Women's Health Research Symposium

2023 Women's Health Research Symposium

Everyone, please join us for the 2023 Women's Health Research Symposium: Navigating the Post-Roe Landscape. This year we are excited to bring respected researchers together to broach this topic and delve into the impact of overturning Roe v Wade on women's health. This symposium will occur fully virtually, please expect a confirmation email after registering. Please use the following link to register, https://events.teams.microsoft.com/event/ec5dce3b-0318-46a9-95b9-e9c8ecd71156@ef575030-1424-4ed8-b83c-12c533d879ab.


11:05 am Introduction

11:10 am Navigating the new legal landscape- Dr. Wright Clayton


Ellen Wright Clayton, MD, JD, is the Craig-Weaver Professor of Pediatrics, Professor of Health Policy, and Co-Founder of the Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) and Professor of Law at the Vanderbilt Law School.  Her work is truly transdisciplinary, combining empirical, normative, and legal analytic methods to address real-world challenges.  An internationally respected scholar, she has focused for many years on ethical, legal, and social issues presented by conducting research in genetics and genomics and the impact of translating these advances in clinical care and the broader society as well as issues related to women’s and children’s health and wellbeing for many years. She is a founding member of the Standing Committee on Reproductive Health, Equity, and Society of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.  She has been very involved particularly in issues related to privacy and clinical care post-Dobbs and is currently teaching a course on Reproductive Justice in the Law School. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, where she has served on 11 consensus committees and the Executive Committee and was Co-Chair of Report Review.


11:45 am CHOICES: Center for Reproductive Health- Ms. Pepper, MBA 30 min

12:20 pm Implications for prenatal genetic testing after reversal of Roe v. Wade in the United States: Updates- Dr. Al-Kouatly and Julie Barbera, MPH 30 min


In this lecture, we will dive into the research behind our work titled, Implications for prenatal genetic testing after reversal of Roe v. Wade in the United States and provide an update based on the most recent changes in legal landscape. We will explore the interplay between prenatal genetic testing, various screening and diagnostic methods, as well as changing abortion regulations since the overturning of Roe v. Wade in 2022. We will explain the relationship between genetic test timing and legal abortion availability, with insights based on analysis of state-specific abortion restrictions. Discover how gestational age-based abortion restrictions influence patient choices and medical practices, such as possible influence to favor chorionic villous sampling over amniocentesis. Please join us to grasp the complex landscape of genetic testing, abortion laws, and healthcare decisions.


Dr. Huda Al-Kouatly is a Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist and Clinical Geneticist at Thomas Jefferson University. She did Ob/Gyn residency at the American University of Beirut and Beth Israel Medical Center in New York. She has done two fellowships: one in Maternal-Fetal Medicine at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Cornell Medical Center and the second Maternal-Fetal Medicine Genetics at NHGRI/Medstar Washington Hospital Center. She has over 20 years of experience in the field of Maternal-Fetal Medicine. She is the Director of Prenatal Ultrasound and Reproductive Genetics at Thomas Jefferson University. Dr Al-Kouatly’s research focus is the genetic etiology of nonimmune hydrops fetalis and fetal malformations. She has the passion to teach Genetics to medical students, residents, fellows and genetic counseling students. She is the Medical Director of the Genetic Counseling Graduate School at Thomas Jefferson University.


Julie Barbera is currently in her final year as a MD/MPH student at Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University with plans to pursue a residency in Ob/Gyn. She graduated from Cornell University in 2017 with a degree in Human Development and concentration in neuroscience. Before medical school, she worked for two years as a research assistant in a basic science laboratory at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. Throughout medical school, Julie has been involved in student groups such as Medical Students for Choice and Ob/Gyn Journal Club. She is also a founding member of her school’s chapter of the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry, which aims to improve healthcare for patients with disabilities. Between her third and fourth year of medical school, she earned her MPH and engaged in multiple research projects with Jefferson’s department of Maternal-Fetal Medicine.


