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Scientific Council

The Ludeman Family Center for Women's Health Research and researchers benefit tremendously from the prominent scientists that serve on the Scientific Council. These highly regarded scientists, from academic medical centers around the country, offer a national and international mentoring network for our researchers, provide updates on research underway at other centers and medical institutions, and support senior faculty at the Ludeman Center in developing and implementing a robust research agenda.

Scientific Council Members

Jill Goldstein
Jill M. Goldstein, PhD, is Professor of Psychiatry and Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Founder and Executive Director of the Innovation Center on Sex Differences in Medicine (ICON) at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and Helen T. Moerschner Endowed MGH Research Institute Chair in Women’s Health.

She is a clinical neuroscientist and expert in sex differences in health and diseases associated with the central nervous system, in particular, depression, its comorbidity with CVD, and risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). She leads the interdisciplinary research program (NIH-funded for >30 years) Clinical Neuroscience Laboratory of Sex Differences in the Brain. She has received numerous awards, served on scientific review boards, and participated in strategic planning for NIMH, NIH ORWH, and the Institute of Medicine. She has spent her career at Harvard training the next generation of women and men in women’s health and sex differences in medicine, including leading an ORWH Harvard K12 training program on building interdisciplinary careers in women’s health. The goal of ICON, a collaboration between MGH and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, is to tackle the comorbidity of major depression, CVD, and AD, three major public health challenges of our time, by applying a sex differences lens that will integrate shared causes and consequences to more effectively develop personalized sex-dependent therapeutics and healthcare systems globally.

Ginger Graham
Ginger Graham is the former President and CEO of Amylin Pharmaceuticals, a biotech company focused on diabetes and obesity. During her tenure the company launched two first-in-class medicines for people with diabetes. Prior to Amylin, Ginger was Group Chairman, Office of the President for Guidant Corporation, as the company launched the world’s leading cardiac stent platform.

Ginger has received numerous awards and honors. She was the first woman CEO named to the PhRMA Board and Executive Committee. She serves on the boards of directors for Walgreens Boots Alliance, Genomic Health, Surefire Medical, and Clovis Oncology. She is also a member of the Advisory Board for the BioFrontiers Institute at the University of Colorado, the Advisory Board for the Kellogg Center for Executive Women at Northwestern University, and co-chairs the Scientific Council of the University of Colorado’s Center for Women’s Health Research.

She received a BS, with high honors, in agricultural economics from the University of Arkansas, and holds an MBA, with distinction, from Harvard University. She is an avid horsewoman, a former Miss Rodeo Arkansas, and the proud owner of 11 registered Quarter Horses.

William Haskell, PhD, is Professor of Medicine (active emeritus) in the Stanford Prevention Research Center and the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine. His doctoral training was in exercise physiology with postdoctoral training in chronic disease epidemiology. He has been a member of the Stanford Medical School faculty for the past 40 years with primary interests in applied and clinical research in preventive cardiology, cardiac rehabilitation, the role physical activity in chronic disease prevention and successful aging.

He has been a principal investigator on numerous single and multi-center clinical trials investigating chronic disease prevention or management. Of particular interest has been the role of habitual physical activity and related health behaviors in metabolic and hemodynamic factors contributing to the development of atherothrombotic vascular disease and diabetes mellitus. Current research involves collaborations with engineers at MIT and Northeastern University in the development of wireless sensors and common mobile phones for the continuous monitoring of health behaviors and environmental exposures in free-living populations.

He has served on numerous national and international panels responsible for developing guidelines for physical activity and public health, preventive cardiology and cardiac rehabilitation. He was chair of the Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee for the US Department of Health and Human Services. This Committee documented the scientific basis for the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. During 2008-2010 he was a scientific advisor to the World Health Organization for the development of WHO Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health (2010) and to the United Kingdom Health Ministries for the development of United Kingdom Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior Guidelines (2011).

Recently he was Chair of the International Review Panel for the Evaluation of Exercise and Sports Sciences in the Nordic Countries and co-chair of the expert panel on physical activity and physical fitness for development of the PhenX toolkit for the NIH sponsored Genes and Exposures Initiative (GEI).

Wendy M. Kohrt, PhD, is a Distinguished Professor of Medicine in the Division of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and the Nancy Anschutz Endowed Chair In Women's Health Research. She is the Director of Research for Geriatric Medicine and the Director of the IMAGE research group (Investigations in Metabolism, Aging, Gender, and Exercise). Dr. Kohrt is the Director of the Energy Balance Core Laboratory for the NIH-supported Nutrition and Obesity Research Center and is the Chair of the Scientific Advisory and Review Committee for the Adult Clinical and Translational Research Center. She served on the Federal Advisory Committee that prepared the evidence report for the first Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, which were launched by the Department of Health and Human Services in October 2008. She is an invited member of the Isis Network on Musculoskeletal Health through the Society for Women’s Health Research. Dr. Kohrt is currently serving as co-chair of the Steering Committee assembled by the National Research Council to conduct the Decadal Survey on Biological and Physical Sciences in Space, which will recommend research to support space exploration in the 2010 to 2020 decade. Dr. Kohrt has been recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus by the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point and received a Citation Award from the American College of Sports Medicine.

