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UCLA unites research innovation and community outreach to improve the well-being of women.
It’s widely known that women can face different health conditions and need different treatments than men do. But research into these issues has a surprisingly short history.
As a medical student in the 1980s, Janet Pregler noticed there were no courses on women’s health, other than obstetrics and gynecology. Many women were banned from participating in clinical research studies because of reproductive health concerns, and even animal studies usually were conducted using male mice.
Since those days, policies and priorities have changed, and the Iris Cantor – UCLA Women’s Health Center is making up for lost time. Now under Pregler’s direction, the center has spent more than two decades advancing UCLA’s mission of education, research, and service in the field of women’s health.
In addition to helping develop a women’s health curriculum for medical students, the center has provided more than $2 million for researchers’ early-stage projects and enabled them to attract millions more to see the projects to fruition. Their efforts have included searching for ways to treat ovarian and endometrial cancer; identifying human trafficking victims through the health care system; and exploring sex and gender differences in metabolic disease, lung cancer, migraine, and heart failure.
And the work doesn’t stay on the research bench. The center empowers women with knowledge to improve their own health. For example, the Women’s Health & Money @ Work program offers workshops on healthy eating, active living, and financial management. Hundreds of women have participated — and the benefits extend to their families.
From classrooms to community care, the Iris Cantor – UCLA Women’s Health Center is addressing gender disparities in health care and improving women’s lives. Your gift will help UCLA make even greater strides.
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