The goal of the Women’s Reproductive Health Research (WRHR) program at Washington University School of Medicine is to promote the performance of research and transfer of findings that will benefit the health of women through the development of well-qualified physician-scientists. The program will achieve this goal by providing each scholar with a core seminar series essential for his/her development as an independent investigator in women’s health, a suitable mentor who can provide the guidance and expertise to assure successful academic development and skills as an independent investigator, and the research infrastructure and adequate protected time to create an environment conducive to investigation into women’s health.
This program is unique in that both basic and clinical science tracks separately are available to scholars; however, they train with mentors who cross disciplines and are exposed to both, to be able to interact and translate their own training into cooperative research.
The leadership, George A. Macones, MD, as the principal investigator, and Kelle H. Moley, MD, as the program director, reflects this interactive and cooperative approach to career development in reproductive sciences. Their distinct backgrounds and different career pathways — Macones in clinical research and Moley in the basic translational research — create a juxtaposition of complementary leadership styles. Their combined efforts and vision represent the melding of academic backgrounds necessary to perform outstanding investigative science in the area of reproductive health. In addition, such a multidisciplinary program, emphasizing both clinical and basic research equally, will attract the best and brightest scholars. This quality sets this career development program apart from those preceding it at other locations.
Washington University School of Medicine is consistently ranked among the top medical schools in the United States by U.S.News & World Report, and it has a rich scientific history in basic and clinical science research. Given our existing strengths, we believe the theme that unites the mentors involved in this WRHR program is the translation of basic research into patient-oriented, clinical research to improve women’s health. This uniting concept is shared by our specific focus areas of expertise including: 1) women’s infectious diseases (Gordon, Hultgren and Peipert); 2) endometrial cancer: genetics and cancer disparities (Colditz, Goodfellow, Milbrandt, Mutch and Rader); 3) developmental biology: stem cells and origins of adult disease (Gottlieb, Moley, Schaffer, Schedl and Semenkovich); 4) behavioral health, health disparities and contraception (Cottler, Gehlert and Peipert); 5) developmental neurology and maternal fetal physiology (Holtzman, Inder and VanEssen); and 6) placental biology and maternal fetal interaction (Atkinson, Nelson and Yokoyama).