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Wayne State University School of Medicine secures additional grant for Women's Reproductive Health Career Development Center

October 7, 2009

The Wayne State University School of Medicine continues its role as a leader in obstetric and gynecological research with the renewal of national funding for the only Women’s Reproductive Health Career Development Center in Michigan.

Wayne State University secured its third successive round of funding from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development for the center Sept. 22. The five-year, $2.3 million grant runs through 2014.

Theodore B. Jones, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., interim chairman of the WSU Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, said the center is one of only 20 nationwide. “This grant means that Wayne State will continue to be the pacesetter in creating women’s reproductive health scholars for new and effective treatments of the future,” said Jones, who also is director of the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine. “Down the road, patients will be able to take satisfaction in knowing that they are being treated by someone who has invested a significant amount of time in learning how to create the best practices in women’s reproductive health care and how to treat the problems that plague our patients on a daily basis.”

The grant will allow faculty to spend as much as 70 percent of their time conducting research in women’s reproductive health issues. That investment in research is crucial, Jones said, because physicians have to split time between research and seeing patients. This current round of funding ensures research time without sacrificing time spent caring for women. As many as three clinician-scientists will take part in the program at any one time, Jones said, and as many as six will be trained and conduct research during the life of this grant. “The quality of the health care we provide depends on us being able to understand better the medical problems of our patients,” Jones said. “There is a deep need to be involved in research, and to be able to fund the time it takes to conduct research.”

The grant is competitive, said Valerie Parisi, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., interim dean of the School of Medicine, with a multitude of medical schools and health centers applying for funding. “The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development recognizes the critical research we conduct in the area of maternal and fetal health,” she said. “We have many talented people working on groundbreaking research that leads to healthier births, and it’s crucial that we continue that effort. Getting newborns and mothers off to a healthy start not only helps families, it also addresses issues that could lead to greater demands on a strained health care system.”

In conjunction with the grant, WSU has identified two educational partners – Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn., and the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine - that may send physician-researchers to be trained and share research in Detroit.

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Wayne State University is a premier urban research university offering more than 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to more than 31,000 students. Founded in 1868, the Wayne State University School of Medicine is the nation's largest single-campus medical school with more than 1,200 medical students. In addition to undergraduate medical education, the school offers master's degree, Ph.D. and M.D.-Ph.D. programs in 14 areas of basic science to about 400 students annually. More than one-half of the School of Medicine's alumni remain in Michigan to practice medicine after graduation. With more than 17,000 alumni, the Wayne State University School of Medicine is among the most productive providers of excellent undergraduate and graduate medical education in the country.

For more information, contact Phil Van Hulle at pvanhulle@med.wayne.edu