UCSF-Kaiser Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health Program

Investigator: Claire Brindis, DrPH
Sponsor: NIH National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Location(s): United States


This competing renewal application proposes continuation of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Kaiser Permanente Northern California Department of Research (Kaiser DOR) Bridging Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health (BIRCWH) K-12 Program. The program's objectives are to: 1. recruit a superb and diverse group of early career women's health researchers; 2. provide them individually-tailored training and mentoring; 3. build upon our existing program by targeting important yet understudied topics in women's health; 4. strengthen and integrate models of multidisciplinary research, developing researchers who foster linkages across disciplines and institutions; and 5. promote the prominence of and resources allocated to women's health research by mentoring BIRCWH scholars and alumni in academic advancement and leadership. The program is includes mentors and advisors from 11 UCSF's departments and centers, as well as the Kaiser DOR. It emphasizes novel transdisciplinary approaches to a wide range of women's health issues and draws on the unique strengths of these organizations. We will continue the program's strong initiatives in women's cancers; environmental health; mental health, addiction, and cognition; infectious disease; metabolism and bone health; and reproductive health across the lifespan. A multidisciplinary Advisory Committee oversees the program in partnership with leadership, including selection of new scholars. The program emphasizes mentoring teams that cross disciplines and research methodologies. Diverse scholars and affiliated faculty-in terms of fields of interest, background, training, ethnicity, an gender-are a priority. Two postdoctoral BIRCWH scholars are supported for at least two years and participate in program-specific seminars, progress assessments, mentoring activities, and alumni leadership development activities. The program integrates UCSF Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) career development and training programs. The career development path for each scholar is tailored to the specific types of experience and mentoring that will most effectively support her or his transition to an independent clinical scientist. The program overall will continue to be a unique resource for the continuation and expansion of women's health science in the San Francisco Bay Area.