University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions Dean Jean Wactawski-Wende has accepted the 2015 Association for Clinical and Translational Science (ACTS) Team Science Award on behalf of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), one of the largest clinical trials ever undertaken in the U.S.
Wactawski-Wende, chair of the WHI steering committee, accepted the award April 16 at the ACTS annual meeting in Washington, D.C. The award acknowledges and recognizes the growing importance of interdisciplinary teams to the translation of research discoveries into clinical applications and eventually widespread clinical practice.
UB, a national and global leader in epidemiology and women’s health research, has played a key role in the groundbreaking National Institutes of Health-funded WHI for more than two decades.
The primary goal of the WHI was to reduce coronary heart disease, breast and colorectal cancer and fractures linked to osteoporosis among postmenopausal women through prevention strategies and identification of risk factors.
The initiative has brought far-reaching new insights into health care practice for women. Originally involving more than 162,000 women across the nation, including nearly 4,000 women from Western New York, WHI researchers sought to gather essential clinical data on the major diseases affecting women, on whom remarkably few studies had ever been done.
“In addition to the Women’s Health Initiative, UB is home to a range of high-profile national research programs, including the world’s longest running COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) trial, cutting-edge cardiovascular research and development of innovative devices for treating vascular disease,” said Michael E. Cain, UB vice president for health sciences and dean of the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
“With five health sciences schools, rare among academic health centers, UB is in a very strong position to best leverage research collaborations both inside the university and with external partners.”