Women’s Health Research Day!

Join us today at the State of Illinois Building and around the city to raise awareness of women’s health issues!

On this day last year, the NIH started requiring the consideration of sex as a biological variable in basic research! Thank you to the women who have fought so hard for years to make this happen!

While many of us are aware of the miscommunications concerning reproductive science and women’s health in politics and the media, as well as the inadequacy of sex-ed programs across the country, it actually goes much deeper than that. Reproductive science is not only frequently left out of Anatomy & Physiology classes, it is also frequently left out of high impact academic journals and funding sources. In fact, until a policy at the National Institute of Health (NIH) requiring the consideration of sex as a biological variable was implemented last year in 2016, many academic fields completely ignored reproductive science and the role that reproductive hormones can play in disease progression and patient treatments.

These examples are indicative of a much greater issue in modern scientific research and the way that scientists communicate their findings. There is a clear feedback loop between poor communication of reproductive science research and the stigma surrounding the field. The stigma inhibits research and communication, and the lack of research and communication sets back public perception.

We still have a long way to go — including females is still not *required*, it’s only required to be *considered*.

However, today we celebrate the progress that has been made in Women’s Health Research.

Thank you to Mayor Rahm Emanuel for proclaiming January 25th Women’s Health Research Day in Chicago!!

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Science Outside the Lab in Our Nation’s Capital

I arrived at Northwestern with a passion for women’s health research, along with a vision for increasing scientific literacy, improving upon science communication, and engaging more women in science. Over the past few years, my vision has become more focused. I hope to work at both a local and national level to improve healthcare for women in a world where reproductive science is often disregarded, to the detriment of women nationwide.

My goal is to combine my expertise in women’s health and reproductive science, and my communications skills, to inform policy that affects women. In the past I’ve always said, “we need more women in policy,” or “we need more scientists in policy,” and now I know I am that woman. I am that scientist. We all should be.

This is why I’m so excited to have the opportunity to learn more about science policy from the decision makers themselves. Continue reading