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A Message from The Connors Center about Women’s History Month

Dear Members of the Connors Center Community,

As we celebrate Women’s History Month, the Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, affirms its unwavering dedication to transforming the health of women through sex- and gender-informed research. The Center has a rich history of championing women’s health, having been at the forefront of this critical work for over 20 years. We are proud to continue this work, much of which has been summarized in our newly published Annual Report also available on our website.

We join our friends and colleagues in celebrating the first ever White House initiative to improve women’s health research. During the recent State of the Union, the Biden Administration announced a $12 billion dollar commitment to transform women’s health research. Part of this initiative is the groundbreaking Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) Sprint for Women’s Health program which will improve women’s health care by accelerating discoveries. This national commitment shines a spotlight on what the Connors Center has long known and has been tirelessly working to improve for years: the cost of women remaining understudied, underrepresented, and underfunded in medical research translates to poorer health for women. This extraordinary investment by our federal government promises to transform knowledge and care for women by substantially expanding the resources for sex/gender-informed research.

We are proud of our national leadership role and of the work we are pursuing at the Connors Center to improve women’s health research and outcomes, including within the Brigham/Harvard Center for Reproductive Outcomes of Stress and Aging (ROSA), one of twelve NIH-funded Specialized Centers of Research Excellence (SCORE) on Sex Differences nationwide, in which we are examining how stress affects the health of postmenopausal women. The Lancet’s newly published Menopause Series, led partly by our Executive Director, Dr. Joffe, highlights the need for “an approach that goes beyond specific treatments to empower women with high-quality information, tools to support decision making, empathic clinical care, and workplace adjustments as needed” while advocating for “reduced stigma and greater recognition of the value and contribution of older women.” (See The Washington Post and The Guardian for press coverage).

Since its founding, the Connors Center has made major contributions to the field and partnered widely with other leading women’s health academic, advocacy, biopharma, and regulatory entities. Connors Center faculty are leading cutting-edge research on multiple diseases and conditions affecting women, from cardiometabolic diseases to brain health conditions, from cancer to menopause, and many others. Our work also critically focuses on increasing sex and gender equity and inclusivity in clinical research through partnerships with community programs, education, and training initiatives. In the last 8 years, the Center has also supported over 80 research fellows and pilot awardees together with over 120 members to conduct studies that uncover sex-differences in disease etiopathogenesis, course, and outcomes (including treatment response) as well as through innovative technologies and solutions to improve the health of women. To learn more, visit the Research section of our website.

Happy Women’s History Month from everyone at the Connors Center! We look forward to an exciting year of progress.


Hadine Joffe, MD, MSc
Interim Chair, Department of Psychiatry
Executive Director, Mary Horrigan Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology
Paula A. Johnson Professor of Psychiatry in the Field of Women’s Health
Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School

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