NIH News Advisory
Office of the Director

Thursday, Nov. 13, 1997

Ellyn Pollack

NIH Office of Research on Women's Health Sponsors National Scientific Workshop
To Set the Agenda for Research on Women's Health for the 21st Century

BETHESDA, MD The Office of Research at the National Institutes of Health is sponsoring a public hearing and scientific workshop on November 17-19, 1997, at the Bethesda Marriott, 5151 Pooks Hill Road. This final meeting, following a series of national meetings at regional sites, will bring together more than 400 advocates, policymakers, researchers, and other national leaders in women's health to set the women's health research agenda for the 21st century.

"This meeting will commemorate recent attention to women's health and provide multidisciplinary interaction between women's health advocates and scientists to focus on a new era in women's health research," says Dr. Vivian W. Pinn, NIH Associate Director for Research on Women's Health and Director of the Office of Research on Women's Health. "This public hearing and scientific workshop can provide a springboard for women's health research into the 21st century."

A public hearing will be held from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, November 17. More than 50 individuals representing themselves or organizations interested in various aspects of women's health and biomedical careers will present testimony. The two-day workshop will begin at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, November 18, and will focus on scientific advances in women's health through plenary sessions, panel discussions, and smaller working groups.

On Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning, participants will break into 14 working groups. Each group will focus on a different area of women's health, identify scientific progress, and recommend future direction for research. The groups will consider the following topics: alcohol and other drug use, disorders and consequences; behavioral and social science; bone and musculoskeletal disorders; cancer; cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases; career issues for women scientists; digestive diseases; immunity and autoimmune diseases; mental disorders; neuroscience; oral health; pharmacologic issues; reproductive issues; and urologic and kidney conditions.

"Since the Office of Research on Women's Health was established seven years ago," Dr. Pinn reflects, "it has dedicated its efforts to building collaboration and encouraging interaction among the scientific, health care and public policy communities, as well as women's health advocates, to improve women's health through biomedical and behavioral research. The regional meetings have provided the groundwork to make this a positive and productive scientific workshop to help formulate a future focus for women's health research. Participants in this meeting, in accordance with the dramatic pace of progress in science, will be building on the first national conference to set the agenda for research on women's health, which was held in Hunt Valley, Maryland in 1991. "

U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski and U.S. Representative Constance A. Morella will open the scientific workshop on Tuesday morning. At a Tuesday evening reception, U.S. Representative Louise M. Slaughter will speak on women's health research. U.S. Representative Louis Stokes will provide remarks on Wednesday afternoon. Audrey T. Haynes, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director, White House Office for Women's Initiatives and Outreach, will also address the meeting. Other keynote speakers at the two-day scientific workshop include Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute; Dr. Claude Lenfant, Director of the National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute; Dr. Richard Klausner, Director of the National Cancer Institute; Bylle Avery, Founder of the National Black Women's Health Project; Dr. Linda Villa-Kamaroff, Professor at Northwestern University; and Dr. Antonia Novello, former U.S. Surgeon General.

A press briefing will be held at 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday, November 19. The two workshop cochairs, Dr. Donna Dean of the National Institutes of Health and Dr. Marianne Legato of Columbia University will provide a summary of the workshop highlights, including recommendations from each working group. Working group cochairs and task force members also will be available to answer questions at the press briefing and throughout the two-and-a-half-day program.

Beyond Hunt Valley: Research on Women's Health for the 21st Century


November 17, 1997 -- PUBLIC HEARING

1-6 p.m. Public Testimony

November 18, 1997 -- SCIENTIFIC WORKSHOP: Putting it All Together: The Agenda for the 21st Century

8 a.m. Opening Plenary Session:

10 a.m. Keynote Address: Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., Director, NHGRI

Genetics, Genomics, and Women's Health

Panel Discussion: Legal and Ethical Issues

11 a.m. Keynote Address: Claude Lenfant, M.D., Director, NHLBI

Heart Disease Research in Women: A Look Back and a View to the Future
Remarks by Julie Buring, Sc.D. Research on Women: An Investigator's View

12 noon Lunch: Richard D. Klausner, M.D., Director, NCI, Speaker

The Cancer Program at the End of the 20th Century

1:30 p.m. Concurrent Working Groups: