FUNDING WOMEN’S HEALTH RESEARCH TO TRANSFORM WOMEN’S LIVES

DID YOU KNOW?

Before 1993, most testing done in clinical trials and diagnostic and device development was conducted on men.
Male animals outnumber females 5 to 1 in pharmacology studies—and 3.7 to 1 in physiology studies.
Lung cancer is the #1 cause of cancer death in women. More women die of lung cancer each year than from breast, ovarian and uterine cancers combined. Non-smoking women are three times more likely than men to get it. Twice as many women as men suffer from depression in the U.S. It is the leading cause of disability in women.
Women are 2/3 of the 5.7 million people suffering from Alzheimer's disease, yet 66% of the animals used in Alzheimer's research are male or of unreported gender.
Male animals outnumber females 5 to 1 in pharmacology studies—and 3.7 to 1 in physiology studies.
Lung cancer is the #1 cause of cancer death in women. More women die of lung cancer each year than from breast, ovarian and uterine cancers combined. Non-smoking women are three times more likely than men to get it. Twice as many women as men suffer from depression in the U.S. It is the leading cause of disability in women.
Women are 2/3 of the 5.7 million people suffering from Alzheimer's disease, yet 66% of the animals used in Alzheimer's research are male or of unreported gender.

BACKGROUND

WHAM was created in response to the considerable funding gap, historical exclusion, and underrepresentation of women in health research. 

The data above represents a very small sampling of the inequities and bias that exist in women’s health research. While some progress has been made since 1993, when the National Institutes of Health mandated that women and minorities be included in any government-funded health research, there’s still a long way to go.

The lives of women and men will vastly improve through research that is equally inclusive of women and men in trials – and female and male animals in preliminary research. By conducting research in parity and reporting gender outcomes separately, health breakthroughs will be accelerated and health outcomes around the world improved. As women benefit from this research and reduce their burden of disease, they will improve their own wellbeing, which is directly connected to the wellbeing of our economy.

Women are:

  • Majority of the U.S. population
  • Nearly 50% of the workforce
  • Control 60% of personal wealth
  • Responsible for 85% of consumer spending
  • Make 80% of healthcare decisions

When women are pulled from the workforce because of inadequate treatment options or to care for their families, there are direct consequences – for our businesses and our economy. Women drive the economy!

OUR MISSION

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We believe that when research reflects the differences between men and women down to the cellular level, we will improve the health and wealth of everyone. WHAM works to increase awareness of and funding for women’s health issues and to improve the inequities and bias in research by accelerating scientific discovery in women’s health in four primary disease verticals – autoimmune disease, brain health, cancer and cardiovascular disease.


OUR FOCUS

 

  • Autoimmune Disease
  • Brain Health
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular Disease

 

WHAM is committed to supporting research that investigates diseases and conditions that exclusively, differently or disproportionately affect women. Across brain health, cancer, autoimmune and cardiovascular diseases, women face an array of differing symptoms, disproportionate diagnosis, and varying clinical outcomes. Historically, these differences have been critically under-researched and under-funded. Through more research into sex and gender differences in these four areas of disease, we will improve women’s health outcomes.

HOW WE WILL CREATE CHANGE

WHAM is creating change and bringing new awareness, voices, resources and partners to address the bias in medical research and improve the lives of women, their families and the economy. 

Wham is building broader awareness and a social movement to inspire action and improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of women’s health issues. WHAM builds relationships with foundations, venture capital funds, limited partners, and other potential donors to address the gap in women’s health research funding and works with individuals and organizations to advocate for change.

WHAM IS FOCUSED ON THREE INITIATIVES

  1. The WHAM Report: The WHAM Report shows the impact of accelerating sex and gender-based health research on women, their families, and the economy. The WHAM Report will be a benchmark of change in this field and available to all.
  2. The WHAM Collaborative: The WHAM Collaborative is a group of leading scientists focused on women’s health who help inform everything WHAM does.
  3. The WHAM Investigator’s Fund: WHAM funds cutting edge investigators to study women’s health and the role of sex and gender outcomes. WHAM collaborates with leading institutions in the U.S. focused on women’s health.

THE WHAM REPORT

The WHAM Report (thewhamreport.org) is a series of studies that examine the impact of accelerating sex and gender-based health research on women, their families, and the economy. WHAM commissioned the RAND Corporation to study these impacts for: rheumatoid arthritis (autoimmune), coronary artery disease (heart), and Alzheimer’s disease (brain). 

To the best of WHAM’s and RAND’s knowledge this is the first analysis of its kind and is likely to become a seminal part of the arsenal in advocating for increased investment in women’s health research. The research methodology and the microsimulation models have been vetted by a diverse panel of experts convened by RAND. 

We encourage other leaders, including advocated, economists, scientists, public health experts and policy makers to draw from and act upon the results of this report. Together, we can drive meaningful change. 

THE WHAM COLLABORATIVE

Women make up a little more than half of the U.S. population, but are grossly underrepresented in medical research, drug research, and medical device development – even for diseases that affect women more than men. WHAM is focused on closing the gender gap in medical research – so that we can prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases in women. 

The WHAM Collaborative is a group of leading scientists focused on women’s health research who help inform everything WHAM does. WHAM Collaborative members work together to:

  • Identify and prioritize key questions for women’s health research
  • Develop studies, collaborate on research, share insights and information
  • Generate interest and momentum in the research community to focus on women’s health

Our lead scientific research partner is Dr. Hadine Joffe, Executive Director of the Mary Horrigan Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. The Executive director of The WHAM Collaborative is Dr. Nicole Woitowich, Northwestern University.

Learn more about our Collaborative members

THE WHAM INVESTIGATOR’S FUND

WHAM funds cutting edge investigators to study women’s health and the role of sex and gender in health outcomes. 

WHAM collaborates with leading institutions in the U.S. focused on women’s health research to assist us in identifying and clarifying issues, opportunities, strategies and success measurements. Together, we select the research projects which will be funded in our four areas of interest. Read more about WHAM’s investments in innovative women’s health research: 

GET INVOLVED

We need to change this and we need your help.

Women’s health is an economic issue we can’t afford to ignore. WHAM is funding women’s health research to transform women’s lives. We’re working to bring parity to health research – including trial research that is equally inclusive of women, preliminary research that includes female animals, and studies that report gender outcomes seperately.

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