2023 Northwest Women’s Health and Sex/Gender Differences Research Conference at Research Week

This full-day in-person conference is designed to ignite cross-institution, multidisciplinary research partnerships within the Portland area and the greater state of Oregon. It takes place in the Old Library/Auditorium on Friday, May 5, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., and is followed by a cocktail hour from 4-5 p.m.  Register for the conference.

The 2023 Northwest Women’s Health and Sex/Gender Differences Research Conference highlights research on women’s health and sex/gender differences conducted at OHSU and the federally funded research programs Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health, or BIRCWH, and Women’s Reproductive Health Research, or WRHR.

Previous conferences have launched new partnerships that have progressed to grant proposals, funding and research.

The conference caps a week that will be launched by the Monday keynote by Joni Rutter, Ph.D.

The conference is proudly supporting the efforts of project Equity, period. to provide free, safe and quality period products and reproductive health education to people who have little to no access to them. The group is currently accepting supplies through donations to assemble Equity Period Packs. Each Equity Period Pack has everything a menstruating individual needs to have a period with dignity (pads/tampons/cup/cloth pads/menstrual cup/disc, night pads, liners, analgesics, heating patches for cramps, and hand sanitizer). Donation bins will be placed at the OHSU Auditorium May 2-5. All period products are welcome!

The conference — with three timely keynotes — caps Research Week 2023, which launches Monday, May 1, with a keynote by Joni Rutter, Ph.D., director of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, NCATS, at the National Institutes of Health. Rutter’s keynote, The Next Ten Years: NCATS’ Audacious Goals (Webex link) addresses her aim to see all aspects of the biomedical research enterprise reflect the diversity of the U.S., including women and people of color.

Northwest Women’s Health and Sex/Gender Differences Research Conference

OHSU Old Library Auditorium and Great Hall
May 5, 2023, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.


08:30 AM – 09:00 AM Registration & Breakfast Great Hall


09:00 AM – 09:15 AM Welcome & Opening Remarks

Drs. Leslie Myatt, Maria Rodriguez and Aaron Caughey welcome attendees, outline the day’s events, and introduce David Jacoby, MD, Dean of the School of Medicine.




09:15 AM – 10:00 AM “Translating Science in Medicine: The Role of Sex in the Biology of Non-AIDS Age-related Comorbidities”

Dr. Igho Ofotokun of Emory University School of Medicine, and Professor of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education at Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, Director of Emory BIRCWH gives his keynote address

10:00 AM – 10:15AM Break
10:15 AM – 12:15 PM Oral Presentations

10-minute presentations, followed by 5-minute Q&A.



12:15 PM – 1:15 PM Lunch & Poster Session

Light lunch will be available. Opportunity for networking and to view poster presentations

Great Hall + 217
01:15 PM – 01:45 PM


“Improving Diversity in Clinical Trials: OHSU Women’s Health Research Unit Approach”

Marcella R. Messerle Forbes, RN, MSN, ND, FNP
Instructor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, OHSU School of Medicine

01:45 PM – 02:30 PM “Projected Health and Economic Consequences of the End of Roe”

Dr. Diana Greene Foster, a demographer and professor at the University of California, San Francisco, gives her keynote address





02:30 PM – 02:45 PM Break
02:45 PM – 03:45 PM Moderated discussion

Panel of OHSU scientists respond to key questions to address in women’s health research.




03:45 PM – 04:00 PM Prizes, Raffle, Evaluation & Closing

Drs. Leslie Myatt, Maria Rodriguez and Aaron Caughey close the conference and evaluate the needs for future conferences




04:00 PM – 05:00 PM Cocktail Social Hour Great Hall

The conference is sponsored by the Oregon BIRCWH K12 Program, OHSU Center for Women’s Health and OHSU Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Questions? Please contact Susan Rosenkranz at rosenkra@ohsu.edu.