BIRCWH Research Training

Hormones and Genes in Women's Health: From Bench to Bedside

Ursula Kaiser, MD, Program Director

Women and men are at different risks for the onset, expression, course and treatment response for a number of disorders that occur at different stages of development and through aging. The mechanisms that explain many of these sex differences or disorders specific to women are still unclear. The mission of this BIRCWH program is to develop the next generation of scientists and scientist-clinicians as leaders in the field of women's health/sex differences in medicine who will contribute to understanding sex-specific or sex-dependent vulnerabilities to general medical and psychiatric disorders or disorders specific to women. The work of all of our scholars focuses on the impact of hormones and/or genes in understanding these vulnerabilities. The training is based on a translational approach and modeled in the context of a lifespan perspective to identify etiologic mechanisms during fetal development, puberty, adulthood, and aging, with some focus on periods specific to women such as child-bearing, perimenopause and menopause. Socioenvironmental factors modulating the impact of hormones and genes in understanding these vulnerabilities may also be investigated. Scholar applicants can be preclinical, clinical, or translational investigators.

The Division of Women's Health at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) is the home site for this endeavor in the broader context of a Harvard Medical School (HMS) and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH)-wide training program. Scholars participating in this program represent a number of Harvard institutions including BWH, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), Children's Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI), McLean Hospital, and HSPH. The program provides access to research and academic mentors at these institutions and a vast array of biomedical resources in the Harvard-affiliated system that will be used to address scientific questions essential to improving women's health and sex differences in medicine.

This training program accepts applications every few years from potential scholars for a full-time or part-time faculty position for a MD or PhD/ScD to develop an academic career in women's health. 


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