Dr. Kohrt has been continuously funded by the NIH as a Principal Investigator for more than two decades and has more than 140 original and solicited research publications. She is currently the Principal Investigator for two NIH R01 research awards and a Co-investigator for six other NIH awards. She has mentored or co-mentored 24 Ph.D.-trained and 14 M.D.-trained investigators, the majority of whom have established independent research careers.

C. Noel Bairey Merz, MD, holds the Women's Guild Endowed Chair in Women's Health, and is Director of the Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center, the Linda Joy Pollin Women’s Heart Health Program, and the Preventive Cardiac Center at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. She also is Professor of Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Bairey Merz received her bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago and her medical degree from Harvard University with subsequent training at UCSF and Cedars Sinai Medical Center.

Dr. Bairey Merz's research interests are focused on women and cardiovascular disease, mental stress and heart disease, the role of exercise and stress management in reversing disease, the role of cholesterol and nutrition management in heart disease, and adverse pregnancy outcomes and cardiovascular disease. Currently, she is chair of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-sponsored WISE (Women's Ischemic Syndrome Evaluation) initiative, which is investigating potential methods for more effective diagnosis and evaluation of coronary artery disease in women.

Anne Peters, MD, CDE, is the director of the USC Clinical Diabetes Program. She received her medical degree from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine before proceeding to Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto, California, to perform her internship and residency in internal medicine. She completed an endocrinology fellowship at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where she took charge of the Comprehensive Diabetes Program before she moved to UCLA to run the Clinical Diabetes Program there. Because of an interest in working with the underserved, she subsequently moved to USC.

Her major areas of interest include developing systems of care for management and treatment of diabetes and its complications and new therapeutics and technologies for the treatment of diabetes. She was featured in a PBS documentary entitled "Remaking American Medicine." In 2008, she was awarded the ADA "Outstanding Physician Clinical Award."

Dr. Peters is involved in numerous professional organizations and activities, including the American Board of Internal Medicine (Endocrine Subspecialty Board), American College of Physicians, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and the American Diabetes Association, among others. She is currently is a reviewer for Diabetes Care, JAMA, and many other journals. She is a member of the ADA Publications Committee and as the Scientific Sessions Planning Committee.

Judy Regensteiner Judy Regensteiner, PhD is Co-Founder and Director of the Ludeman Family Center for Women’s Health Research. Dr. Regensteiner is a Distinguished Professor of Medicine. Her research explores why women with diabetes have even poorer cardiovascular outcomes than men with diabetes. Her work also examines peripheral arterial disease. She has been Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator of large grants to assess exercise capacity and gender differences in type 2 diabetes and the effects of exercise training in people with type 2 diabetes and peripheral arterial disease. She has been an Investigator for the National Institutes of Health Diabetes Prevention Program and is currently an Investigator for the National Institutes of Health "Look Ahead" program to reduce cardiovascular outcomes in people with diabetes. 

Dr. Regensteiner has authored more than 150 research publications in her areas of expertise and has received many honors, including the Department of Medicine's Ph.D. Teaching and Research Award and the CU System-wide Elizabeth Gee Memorial Lectureship Award. She is a dedicated mentor and serves as Principal Investigator of the National Institutes of Health “Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health” grant, which provides training and mentorship for promising junior faculty members pursuing research careers. Other activities include participation as a committee chair for the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Advisory Committee, formed by U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt in 2008. She is a national and international speaker. Most recently, she participated as Co-chair in two strategic planning meetings for the Office on Research in Women’s Health at the National Institutes of Health. The results of these meetings will help direct the research agenda for this Office for the next 10 years.

Jane Reusch
Jane E. B. Reusch, M.D. is Associate Director of the Center for Women's Health Research and Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry at the University of Colorado Denver and Denver VAMC. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame and attended medical school at Northwestern University and the University of Minnesota. Dr. Reusch did her internal medicine, endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism training at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. Dr. Reusch is Past-President of the American Federation for Medical Research Foundation, and she is a member of the American Diabetes Association, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the American Association of Physicians, the American Heart Association, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, The Endocrine Society, and the American Heart Association. Dr. Reusch is currently on the FASEB Board Science Policy Committee where she represents the interests of clinical research and the need to have a workforce of clinical investigators to translate scientific advances to patients in the community.