12:55 pm Consequences for future congenital malformation - Dr. Anderson 30 min


Brett R. Anderson, MD MBA MS/POR, is a pediatric cardiologist, an NIH-funded health services researcher, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, and the inaugural Director for the Center for Child Health Services Research in the Mindich Child Health and Development Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine.  Dr. Anderson blends her medical, business, and statistical backgrounds for the purposes of identifying modifiable drivers of outcomes, value, and health inequities associated with the management of pediatric heart disease. She has examined the effects of provider characteristics, surgical timing, and social determinants of health.  She is the founder and director of the New York State Congenital Heart Surgery Collaborative for Longitudinal Outcomes and Utilization of Resources (CHS-COLOUR), an interdisciplinary collaborative that brings together leadership and data from all congenital heart surgical centers in New York State, health services researchers, and the Department of Health, to examine etiologies of health inequities and plan for programmatic interventions.  She received her undergraduate degree Magna Cum Laude from Yale University. She then completed her medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, a Master’s in Business Administration from The Wharton School, and a Master’s in Patient Oriented Research/Biostatistics from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. She completed her general pediatrics residency at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a fellowship in pediatric cardiology at NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, Columbia University Medical Center, prior to joining Columbia’s faculty in 2013. She is currently funded by the National Institutes of Health / National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (R01 HL150044).

1:25 pm - 5-minute break before panel

1:30 pm - 30-minute panel

We will be providing DoorDash lunch credits to the first 100 registrees!

Use the following link to register: https://events.teams.microsoft.com/event/ec5dce3b-0318-46a9-95b9-e9c8ecd71156@ef575030-1424-4ed8-b83c-12c533d879ab (this link is also clickable in the message)

2022 WHR Symposium- Women's Health & COVID-19

Women's Health Research Symposium

Please join us in attending, the 2022 Women’s Health Research Symposium, put on by the Women’s Health Research center in the Institute for Medicine and Public Health (IMPH), via Zoom every Friday in May (6, 13, 20, 27) at 10 AM CST – 12 PM CST. This year’s theme is Women’s Health and COVID- 19; subtopics are located below on the flier. Attendees must register. Please click here to register and receive the Zoom link to attend! 


If you have additional questions about the symposium, reach out to the programming committee at: c.gascoigne@vumc.org



Women's Health Research Symposium- Speakers



Emmanuela Gakidou, MSc, PhD 

Dr. Gakidou is a Professor of Health Metrics Sciences and the  Senior Director of Organizational Development and Training at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. She is also a Faculty Affiliate for the Center for Statistics and the Social Sciences at the University of Washington. Dr. Gakidou’s research interests focus on impact evaluation, methods, and tools development for analytical challenges in global health. A founding member of IHME, Dr. Gakidou oversees the Organizational Development and Training team as they strengthen and support our high-achieving, diverse and ambitious staff. She is passionate about training the next generation of leaders in the field of health metrics and evaluation both at the University of Washington and around the world and enjoys mentoring and teaching. Before joining IHME, Dr. Gakidou was a research associate at the Harvard Initiative for Global Health and the Institute for Quantitative Social Science. Prior to moving to Harvard University, Dr. Gakidou worked as a health economist at the World Health Organization (WHO), where she led work on the measurement of health inequalities. IHME was established at the University of Washington in Seattle in 2007. Its mission is to deliver to the world timely, relevant, and scientifically valid evidence to improve health policy and practice

Related work: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673622000083#!

Luisa Sorio Flor, MSc, PhD

Dr. Sorio Flor is a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. In this role, she works on the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) project producing high-quality and policy-relevant estimates related to the effects of tobacco use and other behavioral risks on health. At IHME, Dr. Flor is also a part of the Gender Equality Metrics team, where she has a central role in analyzing and quantifying gender disparities in health globally, understanding the drivers of such disparities, and ultimately identifying actionable pathways toward more equitable health outcomes. Most recently, she has co-led research on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on gender disparities in health, social, and economic areas across 193 countries. She received her Master's degree in Science and her doctoral degree in Public Health from the National School of Public Health (ENSP/Fiocruz) in Brazil. She has formal training and experience in health policy, population health, program evaluation, biostatistics, and social epidemiology. 

Related work: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673622000083#!

Ellen D.B. Riggle, PhD

Dr. Riggle is Professor and Chair of Gender and Women's Studies and Professor of Political Science at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Riggle received her B.A. from Purdue University and her A.M. and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Dr. Riggle is the recipient of the 2017 William B. Sturgill Award for "outstanding contributions to graduate education" from the Graduate School of the University of Kentucky, a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (Division 44), and the 2019 Scholar-in-Residence at the Center for Law, Society, and Culture at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law. Dr. Riggle is co-author of A Positive View of LGBTQ: Embracing Identity and Cultivating Well-Being (with Sharon Rostosky; Rowman & Littlefield, 2012; Distinguished Book Award for 2012, Division 44 American Psychological Association), and Happy Together: Thriving as a Same-Sex Couple in Your Family, Workplace, and Community (American Psychological Association LifeTools Series, 2015).  More information is available at www.PrismResearch.org.

