CONFERENCE 2000: FACTORING IN GENDER WILL SHED LIGHT ON THE FUTURE OF WOMEN'S HEALTH RESEARCH -- Former Vice-Presidential Candidate Geraldine Ferraro to Speak at the Conference on Women's Health Research at Yale

In an effort to focus on the importance of women’s health and disseminate research results on the health of women by Yale-affiliated researchers, Women’s Health Research at Yale will host a half-day professional conference starting at 11 a.m. on September 21 at the New Haven Lawn Club, 193 Whitney Ave.

Yale Medical School Dean David A. Kessler, M.D., will provide the welcome to the conference, followed by an opening address to be delivered by Carolyn M. Mazure, Ph.D., director of Women’s Health Research at Yale. Former U.S. Representative and vice-presidential candidate Geraldine A. Ferraro is scheduled to give the keynote address at Conference 2000: Factoring in Gender entitled “Women’s Health: Is It Part of Our National Agenda?”

As the first woman on a national party ticket, Ferraro earned a special place in women’s history. Her many achievements during three terms in Congress include spearheading efforts to pass the Women’s Economic Equity Act, ending pension discrimination against women, providing job options for displaced homemakers, and enabling homemakers to open IRAs.

The prominent role Women’s Health Research at Yale will play in the future of medicine is built upon the rich scientific tradition of Yale University School of Medicine. In February 1998, Women’s Health Research at Yale established a special grant-making program, The Ethel F. Donaghue Women’s Health Investigator Program at Yale, with a generous long-term investment from The Patrick and Catherine Weldon Donaghue Medical Research Foundation. This unique partnership between science and philanthropy has proven to be a highly effective mechanism for encouraging new research initiatives in women’s health. It has helped to advance research activity in women’s health, increase communication and collaboration across medical disciplines, facilitate the enrollment of women in clinical trials, and enhance research of benefit to women.

The conference will feature individual sessions directed by Donaghue Program-funded investigators at Yale who are conducting promising studies of benefit to women who, as a group, have historically been excluded as subjects in research studies. This exclusion has resulted in major areas of women’s health being unexplored and has left health care providers without sex-specific data on response to treatment and prevention strategies.

“The exciting news is that science is stepping forward, challenging prior assumptions, and finding that women and men do have different risk factors for a variety of diseases,” said Mazure. “Science is also finding that response to a given treatment can differ for women and men, that conditions unique to women – such as ovarian cancer and menopause – or disorders more prevalent in women-such as breast cancer and depression-need even more of our attention, and prevention initiatives may need to be sex-specific in order to keep us healthy.”

Research sessions include:

Cardiovascular Health and Women

Viola Vaccarino, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor, Epidemiology and Public Health, “The Influence of Gender on Recovery After Heart Bypass Surgery”

Aydin Arici, M.D., associate professor, obstetrics and gynecology, “Estrogen’s Protective Effect Against Degenerative Changes in Blood Vessel Walls”

Breast Cancer: Genetic Findings and Psychological Approaches

Bruce G. Haffty, M.D., professor, therapeutic radiology, “BRCA1 and BRCA2 Genes as Risk Factors for Locally Recurrent Breast Cancer”

Peter Salovey, Ph.D., professor, psychology and Epidemiology and Public Health, “Communicating Effectively about Mammography: The Power of Psychologically Framed Messages”

New Approaches to Two Common Diseases of Women: Osteoporosis and Lupus

Karl L. Insogna, M.D., professor, internal medicine, Section of Endocrinology, “Impact of Vegetable Protein (Soy) on Calcium and Bone Metabolism”

Mark J. Mamula, Ph.D., associate professor, internal medicine, Section of Rheumatology, “Understanding the Genesis of Systemic Lupus”

The Role of Estrogen across the Life Cycle

Harvey Kliman, M.D., Ph.D., research scientist, obstetrics and gynecology, “New Insights into Infertility Research for Women”

Sally E. Shaywitz, M.D., professor, pediatrics, “The Influence of Estrogen on Memory and Reading in Postmenopausal Women”

Innovations in Understanding Depression

Marina Picciotto, Ph.D., assistant professor, psychiatry and pharmacology, “Molecular Approaches to Understanding Sex Differences in Depression”

Dan A. Oren, M.D., associate professor, psychiatry, “Light Therapy for Depression in Pregnancy”

New Models for the Treatment of Ovarian Cancer

Priscilla S. Dannies, Ph.D., professor, pharmacology, “Changing our Approach to Chemotherapy for Ovarian Cancer”

Setsuko K. Chambers, M.D., professor, gynecologic oncology, “Inhibition of Ovarian Cancer by Gene Therapy”

For additional information and directions, please call (203) 764-6600.

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Media Contact

Karen N. Peart: karen.peart@yale.edu, 203-432-1326