News Release

Monday, September 24, 2007

11 Institutions Established in Second Round of Specialized Centers of Research on Sex/Gender Factors Affecting Women's Health

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) announces 11 new or continuing Specialized Center of Research (SCOR) on Sex and Gender Factors Affecting Women’s Health Awards, as a result of the second solicitation for this program. Funding for these SCORs will total approximately $11 million per year for five years.

"This SCOR initiative represents tremendous progress in the NIH’s continued support for interdisciplinary research on women’s health,” said Dr. Vivian W. Pinn, Director, ORWH. “The ORWH partners with NIH Institutes and Centers to support women’s health research. Based upon the success of the first SCOR awards, ORWH has dedicated the resources to take the lead in funding these eleven centers dedicated to advancing interdisciplinary research on sex/gender factors that may improve the health of women."

The interdisciplinary nature of these new and continuing centers will provide opportunities for innovative approaches to research on sex/gender related health effects. The scope of research to be undertaken by the SCORs is based on three sources: the Institute of Medicine (IOM) 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 from NIH Institutes and Centers.

The specialized centers 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, metabolic disorders, osteoporosis, pain disorders, and urinary tract conditions, will be addressed by grantees of this new ORWH initiative.

The specialized centers are co-funded by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes on Drug Abuse, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the Food and Drug Administration. "NIAMS has had a long history of collaborations with the ORWH and is pleased to provide administrative support for this successful interdisciplinary program," said Dr. Stephen I. Katz, NIAMS Director, the institute that will administrative oversight for the centers.

The eleven institutions receiving awards under the SCOR program, along with the research theme and director at each center, are:

Brigham and Women's Hospital
Jill Goldstein, Ph.D.
Fetal antecedents to sex differences in depression: a translational approach
Medical University of South Carolina
Kathleen Brady, M.D., Ph.D.
Role of sex and gender differences in substance abuse relapse
Northwestern University
Andrea Dunaif, M.D.
Excess male hormones (androgens) as the key to explaining polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
University of California, Los Angeles
Emeran Mayer, Ph.D.
A coordinated study of stress, pain, emotion, and sexual factors underlying the pelvic visceral disorders of irritable bowel disorder and interstitial cystitis
University of California, San Francisco
Jeanette Brown, M.D.
Lower urinary tract function in women
University of Chicago
David Ehrmann, M.D.
Sex steroids, sleep, and metabolic dysfunction in women
University of Miami
Emmalee Bandstra, M.D.
Sex and gender influences on addiction and health: a developmental perspective
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
John DeLancey, M.D.
Birth, muscle injury and pelvic floor dysfunction
University of Missouri, Kansas City
Hong-Wen Deng, Ph.D.
Identifying the genes that put women at risk for osteoporosis
Washington University
Scott Hultgren, Ph.D.
Molecular and epidemiologic basis of acute and recurrent urinary tract infections (UTI's) in women
Yale University
Rajita Sinha, Ph.D.
Sex, stress, and substance use disorders

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

The Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH), Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health (NIH) serves as a focal point for women's health research at the NIH. For more information about NIH’s Office of Research on Women’s Health, visit

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

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