Connors Center News and Events

September 2019: Request for Research Proposals

The Connors Center IGNITE Awards
Investigating female-specific or sex-differentiated effects in novel therapeutics

Funded by gifts made at the annual Women's Health Luncheon and by other generous donors

The Connors Center is pleased to announce a request for research proposals (RFP) from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) research community for the IGNITE Awards, which advance understanding of female-specific and sex-differentiated effects in novel therapeutics (i.e., drugs, devices and digital innovations) for diseases that affect women exclusively, predominantly or differentially. IGNITE investigations are important components of the Connors Center’s emerging First-in-Women Precision Medicine Platform.

Two 1-year, $50,000 awards will be distributed. The award total is inclusive of indirect costs.

Important Dates

  • October 1, 2019 – Letters of Intent Due
  • December 5, 2019 – Full Proposals Due
  • January 17, 2020 – Awards Announced
  • February 1, 2020 – Earliest Award Start Date

Based on Letters of Intent (LOI), select applicants will be invited to submit full proposals for review. LOIs must be submitted electronically using the Research Proposal Cover Sheet and Letter of Intent Form by 12pm on October 1 to Winnie Ng, MPH, Connors Center Project Manager, at wtng@bwh.harvard.edu.


2019 Women’s Health Interdisciplinary Stress Program of Research (WHISPR) Awardees

In 2019, the review panel selected the following two investigators to receive one-year awards of up to $25,000:

Sarah Boukezzi, PhD (Division of Women's Health): Effects of Psychosocial Stress on Transcriptomic and Neural Mechanisms in Trauma-Exposed Women with Major Depressive Disorder

Le Min, MD, PhD (Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Hypertension): Interaction of Stress and Nutrition in the Regulation of Female Reproduction

April 3, 2019: 2nd Annual Symposium and Finalists’ Pitch Presentations for the Women’s Health Interdisciplinary Stress Program of Research (WHISPR)

The Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology is pleased to announce the 2nd Annual Symposium and Finalists’ Pitch Presentations for the Women’s Health Interdisciplinary Stress Program of Research (WHISPR).

Please join us for a keynote presentation entitled “Stress and Postpartum Depression: Lessons from Preclinical Models” by Jamie Maguire, PhD, the Kenneth and JoAnn G. Wellner Professor, Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, Tufts University School of Medicine. This will be followed by brief pitch presentations from finalist applicants for the second WHISPR research awards. A panel of reviewers will select the top two applicants from among the four presenting to receive one-year grants of up to $25,000.

April 3, 2019, 4:00-6:00 PM, Zinner Breakout Room, Shapiro Building, BWH

Keynote Speaker: 4:00-4:45

Pitch Presentations: 4:45-5:45

Reception to follow

The goal of the Women’s Health Interdisciplinary Stress Program of Research (WHISPR) is to advance our understanding of how physiologic and psychological stress affect women’s health and disease, and vice versa, by supporting pilot projects, facilitating interactions among WHISPR investigators and other stress researchers, and hosting an annual scientific symposium for the BWH academic community.

For questions about the Connors Center Women’s Health Interdisciplinary Stress Program of Research (WHISPR), please contact Natasha Minor, Project Manager, Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology – NMinor@bwh.harvard.edu

January 2019: Request for Research Proposals

The Connors Center Women’s Health Interdisciplinary Stress Program of Research (WHISPR)
Sponsored by the Mary Horrigan Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology
Funding provided by the Gretchen S. Fish Fund for Women’s Health and Stress Research

The Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology is pleased to announce the 2nd annual request for proposals (RFP) from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital research community.

Established in January 2018, the goal of the Women’s Health Interdisciplinary Stress Program of Research (WHISPR) is to advance our understanding of how physiologic and psychological stress affect women’s health and disease, and vice versa, by supporting pilot projects, facilitating interactions among WHISPR investigators and other stress researchers, and hosting an annual scientific symposium for the BWH academic community.

Dates to Remember

  • Research Proposal Cover sheet due: January 31, 2019
  • Final Proposals due: February 14, 2019
  • Symposium and Finalists’ Pitch Presentations: April 3, 2019

December 2018: Connors Center IGNITE Award Winners Announced

The 2018 IGNITE Award Review Committee selected the following two investigators to receive one-year awards of up to $50,000:

Nicole LeBoeuf, MD, MPH (Dermatology) Sex Differences in Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Induced Adverse Events

Morteza Mahmoudi, PhD (Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine) Mechanistic Understanding of Structural and Molecular Differences in Female and Male Cardiac Cells and Their Effects on Therapeutic Benefits of Clinically Relevant Nanoparticles

August 2018: Request for Research Proposals

The Connors Center IGNITE Awards
Investigating female-specific or sex-differentiated effects in novel therapeutics
Sponsored by the Mary Horrigan Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology

The Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology is pleased to announce a request for research proposals (RFP) from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) research community.

