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History & Founders

Center for Women's Health Research Beginnings


The Center for Women’s Health Research (CWHR), founded by Judy Regensteiner, PhD, JoAnn Lindenfeld, MD, and Lorna Moore, PhD, became an official, Regent-approved Center of the University of Colorado in 2004. These visionary leaders started the CWHR to enhance and to propel forward the vastly understudied areas of women’s health and sex differences. The 3 part mission​ of the CWHR is to perform cutting edge research in women’s health and sex differences across the lifespan, to mentor and fund the next generation of MD and PhD researchers, and to educate the public and health care providers. 

The CWHR has grown from 3 founders to 58 affiliated MD and PhD scientists who study women’s health and sex differences across the lifespan and are experts in basic, clinical/translational, and epidemiologic research. 

The CWHR is advised and guided by a talented and engaged community advisory board, a medicine cabinet of business and community leaders, and a scientific council​ composed of prominent scientists from institutions across the country. CWHR Director Judy Regensteiner, PhD holds the Judith and Joseph Wagner Chair in Women’s Health Research and Wendy Kohrt, PhD holds the Nancy Anschutz Endowed Chair In Women’s Health Research.   


Our Founders

Judith Regensteiner, PhD - Founder and Director of the Center for Women’s Health Research and M​ember of the Scientific Council​

Director, Center for Women’s Health Research
Judith and Joseph Wagner Chair in Women’s Health Research

Judy Regensteiner, PhDProfessor of Medicine, Divisions of General Internal Medicine and CardiologyAs ​co-founder and Director of the Center for Women’s Health Research at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Dr. Judy Regensteiner leads an interdisciplinary team of researchers who focus on women’s health and sex difference research. The Center for Women’s Health Research seeks to accelerate improvements in women’s health by uncovering answers to medical questions related to cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Dr. Regensteiner’s research expertise is in the cardiovascular effects of diabetes with a specific focus on women with type 2 diabetes since they appear to have more significant abnormalities than men with diabetes. Her lab has been funded for over 20 years for this work and her publications have influenced the field. She is also known for her research on peripheral arterial disease. 

Dr. Regensteiner has been Principal Investigator (PI) or Co-Investigator of several grants to assess exercise capacity and sex differences in type 2 diabetes and the effects of exercise training in people with type 2 diabetes and peripheral arterial disease. She has also been an Investigator for the National Institutes of Health’s Diabetes Prevention Program. Currently, she is the PI for the National Institutes of Health’s Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) grant; the PI for the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation grant; and is an Investigator for the National Institutes of Health’s “Look Ahead” program and an American Diabetes Association grant. 

Dr. Regensteiner has authored more than 140 research publications in her areas of expertise and has received many honors, including the Department of Medicine’s Ph.D. Teaching and Research Award, the CU system-wide Elizabeth Gee Memorial Lectureship Award, and the American Federation for Medical Research’s Henry Christian Award for Outstanding Cardiovascular Research. Appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, she served on the Advisory Committee for Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. She currently sits on the National Institute of Health’s Advisory Committee of the Office of Research on Women’s Health and the Steering Committee of the Leaders Empowering the Advancement of Diversity in Education Research and Science (LEADERS) in women’s health. She is an internationally and nationally invited speaker and is sought after in contributing to and establishing guidelines about women’s health.

JoAnn Lindenfeld, MD - Co-founder Center for Women’s Health Research

Professor of Clinical Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center

JoAnn Lindenfeld, MDJoAnn Lindenfeld, MD earned her medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School. She is Professor of Medicine and Director of the Heart Failure and Transplant Programs at Vanderbilt University. She co-founded the Center for Women’s Health Research at the University of Colorado in 2004. 

Dr. Lindenfeld began her career investigating the role of anemia in the regulation of cardiac output, which subsequently led her to develop the heart failure and transplant program at the University of Colorado. She has extensive experience in the direction and oversight of large multicenter randomized clinical trials in heart failure, heart transplantation, and mechanical circulatory support. Her recent work has contributed to improved anticoagulation in recipients of left ventricular assist devices, the development of models to predict the risk of peripartum cardiomyopathy, the discovery that women with heart failure are more likely to have heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, and the development of a model that determines specific phenotypes of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction.

In 2015 she became a Professor of Clinical Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.


Lorna Moore, PhD - Co-founder Center for Women’s Health Research

CWHR Faculty Leadership
Senior Researcher
Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Lorna Moore, PhDDr. Lorna Moore’s  research expertise resides in studies of human adaptation to high altitude and the role of hypoxia in complications of pregnancy and fetal life. She co-founded the Center for Women’s Health Research at the University of Colorado in 2004. Dr. Moore’s current work is aimed at identifying specific gene variants and the physiological mechanisms that will help in better understanding the processes of evolutionary adaptation and will aid in identifying persons at risk for pregnancy complications and/or design more effective therapies for their treatment.

Lorna Moore, PhD University of Colorado Bio​​​​​​

Learn More

Link to PubMed​​