Dr Reusch leads a translational research program which seeks to understand the molecular barriers to optimal exercise function in adults and children with Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. In her collaborative research program with Dr Regensteiner, they have characterized defects in maximal and submaximal exercise capacity. In human subjects, this dysfunction correlates with insulin resistance, endothelial dysfunction, decreased perfusion of the heart and skeletal muscle and decreased mitochondrial function. Treatment with the insulin sensitizer rosiglitazone augments functional exercise capacity in sedentary people with type 2 diabetes. This serves as proof of concept that targeting the functional defects can improve the exercise dysfunction.

The Reusch lab was recently awarded a VA merit award to investigate the heart and vascular response to exercise training in rodent models of type 2 diabetes. She made the novel and disconcerting observation that mitochondrial adaptive changes induced by exercise are blunted in diabetic rodent models. They have identified that nitric oxide synthase dysfunction contributes to failed adaptation and have exciting preliminary results suggesting that a new class of diabetes drugs can restore endothelial nitric oxide synthase function and augment the beneficial response to exercise training and diabetes. This finding will support a 4 year investigation of molecular barriers to exercise is diabetes. Ongoing studies with Dr. Regensteiner are evaluating these same interventions in human subjects with diabetes.

Yoel Sadovsky, MD, is the Director of the Magee-Womens Research Institute, Elsie Hilliard Hillman Chair of Women’s Health Research and Professor of OBGYN, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, and CTSI in the Department of OBGYN and Reproductive Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Yoel Sadovsky received his MD degree from the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem in 1986, followed by OBGYN residency at Washington University in St. Louis and maternal-fetal medicine and postdoctoral research fellowships at the University of California, San Francisco. He then returned to Washington University as a reproductive biologist and specialist in high-risk pregnancy, where he was appointed tenured professor of OBGYN, and Cell Biology and Physiology. Dr. Sadovsky served as director of the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Fellowship at Washington University between 1997-2007, and as Director, Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and Ultrasound from 1999-2007. In 2007, he assumed Directorship of Magee-Womens Research Institute (MWRI) at the University of Pittsburgh, and Vice Chair (Research), Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences. MWRI is the hub for approximately 110 basic and translational reproductive biology researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, 70 of whom reside at the Institute’s 120,000 sq ft research building and in the adjacent Magee-Womens Hospital.

Dr. Sadovsky’s research on feto-placental development and trophoblast function parallels his clinical expertise in maternal-fetal medicine. Using human placental cells as well as mouse models, he studies molecular pathways that govern placental development and adaptive response to stress. Primary areas of research include: (1) Placental uptake and processing of metabolic fuels, with studies that center on the uptake, storage, and trafficking of fatty acids that are critical for feto-placental development, (2) The role of microRNA in placental function, where the lab combines computationally identified sets of miRNA targets with transcriptomic analysis, as well as overexpression and silencing approaches, to define critical placental microRNA targets, (3) Placental injury and adaptation, where the lab defines hypoxic trophoblast signature pathways that govern trophoblast adaptation to injury. Dr. Sadovsky’s laboratory is funded via several NIH grants, and his investigation has resulted in the publication of 106 peer-reviewed scientific articles and 17 book chapters and invited publications, and his selection for the Society for Gynecologic Investigation’s (SGI) President’s Achievement Award in 2004.

Dr. Sadovsky has served on several National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) study sections, chaired the NICHD Maternal-Fetal Biology Research Study Section in 2005-06, the NICHD Genomic and Proteomic Network for Preterm Birth Research steering committee, and is currently a member of the NICHD Advisory Council and the NICHD Division of Intramural Research Review Panel. He chairs the March of Dimes Prematurity Research Initiative Advisory Committee, is a member of the March of Dimes Scientific Advisory Council and a number of other academic advisory boards. He was recently appointed Editor for the journal Placenta.

Dr. Sadovsky has trained numerous students, residents, post-doctoral fellows and faculty. He is the Research Director of the Magee-Womens Basic and Translational Reproductive Health Training (WRHR, NIH K12) Program, and recently submitted the competitive renewal of the University’s long-standing Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH, NIH K12) program, and anticipates assuming directorship of this program in 2013.

Nanette K. Wenger, MD, MACC, MACP, FAHA, is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology at the Emory University School of Medicine. She is a Consultant to the Emory Heart and Vascular Center and the Founding Consultant of the Emory Women's Heart Center.

Coronary heart disease in women is one of Dr. Wenger’s major clinical and research interests. She chaired the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Conference on Cardiovascular Health and Disease in Women. Dr. Wenger has expertise in cardiac rehabilitation as well. She chaired the World Health Organization Expert Committee on Rehabilitation after Cardiovascular Disease, and co-chaired the Guideline Panel on Cardiac Rehabilitation for the U.S. Agency for Health Care Policy and Research. Dr. Wenger has had a longstanding interest in geriatric cardiology, is a Past President of the Society of Geriatric Cardiology, and served as Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Geriatric Cardiology for more than 15 years. She is listed in Best Doctors in America, and was selected Georgia Woman of the Year in 2010.

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