The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) is a national non-profit based in Washington, D.C. A pioneer in promoting research on biological differences in disease, SWHR is dedicated to transforming women’s health through science, advocacy, and education. Founded in 1990 by a group of physicians, medical researchers and health advocates, SWHR aims to bring attention to the variety of diseases and conditions that disproportionately or predominately affect women. Thanks to SWHR’s efforts, women are now routinely included in most major medical research studies, and scientists are considering sex as a variable in research.
The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) is transforming women’s health through the study of sex differences and diseases that disproportionally or predominately impact women. SWHR believes it is crucial for medical research to reflect the diversity of the population, and works to ensure that women are adequately included in clinical trials. SWHR is unique as the leading science-based advocate for advancing women’s health interests.
In 2017, SWHR welcomed new president and CEO, Amy M. Miller, Ph.D., to write new chapters not just in SWHR’s history, but in promoting greater health by eliminating imbalances in care for women by advancing science, advocacy, and education. “Differences in the ways that women and men experience diseases have been dangerously understudied,” said Dr. Miller. “We believe progress in the science of sex differences will benefit the health and longevity of both women and men.”
SWHR’s success has been based on gathering the broadest and most diverse set of scientific disciplines and experienced thought leaders to discuss and research the implications of sex differences on certain conditions, diseases, and disorders. SWHR’s current work includes the creation of interdisciplinary scientific networks dedicated to Alzheimer’s disease, urological health, and sleep health as well as migraines.
SWHR established the Organization for the Study of Sex Differences (OSSD), the only scientific membership society in North America dedicated to promoting interdisciplinary research on biological sex differences. OSSD publishes the Biology of Sex Differences, an open-access, peer-reviewed online journal. Additionally, SWHR created the Recognizing the Achievements of Women in Sciences and Engineering (RAISE) Project, a campaign to elevate the status of professional women through recognition of their scientific and medical achievements.
A major concern of SWHR is the impact of federal spending cuts on scientific research and the jobs they provide. “Proper support of scientific research is necessary for targeting major public health risks and improving the health and well-being of Americans. Without enough support for medical research, the American people will be denied new, potentially life-saving treatments,” said Dr. Miller.
SWHR’s mission to promote women’s health and sex differences research spans the halls of Congress, the White House, and federal health agencies. In the last three decades, SWHR has successfully advocated for increased federal funding for biologically-based research, and won the passage of notable legislation that impacts women’s health, such as the National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act.
“Research!America’s commitment to making health research a higher national priority is directly aligned with SWHR’s mission to champion the study of sex differences that affect disease and treatment, as well as increased funding for women’s health research and parallel funding increases for federal health agencies,” said Dr. Miller.
For more information, visit www.swhr.org.