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University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Publish Date: 11/11/98
Media Contact: AHC Public Relations, (513) 558-4553
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NIH Names UC as One of Twelve Women's Reproductive Health Research Career Development Centers

Cincinnati--The University of Cincinnati (UC) Women’s Reproductive Health Research Scholars is one of the twelve women’s health research center programs awarded funding by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the Office of Research on Women’s Health at the National Institutes of Health. The NIH has awarded a total of $4 million per year to the twelve centers for the next five years. The program at UC Medical Center will receive a five-year total of approximately $1.5 million. These NIH-funded women’s health research centers will enhance the research skills and expertise of obstetrician/gynecologists and enable them to become competitive and successful in research careers. The funds will also help educate the next generation of investigators in obstetrics and gynecology in a national effort to advance research in women’s reproductive health.

Robert Rebar, MD, professor and director of the University of Cincinnati Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and principal investigator of the grant at UC says, "I am delighted that UC has been chosen by the NIH as one of the two Women’s Reproductive Health Research Center sites in the Midwest. These centers will provide universities with the opportunity to build programs for developing new investigators in women’s health research."

Leslie Myatt, PhD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, and molecular and cellular physiology at UC, wrote the NIH grant proposal and will serve as the UC program director. He says, "Women’s health research is currently an underserved area due to a lack of trained investigators in obstetrics and gynecology. The primary emphasis of this program is to enhance the basic research skills and expertise of the scholars in the principles and techniques of modern molecular medicine which they can then apply to a clinical problem in women’s health." NIH funds awarded to UC have been matched by the UC College of Medicine and will add three new research scholars to the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

UC currently has approximately $27 million dollars in sponsored research in areas relating to women’s health, including the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Network, which studies problems in pregnancy, and the Women’s Health Initiative, a multicenter study investigating the effects of diet and hormone replacement on cancer and bone fracture. UC has consistently ranked among the top five departments of obstetrics and gynecology in funding awarded by the NIH. "This award recognizes the national reputation of our department," says Myatt.

The eleven other new Women’s Reproductive Health Research Career Development Centers are located at: Magee-Women’s Hospital in Pittsburgh; Oregon Health Sciences University; Stanford University; University of California in San Francisco; University of California in Los Angeles; University of Pennsylvania; University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston; University of Texas, Medical Branch, Galveston; University of Washington; Wake Forest University School of Medicine; and Wayne State in Michigan.

According to the NICHD, once the centers are established, research candidates will apply directly to the sites for the opportunity to participate in the programs. Investigators with established research programs will serve as mentors and advisors at each new center. For more information on the Women’s Reproductive Health Scholars program at UC, call (513) 558-6587.

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