NIH News Release
Office of the Director

Office of Research on Women's Health

Monday, October 28, 2002

Joyce Rudick
(301) 402-1770

11 Institutions To Establish Specialized Centers of Research

Bethesda, Maryland — Eleven new Specialized Centers of Research (SCOR) on Sex and Gender Factors Affecting Women's Health have been established by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH). Funding for the SCOR program will total approximately $11 million per year for 5 years. The specialized centers are co-funded by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the National Institutes on Drug Abuse, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and the Food and Drug Administration. The NIAMS will provide administrative oversight for the centers.

"The SCOR initiative marks a great leap forward in NIH support for multidisciplinary research on women's health," said Dr. Vivian W. Pinn, Director of the ORWH. "The ORWH frequently partners with NIH Institutes and Centers to support women's health research. This, however, is the first time we have had the resources to take the lead in developing and funding a new research initiative relating to women's health."

The multidisciplinary nature of these centers will provide opportunities for innovative approaches to research on the role of sex- and gender-related health effects. The scope of research to be undertaken by the SCORs is based on three sources: the Institute of Medicine report, Exploring the Biological Contributions to Health: Does Sex Matter?; the ORWH publication, An Agenda for Research on Women's Health for the 21st Century; and recommendations of NIH Institutes and Centers.

The SCOR institutions were selected on the basis of having at least three highly meritorious interdisciplinary research projects that explore an important issue related to sex/gender health differences. Individual projects must be related by a common theme, which encompasses clinical and basic research. An administrative unit at each institution oversees coordination of the individual projects.

Research priority areas, including mental health, reproductive health, pain disorders, and urinary tract health, will be addressed by grantees of this new ORWH initiative.

A list of institutions receiving awards under the SCOR program, SCOR themes, and the name of the center director is attached.

The Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH) is a component of the Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The ORWH serves as a focal point for women's health research at NIH by promoting, stimulating, and supporting efforts to improve the health of women through biomedical and behavioral research. ORWH works in partnership with the NIH institutes and centers to ensure that women's health research is part of the scientific framework at NIH and throughout the scientific community. The NIH is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.