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BIRCWH Scholars

Each scholar receives salary, research/career development funds, and travel funds. Funding for the BIRCWH Program is provided by the Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) through the lead NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH).

2023 Recipients

Gloria Gerber, MD
Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology

Project Title: The Role of Complement in Obstetric Outcomes in Antiphospholipid Syndrome

Dr. Gerber’s BIRCWH proposal will quantify complement levels and employ a novel functional assay (modified Ham) to elucidate the role of complement throughout the three trimesters of pregnancy in women with Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS) and correlate this with adverse obstetrical outcomes including thromboembolism, preterm birth, fetal loss, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, and catastrophic APS.

Primary Mentor: Robert Brodsky, MD

Brittany Jenkins-Lord, PhD, MS, MPH

Brittany Jenkins-Lord, PhD, MS, MPH
Assistant Professor
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Project Title: The Molecular Consequences of Cancer Disparities: Correlating the Neighborhood Environment with Tumor-Associated Genes in Diverse Women with Breast Cancer

Dr. Jenkins-Lord’s BIRCWH proposal aims to investigate gene and protein differences in two tumor suppressor genes, LRIG1 and WWOX, that were shown to be differentially methylated and expressed in the breast tumors of women from high and low neighborhood deprivation areas, as well as differences by racial/ethnic group. In addition to identifying potentially relevant ancestrally informative genetic variants in these genes, she will also employ immunohistochemical and cell culture methods to further quantify protein differences in expression between Black and White women with breast cancer. Learn more.

Primary Mentor: Kala Visvanathan, MD, MHS, FRACP

Michelle Patch, PhD, MSN, RN
Assistant Professor
School of Nursing

Project Title: Examining Acquired Brain Injury-Associated Symptoms and Fluid-based Biomarkers in Women Surviving Intimate Partner Violence

Dr. Patch’s study examines intimate partner violence-related brain injury biomarkers and symptomatology over time for women seeking emergency care.

Primary Mentor: Gabor Kelen MD, FRCP(C), FACEP, FAAEM

Laura Prichett, PhD, MHS

Laura Prichett, PhD, MHS
Research Associate
Department of Pediatrics, Division of General Pediatrics

Project Title: Gender, Race and Suicide: Unpacking the Adolescent Mental Health Crisis

This research examines racial and gender disparities in the under-recognition of mental health disorders in adolescents and young adults as defined by a suicide-related diagnosis without a previous mental or behavioral health diagnosis in primary care.

Primary Mentor: Jacky Jennings, PhD, PHS


2022 Recipient

Serena Michelle Ogunwole, MD, PhD
Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine

Project Title: Developing Postpartum Interventions to Reduce Obesity-Related Disparities and Address Environmental Determinants of Health

This research project aims to address the disparities in postpartum dietary quality among Black mothers with obesity-related cardiometabolic complications of pregnancy. The study focuses on developing and testing a community-informed meal delivery intervention in partnership with Moveable Feast Baltimore, a meal delivery service for low-income individuals with chronic diseases. The project will explore the preferences and needs of postpartum mothers regarding meal delivery, develop a nutritionally tailored meal delivery intervention, and assess its feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effectiveness on dietary quality and postpartum weight retention. The ultimate goal is to provide evidence-based interventions that meet the needs of historically marginalized populations and improve health outcomes in Black mothers affected by structural racism.

Primary Mentor: Wendy Bennett, MD, MPH

2021-2022 BIRCWH Cohort

Assistant Professor Population, Family, and Reproductive Health Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Dr. Holliday’s study focuses on measuring reproductive coercion perpetration and exploring the socio-ecological correlates of this specific form of gender-based violence.

Assistant Professor Johns Hopkins School of Nursing

Dr. Abshire’s research addresses the needs of advanced heart failure patients and their informal caregivers. She will develop and test a novel multi-component intervention tailored to caregiver goals, HEart failure Resilience Intervention for Caregivers (HEROIC), to improve preventive health behaviors, reduce caregiver burden and improve QOL among HF caregivers during her BIRCWH award.

Assistant Professor Johns Hopkins School of Nursing

Dr. Koirala’s research focuses on developing a tool/framework consisting of co-designed strategies for quality multimorbidity care of patients living with two or more chronic conditions and their family members.

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Dr. Standeven’s research focuses on the role of neurosteroid alterations in the symptoms of anxiety and depression experienced by women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).

2018 BIRCWH Cohort

Assistant Professor, Community-Public Health Nursing

Mentors: Susan Sherman, PhD; Karin Tobin, PhD

Research Interests: Underlying mechanisms that inform our understanding of sexual health disparities at the intersections of HIV and intimate partner abuse prevention, healthy sexuality and reproductive well-being.

Assistant Professor, Gynecology & Obstetrics

Mentors: Bert Vogelstein, MD; Amanda Nickles Fader, MD

Research Interests: Women’s interest in endometrial cancer screening and knowledge of the consequences of obesity; Testing utility of the Papgene mutational analysis, a novel screening technique

Assistant Professor, Hematology

Mentors: Sophie Lanzkron, MD, MHS; Mindy Christianson, MD

Research Interests: Reproductive and sexual health in adolescent and adult women with sickle cell disease (SCD)

Assistant Professor, Gynecology & Obstetrics

Mentors: Khalil Ghanem, MD, PhD; Deborah Persaud, MD; Jean Anderson, MD

Research Interests: Improving perinatal outcomes for women living with HIV

Assistant Professor, Gynecology & Obstetrics, Surgery

Mentor: Robert Brodsky, MD

Research Interests: Targeted therapies for HELLP syndrome