Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health (BIRCWH) Program


Kantarci, Kejal M.D.
Morrow, Melissa (Missy) M. Ph.D.


Award number — HD65987

Kejal Kantarci, M.D., is the principal investigator for the Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health (BIRCWH) Program and the director of the Women's Health Research Center. Melissa (Missy) Morrow, Ph.D., serves as the research director for the BIRCWH Program. The senior program coordinator for both the BIRCWH Program and the Women’s Health Research Center is Patricia R. Simonson.

The short-term goal of Mayo Clinic's BIRCWH Program is to recruit and train outstanding investigators in interdisciplinary women's health research. The program's long-term goal is to build and sustain a viable pool of investigators with synergistic projects who will lead the translation of scientific findings into better health for women.

BIRCWH scholars are trained and mentored by renowned basic science, clinical and translational researchers in the collegial and innovative academic environment of a leading patient-centered institution.

Each BIRCWH scholar is enrolled for up to three years. Most scholars are junior faculty members with degrees such as an M.D. or a Ph.D.

Mayo Clinic's BIRCWH Program has matured since enrolling its first scholar in 2011. Former scholars have achieved success in collaborative research activities, obtained competitive funding, published manuscripts, received extramural leadership positions and engaged in transformational clinical initiatives.

During the most recent funding cycle, the BIRCWH Program at Mayo Clinic introduced innovations to build on the program and facilitate synergies with other career training programs, including:

Position availability

The BIRCWH Program at Mayo Clinic supports four scholars at any given time. Three positions are funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In addition, the program includes a Women's Health scholar funded by the Mayo Clinic.


Appointees must have received an advanced degree such as an M.D., DPhil, O.D., Ph.D. or comparable degree by the beginning date of the training grant appointment.

Additionally, applicants must:

  • Have completed any postdoctoral training normally expected for a faculty appointment in their field
  • Have no more than six years of research or research training experience beyond their last doctoral degree or fellowship program
  • Identify mentors with extensive research experience
  • Devote a minimum of 75% of full-time professional effort to the BIRCWH Program during their appointment
  • Not be or have been a lead investigator on an R01 or subproject of a Program Project (P01), Center (P50, P60, P20, P30, U54) grant, independent mentored career development (K series) grant, or other equivalent research grant award, except for R03 and R21

Appointees receiving NIH funding must also be citizens or noncitizen nationals of the United States or must have been legally admitted as permanent residents.

How to apply

For more information, contact Patricia R. Simonson.

Student roster

Review the focus areas, mentors and publications of current and former trainees in the Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health (BIRCWH) Program.


  1. Bakkum-Gamez, Jamie N. M.D.
  2. Bharucha, Adil E. M.B.B.S., M.D.
  3. Cheville, Andrea L. M.D.
  4. Fields, Julie A. Ph.D., L.P.
  5. Garovic, Vesna D. M.D., Ph.D.
  6. Goode, Ellen L. Ph.D.
  7. Griffin, Joan M. Ph.D.
  8. Jayachandran, Muthuvel Ph.D.
  9. Joyner, Michael J. M.D.
  10. Kantarci, Kejal M.D.
  11. Khosla, Sundeep M.D.
  12. Laughlin-Tommaso, Shannon K. M.D.
  13. LeBrasseur, Nathan K. Ph.D., M.S.
  14. Lerman, Lilach O. M.D., Ph.D.
  15. Mielke, Michelle M. Ph.D.
  16. Miller, Jordan D. Ph.D.
  17. Morrow, Melissa (Missy) M. Ph.D.
  18. Nair, K Sreekumaran M.D., Ph.D.
  19. Patten, Christi A. Ph.D.
  20. Roberts, Lewis R. M.B., Ch.B., Ph.D.
  21. Rocca, Walter A. M.D., M.P.H.
  22. Singer, Wolfgang M.D.
  23. Stewart, Elizabeth (Ebbie) A. M.D.
  24. Weinshilboum, Richard M.D.