer in recent years.

The scientific keynoter will be Linda G. Griffith, Ph.D., professor and chair of MIT's Biological and Mechanical Engineering Department. She will discuss the integration of tissue engineering and systems biology in women's health research.

A scheduled guest speaker in the afternoon is actress Cicely Tyson, who won three Emmy Awards and was nominated for an Academy Award for her portrayals of strong, positive African-American women. Her women's medical research interests include high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke, especially in minority patients. Her acting career, begun in 1957, remains active. This will be her first visit to the NIH campus.

The free and open symposium will conclude with a reception honoring many of the women and men who are heroes of women's health research. For more details, visit http://orwh.od.nih.gov or call ORWH at 301-402-1770.

The Office of the Director, the central office at NIH, is responsible for setting policy for NIH, which includes 27 Institutes and Centers. This involves planning, managing, and coordinating the programs and activities of all NIH components. The Office of the Director also includes program offices which are responsible for stimulating specific areas of research throughout NIH. Additional information is available at http://www.nih.gov/icd/od.

The Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH), Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health (NIH) serves as the focal point for women's health research at the NIH. For more information about NIH's ORWH, visit http://orwh.od.nih.gov.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov.

NIH...Turning Discovery Into Health ®

###