Honoring excellence in women’s health research

Institute for Women’s Health hosted the 10th Annual Women’s Health Research Day

The Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women’s Health hosted the 10th Annual Women’s Health Research Day, a networking opportunity celebrating and promoting excellence in interdisciplinary women’s health research.

This year’s event, chaired by Susan Kornstein, M.D., professor of psychiatry and obstetrics and gynecology and executive director of the VCU Institute for Women’s Health, featured a keynote lecture by Barbara Boyan, Ph.D., dean of the and the Alice T. and William H. Goodwin Chair and professor of biomedical engineering. Boyan presented “Research on Sex/Gender Differences: Why Does it Matter?”

Susan Kornstein, M.D.; Jerome Strauss, M.D., Ph.D.; Barbara Boyan, Ph.D.; and RaShel Charles join the winners of the best poster awards from the 10th Annual Women’s Health Research Day. Left to right: Strauss, Boyan, Tarazi Wafa, Nancy Jallo, Ph.D., Alexandra Werntz, Saini Siddharth, Ph.D., Kornstein and Charles.

Susan Kornstein, M.D.; Jerome Strauss, M.D., Ph.D.; Barbara Boyan, Ph.D.; and RaShel Charles join the winners of the best poster awards from the 10th Annual Women’s Health Research Day. Left to right: Strauss, Boyan, Tarazi Wafa, Nancy Jallo, Ph.D., Alexandra Werntz, Saini Siddharth, Ph.D., Kornstein and Charles.

Following Boyan’s presentation, a poster session featured women’s health research displays by VCU faculty and students covering a wide range of women’s health topics. There were three poster categories, including basic science research, clinical and translational research and community and public health research.

Awards were given to the best posters in each category. Winners included Saini Siddharth, Ph.D. (basic science), a postdoctoral associate in the VCU Massey Cancer Center; Alexandra Werntz (clinical and translational), a doctoral student in the VCU Department of Psychology, part of the College of Humanities and Sciences; and Tarazi Wafa, (community and public health), a graduate student in the VCU Department of Healthcare Policy and Research, part of the School of Medicine.

In addition, Werntz’s poster, titled “Sleep quality and alcohol use behaviors in primary care patients: Problems with sleep are related to heavy/problem drinking behaviors among women,” received the Elizabeth Fries Young Investigator Award. This award was created in memory of Elizabeth Fries, Ph.D., a VCU psychology professor who served as director of research for the Institute for Women’s Health. Fries died in 2005. The award is given to a young researcher who shows promise for improving women’s health.

Nancy Jallo, Ph.D., assistant professor in the VCU School of Nursing, was given the Building Interdisciplinary Bridges in Women’s Health Research award for her poster, “Effects of guided imagery intervention on stress and anxiety in pregnant African-American women.” This award honors the poster that best demonstrated interdisciplinary investigator collaboration in women’s health.