The goal of this newly launched IGNITE Awards program is to advance understanding of female-specific and sex-differentiated effects in novel therapeutics. These IGNITE investigations will be the first to leverage the Connors Center’s emerging First-in-Women Precision Medicine Platform.

May 2018: Women's Health Interdisciplinary Stress Program of Research (WHISPR) Pilot Projects

In 2018, the review panel selected the following two investigators to receive one-year awards of up to $25,000:

Tianyi Huang, ScD (Channing Division of Network Medicine): Association of Childhood Abuse with Plasma Metabolomics in Women

Pamela Mahon, PhD (Department of Psychiatry): Linking the Roles of HPA-axis Response and GABAergic Function in Women

April 2018: 1st Annual Symposium and Finalists’ Pitch Presentations for the Women's Health Interdisciplinary Stress Program of Research (WHISPR)

The Connors Center for Women's Health and Gender Biology is pleased to announce the 1st Annual Symposium and Finalists’ Pitch Presentations for the Women’s Health Interdisciplinary Stress Program of Research (WHISPR). Please join us for a keynote presentation entitled “Trauma and Women's Health: Life Course Burden Within and Across Generations” by Karestan Koenen, PhD, Professor of Epidemiology, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. This will be followed by brief pitch presentations from finalist applicants for the first WHISPR research awards. A panel of reviewers will select the top two applicants from among the four presenting to receive one-year grants of up to $25,000.

The goal of this newly-launched Women's Health Interdisciplinary Stress Program of Research (WHISPR) is to advance our understanding of how physiologic and psychological stress affect women's health and disease, and vice versa, by supporting pilot projects, facilitating interactions among WHISPR investigators and other stress researchers, and hosting an annual scientific symposium for the BWH academic community.

For questions about the Connors Center Women's Health Interdisciplinary Stress Program of Research (WHISPR), please contact Kristen Avevor, Sr. Administrative Assistant to Hadine Joffe, MD MSc, Executive Director of the Connors Center for Women's Health and Gender Biology, at kavevor@bwh.harvard.edu.

October 2016: Media Highlights

October 10: Dr. Hanni Stoklosa discusses how medical practitioners can be in the dark about the sex-trafficking industry in the US in the Redbook magazine article "How a Normal Rhode Island Girl Got Sold into Sex Trafficking." The article, originally published in Marie Claire magazine, is part of Trafficked, a five-part MarieClaire.com series exploring personal accounts of sex trafficking all over the world.

October 7: Dr. Elizabeth Matzkin discusses with Healthline why girls are more at risk for a variety of sports injuries than boys in the recent article "Girls More Prone to Sports Injuries — Here’s Why." The article looks at a number of factors for the increasing rates as well as prevention programs to reduce the risk of getting hurt.

June 2016: Sex Differences Methods Workshop

In May, the Connors-BRI Center for Research on Women’s Health and Gender Biology hosted the Sex Differences Methods Workshop to address sex differences in experimental design. The event featured a keynote address from Doris Taylor, PhD, from the Texas Heart Institute, talks by BWH experts on sex differences in basic and population research, and a speed networking session for attendees to meet with BWH experts and seek their advice. Jill Goldstein, PhD, is the chair of the Connors-BRI Center and is the director of research at the Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology. The workshop and the work of Dr. Goldstein and the Connors-BRI Center are featured in the June 2016 issue of BWH Clinical & Research News: Sex Differences Methods Workshop: Embracing a Sea of Change in Biomedical Research.

March 2016: Hanni Stoklosa, MD discusses her work in human trafficking

Dr. Hanni Stoklosa was featured on Marketplace and in the BWH Clinical & Research News. In both pieces, Dr. Stoklosa highlights the importance of identifying victims of human trafficking in clinical settings. She urges for the development of national protocols to diagnose and treat human trafficking victims.

Charting the Course: A National Summit on the Future of Women's Health Policy Report (2014 Archived Event Information)

The Mary Horrigan Connors Center for Women’s Health at Brigham and Women’s Hospital is proud to present "Sex-Specific Medical Research: Why Women's Health Can’t Wait." The report provides compelling evidence that the science that informs medicine—including the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease—routinely fails to consider the crucial impact of sex and gender.

More information about this past event.

LEARN MORE ABOUT BRIGHAM AND WOMEN’S HOSPITAL


For over a century, a leader in patient care, medical education and research, with expertise in virtually every specialty of medicine and surgery.

About BWH