|NIH/ORWH Announces New Fellowships in Women’s
Bethesda, Md. — The Office of Research on Women’s
Health (ORWH) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Intramural
Program for Research on Women’s Health (IPRWH) are pleased to announce
the selection of the first recipients of the NIH Women’s Health
Fellowships in Intramural Women’s Health Research. This intramural
program (scientists working at the NIH) is supported jointly by
ORWH and the Office of Intramural Research (OIR). The Fellowships
are funded through the Foundation of the NIH. The Foundation was
established by Congress to maximize the resources at the NIH and
supports medical research at the NIH through public-private partnerships.
The Shared Postdoctoral Fellowship is supported through a donation
from Battelle and the Clinical/Translational Fellowship in Women’s
Health is funded through a donation from AstraZeneca.
The two fellows, Suzanne C. O’Neil, Ph.D., University of North
Carolina (UNC) Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and Shannon
K. Laughlin, M.D., Loyola University, recently began working with
their NIH components.
“We are delighted to welcome these two outstanding researchers
and look forward to following their progress during their fellowships
and beyond,” said Vivian W. Pinn, M.D., Director of the ORWH.
Dr. O’Neil, awarded the Shared Postdoctoral Fellowship, has examined
the emotional and behavioral responses of women seeking genetic
testing for BRCA1/BRCA2 breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility
genes. “The Women’s Health Fellowship provides a unique opportunity
for a postdoctoral scientist,” stated Dr. O’Neil. “The resources
provided by the Fellowship will allow me to investigate my own
research questions concerning individualized preventive medicine
based on genetic risk under the mentorship of the faculty of the
National Human Genome Research Institute’s (NHGRI) Social and Behavioral
Research Branch. It will provide an excellent foundation for my
career as a clinical scientist.” Dr. O’Neil obtained her Ph.D.
in Clinical Psychology from the University of Delaware and did
a clinical internship in behavioral medicine at the Medical University
of South Carolina. She has been a postdoctoral fellow at UNC’s
Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Dr. Laughlin, recipient of the Clinical/Translational Fellowship,
is completing her final year of residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology
at Loyola University. “During the course of my last year at Loyola,
I developed a particular interest in fibroids (benign tumors in
the walls of the uterus) and noted the difference between African
American and white patients in prevalence and severity of fibroids,” said
Dr. Laughlin. “The Women’s Health Fellowship will enable me to
enhance my statistical and epidemiological skills for future research.” Dr.
Laughlin is working with the Epidemiology branch of the National
Institute of Environmental Health (NIEHS) in Research Triangle
Park, North Carolina.
Her research plan is to identify factors that place women at high
risk of developing fibroids and to discover if early identification
and treatment of high-risk women, or perhaps preventive measures,
will reduce the need for surgery.
“The Women’s Health Fellowship is a unique opportunity to accelerate
our efforts to provide exciting and meaningful programs for the
advancement and effective mentoring of women to senior positions
in science,” emphasized Dr. Pinn.
The Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) serves as a focal
point for women’s health research at the NIH. For further information
The National Institutes of Health (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. It is the primary federal agency for conducting
and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research,
and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both
common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and
its programs, visit www.nih.gov.