November 2009

Women in science careers at the National Institutes of Health

One of the beliefs of the IWHR is that a very good way to increase the visibility of women’s issues in science and medicine is to increase the number of actual women professionals in those fields. That why we were so happy to see the recent booklet put out by the NIH that highlights some of the important women working at the NIH. Entitled, “Women in Science at the National Institutes of Health 2007-2008″, the booklet gives a great profile of many women at the NIH, divided by institute and center.

Debate over new breast cancer screening recommendations

It’s been all over the news this week–the US Preventative Services Task Force came out with a new set of recommendations for breast cancer screening, including recommending against yearly mammograms for women ages 40-49.  Their recommendations say that there is only a small benefit from starting testing at 40, and that this benefit isn’t enough to outweigh potential harms of testing, including psychological harms, unnecessary biopsies, and false positives.

The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything

Women now comprise half of all American workers, and women are either the primary or co-breadwinners for two thirds of all American families. Maria Shiver, in conjunction with the Center for American Progress, published a fascinating new report last month that outlines the ways that having a large female workforce is changing the landscape of American business, family, and health status.  The entire 400 page report can be downloaded by chapter, or read online here.

Why Apply to the Oncofertility Saturday Academy?

DSC00578Recruitment for Oncofertility Saturday Academy (OSA) 2010 applicants officially began on Monday, November 9, 2009.  This is the fourth consecutive year of OSA and we are expecting a very competitive pool of applicants from Young Women’s Leadership Charter School.  OSA was initiated in 2007 by the Northwestern University and Young Women’s Leadership Charter School (YWLCS) of Chicago Science Partnership.  Since its inception, a total of 46 YWLCS high school girls have participated in the OSA.   Today, of the 46 students, two are college juniors, 15 are college sophomores, 14 are college freshman and 15 are 12th graders in high school.  Of the 31 who are in college, most are actively pursuing science-related majors.

Inequalities in Global Women’s Health

Guest blog by Dr. Jennifer Hirshfeld-Cytron, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Fellow, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Northwestern Memorial Hospital

The Obstetrics and Gynecology Grand Rounds this morning was given by past FIGO (International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics) and previous chairman of the department, Dr. John Sciarra.  He provided an incredibly informative and moving description of the global issues affecting women, particularly in the developing world.  He highlighted the issues of maternal mortality, maternal morbidity, STDs, cervical cancer, and education inequality.

Do women need such big flu shots?

Dr. Sabra L. Klein, an assistant professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Phyllis Greenberger, the president and chief executive of the nonprofit Society for Women’s Health Research, recently wrote an opinion piece for the New York Times called, “Do Women Need Such Big Flu Shots?“.

Image: McAlpin,

Image: McAlpin,

November is American Diabetes Month!

Diabetes mellitus is an endocrine disease affecting approximately 7% of the US population.  Diabetes is categorized into two classes: Type 1, or insulin dependent diabetes, and Type 2, or adult onset diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes is a condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin, a hormone necessary for the metabolism of glucose.  Type 1 Diabetes is generally diagnosed in childhood or early adolescence and is considered to be primarily genetic in origin.  Symptoms include extreme hunger, fatigue, rapid weight loss and blurry vision.  There is no cure for Diabetes, but successful treatment includes insulin injections, blood sugar monitoring, a healthy diet, and regular exercise.