Science & Medicine
Sun March 25, 2012
Women's health focus of new Purdue institute
Purdue is launching a new research institute through its College of Health and Human Sciences.
The Women’s Global Health Institute will focus on prevention of chronic diseases such as cancer, bone health and Alzheimer's disease.
Head of Nutrition Science Connie Weaver will serve as the director of the Institute. She says the effort at Purdue to focus on these women’s health issues is unique.
"Many women's health institutes have shifted to advocacy. That's not what we will be about. We will use research to try to prevent disease and improve the lives of women. Purdue is a place where we can bring together medicine and engineering. That's very different.”
The new entity will be supported by the College, National Institutes of Health funded Clinical and Translational Science Institute, and Purdue’s Discovery Park. It also is getting a boost from an alumna and former university trustee.
Susan Bulkeley Butler made a gift of $500,000 to the Institute and is offering a matching grant for research. She hopes the Institute can close the gender gap when it comes to issues of health.
"I was recently talking with someone about how there's little research focuse primarily on women's health. They said we're held up to men's research. And I thought, "What's wrong with this picture?”
The initiative will bring together dozens of researchers to examine women’s health issues.
Dr. Dorothy Teegarden is a professor in Nutrition Science who examines the effect of Vitamin D on breast cancer cells. She says having the Institute creates a structure that allows the researchers to come together as a group.
"It's going to be a collaboration across campus, so we can pool our resources and strengthen our research. The Institute will allow us to have more support staff and bring in more students to work with.”
Faculty members from five colleges are taking part in the Institute. There currently is no physical structure for the entity, but the managing director will have an office in Discovery Park.