About the Center

Women comprise slightly more than half of the U.S. population, use health care services more frequently than men and make most of the health care decisions for their families. Though during the past 20 years there have been successful efforts to include more women in research and expand women's health research beyond breast- and reproduction-related topics, progress related to conditions that disproportionately or differentially affect women has been limited.

To advance research in women's health-related areas — and address disparities between the sexes in diagnosis, treatment and outcomes of many diseases — Mayo Clinic established the Women's Health Research Center in 2011.

Research focus areas

While recognizing that research areas encompassing women's health are broad, the Women's Health Research Center has selected eight initial focus areas. The center is focusing on unique aspects of these conditions in women:

  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Digestive diseases
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Obesity
  • Osteoporosis
  • Sex steroid metabolism and aging
  • Women's cancer prevention and screening

Building on existing efforts

The Women's Health Research Center complements and builds on a strong base of women's health-related research, educational and patient care activities at Mayo Clinic, such as:

  • Significant existing research. A total of more than 1,400 research studies related to women's health are under way across Mayo's campuses in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota.
  • Office of Women's Health. Since 2001, the Office of Women's Health at Mayo Clinic has been coordinating and promoting women's health research, clinical care, community outreach and education.
  • Advanced training opportunities. The Interdisciplinary Women's Health Research Program and Women's Health Fellowship offer postgraduate training opportunities.
  • Strong clinical programs. Women's health-related patient care services at Mayo Clinic include programs such as the Women's Cancer Program, Breast Clinic, Women's Heart Clinic and Women's Health Clinic.

    Additionally, Mayo has extensive specialty services — from gynecologic surgery and urogynecology to reproductive endocrinology — in its Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

  • Small grants funding. Each year, the Office of Women's Health funds several sex-based or women's health research projects that are likely to result in publications and generate preliminary data for extramurally funded grant applications.