When it comes to health research, a
disparity exists. Women’s health is understudied, leaving unanswered questions
surrounding the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the diseases that impact
women’s health. Judith G. Regensteiner, PhD, intends to see that changed.
As co-founder and current director of the Center for Women’s
Health Research, Dr. Regensteiner is making an impact by aligning researchers,
resources and the community. Dr. Regensteiner and her colleagues conduct key
research on women’s health and sex differences while mentoring the next
generation of researchers. Educating both the public and health care providers
about women’s health and sex differences is also a key component of the work.
Dr. Regensteiner was recently chosen to be chair of the
Women in Medicine and Science Committee, a position she feels honored to take
“I feel really lucky to be on a campus with such phenomenal
support--of myself, my research and women researchers in academia,” said Dr.
Regensteiner. “Traditionally, women aren’t at the top in academia. I’m excited
to keep expanding the leadership training available to our women faculty
Dr. Regensteiner draws pride from helping connect
researchers with the resources they need to fund their work. Recently, she and
her colleagues at the Center helped a novice researcher who was having trouble
getting funding. Once she was provided with some training related to grant
applications, the researcher received the funds she needed to get pilot data
and then received a big NIH grant.
“It was lovely—just lovely! A great moment for all of us,”
said Dr. Regensteiner.
Connecting Research and Resources
Dr. Regensteiner’s work in bringing the community together
in support of women’s health holds a very special place among her long list of
accomplishments. The Center itself was the culmination of the community and the
university working together. In 2013, Dr. Regensteiner was named the inaugural
holder of the Judith and Joseph Wagner Endowed Chair in Women’s Health
Research. After an 18-month effort, the center received more than $2 million in
private support, including a $1 million lead gift from Judi and Joe Wagner. The
chair was the first of its kind at the University of Colorado and is currently
one of only a few nationally directed toward women’s health research.
“It’s been huge. First, it’s $2 million! But it also
represents the devotion of our community and the continued building of this
relationship,” said Regensteiner.
Dr. Regensteiner believes that it’s this alignment that will
help us all see increased understanding in the women’s health issues that
impact us all. “When you combine resources with devotion and drive—that’s when
you start seeing a big impact.”