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

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.

Glaring gaps remain. Drug companies and medical device manufacturers are not required to comply with the 1993 rule, so women remain underrepresented in their studies. And even though more women are being included in federally funded trials, many studies don’t report results for men and women separately and women remain highly underrepresented in early stages of drug and device development. The results are that vital questions about women’s health are still not an area of focus.

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

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, and 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. 

One of the ways that WHAM! will create change is through providing the data that outlines the concrete economic imperative for increasing our investments in women’s health. WHAM! has commissioned the RAND Corporation to quantify the economic effects — past and future — that result from not studying women separately from men across a spectrum of diseases, focusing on autoimmune disease, brain health, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. The WHAM! Report will track investments, key studies, data points, and progress toward gender parity and the impact this has on the economic well-being of women and the overall economy.

WHAM! also works collaboratively with a range of experts to prioritize and fund research that fills existing gaps in research in  the prevention and treatment strategies for disease in women. WHAM’s research grants provide critical resources to help innovative sex- and gender-based investigations succeed. By demonstrating the potential of sex- and gender-based research, investigators will be able to seek and obtain larger federal grants. 

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.

The WHAM! COLLABORATIVE

The WHAM! Collaborative brings together researchers and clinicians from leading institutions focused on women’s health research. Members of the WHAM! Collaborative assist WHAM! in identifying opportunities to invest in cutting-edge research, clarifying women’s health priorities, and developing clear goals and metrics for success. Our lead scientific research partner is Dr. Hadine Joffe, the 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.  Read more on The WHAM! Collaborative.

THE WHAM! INVESTIGATORS FUND

WHAM! funds cutting edge investigators through private donations. 

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: 

THE WHAM! REPORT

The WHAM! Report will track investments, key studies, data points, and progress toward gender parity in research and the impact these have on the economic well-being of women and the overall economy. WHAM! has commissioned the RAND Corporation to quantify the economic effects — past and future — resulting from not including and considering women separately from men across a spectrum of diseases. This annual report will let us measure and track our impact and progress over time. Using the WHAM! Report’s results, we will also work with the industry-leading IHME to create the WHAM! Index, a robust, publicly available data dashboard that will reveal our findings and call society to action.

 

 
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