WHAM and The WHAM Report help researchers and research institutions accelerate work on how sex and gender impact health outcomes for women and men.
The trajectory of transformation begins with research scientists and their work.
Changing the trajectory of any health issue begins with science, and science relies on research. So how does research happen? Who decides what to research? What turns scientific research into transformational clinical applications delivered to people?
When scientists secure funding to conduct research on a particular topic, they can grow the collaborative infrastructure that advances science, taking a vital step towards developing those eventual clinical applications. But even before that, they have to have the lab space available to conduct the research.
“The WHAM Report and WHAM’s efforts to expand the pool of investors in research focused on women will really enable funding for scientists to make critical breakthroughs and ensure that we continue to support researchers and clinicians who prioritize this work.”
Hadine Joffe, WHAM Lead Scientific Partner and Executive Director, Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School.
Innovative institutions are working to drive change, not block progress.
Who makes determinations about things like lab space? Institutional leaders do. When institutions are wed to the status quo, they can unintentionally block or de-prioritize the critical sex and gender research that will usher in new innovations and breakthroughs. That’s why WHAM has partnered with innovative leaders and institutions who understand the scientific and economic imperative for prioritizing and driving sex and gender research that focuses on women’s health and informs precision medicine.
“For researchers, the WHAM report helps make the case to funders that sex and gender specific studies in Alzheimer’s is absolutely necessary moving forward.”
Dr. Roberta Diaz Brinton, Director of the UA Center for Innovation in Brain Science at the University of Arizona.
WHAM’s partners are leading the way for institutional focus on women’s health.
WHAM has forged relationships with the La Jolla Institute for Immunology and with the Mary Horrigan Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. Their leaders understand the nexus between research platform infrastructure and driving change in clinical applications.
Most importantly, these institutional partners understand the criticality of research science on the topic of how and why women experience autoimmune disease, brain health, cancer, and cardiovascular disease at the cellular level.
As head of the La Jolla Institution for Immunology Erika Ollmann Saphire said, “Women are not small men.” Funding and prioritizing the capacity to conduct scientific research into how sex and gender intersect with these four areas of interest is our joint mission.
WHAM’s Investigator’s Fund and early career programs are seeding cutting edge research and promising young scientists.
Strategic perspective comes from the WHAM Collaborative, which brings together researchers and clinicians from leading institutions who assist WHAM in identifying opportunities to invest in cutting-edge research and developing clear goals and metrics for success. Our lead scientific research partner is Dr. Hadine Joffe, the Executive Director of the Mary Horrigan Connors Center. Together, we select the research projects in our four areas of interest, which are proposed by cutting edge investigators in the scientific community. Those projects are funded through WHAM’s Investigator’s Fund with private donations secured by WHAM.
WHAM is also initiating a pilot project to stimulate early researcher interest in the nexus of sex and gender and health outcomes at the undergraduate level. Attracting early career interest in this work is central to long-term capacity development. Moreover, when early career researchers demonstrate their capabilities in securing funding to develop meaningful outcomes, they are better positioned to win subsequent grants and funding flows. Accelerating the careers of young women scientists will accelerate in turn the transformation of women’s health outcomes.
The WHAM Report provides the economic case researchers need to secure funds.
The WHAM Report, for the first time ever, quantifies the economic impacts of funding research that focuses specifically on women. Armed with data from The WHAM Report, scientists and institutions can articulate to funders and leadership the specific value of funding this important work. Researchers across disease verticals are using the data in The WHAM Report to accelerate funding for research focused on women.