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Teresa Woodruff Spotlights Women’s Health at Alumni Board Meeting

During the Medical Alumni Association board meeting in November, Rex L. Chisholm, PhD, vice dean for scientific affairs and graduate studies, provided an update on the medical school, preceding a presentation by Teresa K. Woodruff, PhD, entitled “Improving Women’s Health through Technology Innovation and Application.”

Dr. Woodruff, director of the Institute for Women’s Health Research, recently received the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring recognizing the work of the Women’s Health Science Program for High School Girls and Beyond. She says it is her goal that Northwestern become the vanguard medical center internationally renowned for its work in women’s health research, scholarship, education, policy, and clinical practice.

Naming sexually dimorphic presentations in atherosclerosis and joint replacement, Woodruff shared some gender-specific approaches to new technology that necessitate studying and considering gender differences in medical research.

“Before we get to individualized medicine, we need sex- and gender-based medicine,” she explains.

Dr. Woodruff (in red jacket) received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring, recognizing the work of the Women’s Health Science Program for High School Girls and Beyond.

To make Northwestern the “epicenter of women’s health research and care,” Woodruff believes it is important to foster basic research in the cutting-edge, interdisciplinary areas of imaging technologies, biomaterial design, nanodiagnostics application, inorganic physiology, regenerative medicine, and informatics and information technologies.

During the business portion of the meeting, the board approved the Young Alumni Initiative to increase the engagement of younger graduates (those who have completed medical school within the last 10 years). It was decided to include two representatives, one from the Chicago area and another at least 75 miles outside of Chicago, to act on behalf of this important group. Paloma Toledo, MD/MPH ’03, and Arjun Venkatesh, MD/MBA ’08, were appointed. In 2013, young alumni will be asked to nominate two new young alumni representatives.