Related work: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8570582/

Sarah Richardson, MA, PhD 

Dr. Richardson is a professor of the history of science and of studies of women, gender, and sexuality at Harvard University. She directs the Harvard GenderSci Lab

Related work: https://www.genderscilab.org/gender-and-sex-in-covid19

Jennifer Cunningham-Erves, PhD, MPH, MAED, MS, CHES

Dr. Cunningham-Erves received her PhD in Health Education and Health Promotion from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2013. She is an Associate Professor at Meharry Medical College. She also has an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Medicine appointment in Geriatric Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.  Her background is in behavioral science with expertise in HPV-related cancers, COVID-19, vaccine hesitancy, and intervention development.  Dr. Erves has extensive experience in community engagement. She currently co-leads the Cancer Outreach Core of the Meharry-Vanderbilt-Tennessee State University Cancer Partnership and the Dissemination Aim of the Meharry Community Engagement Core. In addition, she works with other researchers, state-level committees, and community-based organizations and members while mentoring students to develop strategies to reduce disparities across diseases.

Related work: DOI:10.1080/21645515.2021.1984134

Bin Ni, MD, PhD


Related work: DOI: 10.4081/jphr.2021.2497

Rolanda Lister, MD

Dr. Lister is a Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She received her medical doctorate from Meharry Medical College in 2006 and completed a residency at Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, California, in 2010. She completed her fellowship training in Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Since her joining Vanderbilt’s faculty in 2016, Dr. Lister has pioneered a multidisciplinary conference entitled the Maternal Care Conference that focuses on the comprehensive and collaborative care for our medically, obstetrically, and surgically complicated gravidas. Dr. Lister’s NIH-sponsored research program focuses on maternal diabetes, gene regulation, heart defects, and dysfunction in offspring. She also is interested in disparities in maternal morbidity and mortality. She serves as the Health Equity for Tennessee Initiative for Perinatal Quality Care officer. In this role, Dr. Lister promotes maternal and child equity for all women throughout Tennessee. She is also on the Diversity, Equity, and inclusion committee for the Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine. She was one of 54 stakeholders across the US for input into VP Kamala Harris’s Call to Action to inform the legislative agenda for the Build Back Better bill. Her overall mission is to utilize the window of pregnancy as an opportunity to improve the cardiac health of mothers and their children.

Related work: DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2020.12.984

Samantha Piekos, PhD

In 2020 Samantha received her Ph.D. in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at Stanford University advised by Dr. Anthony Oro. She then joined the Hood-Price Lab at the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle as a postdoctoral fellow advised by Dr. Leroy Hood. Using patient medical records she has provided insight into the impact of maternal COVID-19 infection on birth outcomes. She is continuing her work to understand the effect of COVID-19 vaccination on maternal-fetal outcomes and medications used to treat pregnant COVID-19 patients. In addition to her work on COVID-19 and pregnancy, Samantha is using multidimensional omics placental data to understand the mechanism of pregnancy-related disorders including preterm birth, preeclampsia, and fetal growth restrictions. She is also developing analyses that enable individualized insights into multidimensional omics data, which can have future applications in precision medicine. Samantha has also been collaborating with Google since June 2019 to build Biomedical Data Commons, a publicly available knowledge graph that integrates biomedical data from a wide range of sources into a single searchable database thereby increasing data accessibility. In the future, Samantha is interested in demonstrating how it can be used to integrate neighborhood-level social determinants of health data with patient electronic medical records to provide insight into the contribution of environmental exposure to negative outcomes in women's reproductive health.

Related work: DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S2589-7500(21)00250-8

Ashley Bear, PhD

Dr. Bear is the Director of the Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Related work: https://www.nationalacademies.org/event/03-23-2022/long-term-impact-of-covid-19-on-the-future-careers-of-women-in-stem-a-virtual-workshop

Salima Kasymova, PhD, MPH

Dr. Kasymova is a public health researcher with over 20 years of experience in public health with a special focus on promoting the health of women, children, and adolescents, reproductive health, and gender equality. Dr. Kasymova has extensive international experience, working and conducting research in Central Asia, North America, and South‐Pacific Asia.  She has served as a project manager, policy‐maker, and subject matter expert in various international organizations including the World Health Organization, Save the Children, and CARE. Her research has focused on access to and quality of healthcare assistance, COVID‐19, reproductive health, and gender equality.

Related work:  https://doi.org/10.1111/gwao.12699

Wendelyn Inman, PhD