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The photos in this slideshow feature past and current women physicians, scientists, health care workers and staff. Photos courtesy of BWH’s Center for Faculty Development and Diversity; historical photos courtesy of BWH Archives.

The rich history and bright future of female physicians, scientists, health care workers and staff at BWH were celebrated during this year’s Women in Medicine & Science Symposium. Now in its fourth year, the event, organized by the Center for Faculty Development & Diversity and the Brigham Research Institute,  featured keynote speeches by two renowned leaders and oral and poster presentations by rising research stars from across BWH.

In her opening remarks, Kathryn Rexrode, MD, MPH, faculty director of the Office for Women’s Careers, introduced the audience to what she described as “one of my favorite events of the year.”

“I want to personally acknowledge the contributions of our women scientists and researchers. You are all part of a group of exemplary individuals that reflects the great diversity of science, extraordinary range of talents and wonderful collaborative spirit at BWH,” said Rexrode.

Rexrode’s co-chair of the event, Elena Aikawa, MD, PhD, FAHA, director of the Vascular Biology Program within the Center for Interdisciplinary Cardiovascular Sciences (CICS), welcomed the audience by video, before the symposium’s keynote speakers were introduced.

In her keynote address, Paula Johnson, MD, MPH, executive director of the Connors Center for Women’s Health & Gender Biology and chief of the Division of Women’s Health, described the state of women’s health in the U.S., presenting data showing that even as the health of women in other countries has improved over time, it has stagnated in this country. Johnson discussed health issues that are unique to women, such as maternal care, and others that may require a different approach for detection and treatment in women, such as cardiovascular disease, depression and cancer. She also spoke about the importance of developing, establishing and sustaining women leaders in science and medicine.

The second keynote speaker, Ingrid Katz, MD, MHSc, an associate physician at BWH, was in the first cohort of Global Women’s Health Fellows in 2007, offered through the Division of Women’s Health. Katz, who went on to successfully secure grant funding to study the HIV epidemic and its global impact, discussed her work on social and behavioral determinants of health promotion in sub-Saharan Africa. Katz noted that HIV is the number one global killer of women.

“Women are the key to global health and the future of development,” Katz told the audience.

Four female investigators whose abstracts had been selected by a review committee then gave oral presentations on their research:

  • Hildur Arnardottir, PhD, Research Fellow, Department of Anesthesia: “Human Breast Milk Proresolving Mediators Stimulate Resolution of Inflammation: Pro-inflammatory status in mastitis”
  • Bindu Chamarthi, MD, Instructor, Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Hypertension: “TCF7L2 genetic variation is associated with impaired incretin effect and lower glucagon”
  • Tracy Doyle, MD, MPH, Instructor, Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care: “Detection of Rheumatoid Arthritis-Interstitial Lung Disease is Enhanced by Serum Biomarkers”
  • Lauren Ritterhouse, MD, PhD, Clinical Fellow, Department of Pathology: “Morphologic Correlates of Molecular Alterations in Extra-uterine Müllerian Carcinomas”

The symposium concluded with a poster session featuring six additional presenters whose abstracts had been selected.