Women's Reproductive Health Research (WRHR)

Career Development Program

In 1999, the UW's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology was one of 20 OB/GYN sites chosen nationwide and funded for a five-year period by the National Institutes of Health to be a Women's Reproductive Health Research Career Development Training Center. Funding has been renewed at each grant cycle through 2020.

The long-term goal of the UW WRHR program is to recruit and facilitate the career development of obstetrician-gynecologists who have demonstrated research potential and are committed to a career in academic medicine. The University of Washington program is unique in its broad approach to the WRHR career development award. We have assembled an internationally renowned mentor group from an exceptionally wide range of disciplines. Scholars build collaborative teams, with obstetrics and gynecology research as the core activity. The end result is an individually tailored educational program, unlike most fellowships available in the field of obstetrics and gynecology.

The principal training format is a mentored experience with a successful investigator (clinical or basic research) for a minimum of two, but up to five, years. During this period, the scholar devotes 75% of their time to research. The research scope is open for the scholar and mentor to direct, and encompasses all areas of obstetrics and gynecology and its subspecialties. As of May 2013, 215 OB/GYN junior faculty had been appointed to the NIH WRHR Programs, nationwide. Currently the UW is one of 15 national WRHR centers. The UW Ob/Gyn Department can support a maximum of two scholars at any given time.

For further information, go to:

Eligibility Requirements

  • MD or MD/PhD with completed Ob/Gyn residency (completed fellowship optional)
  • No previous NIH independent research awards (R01, R03) or more than 3 years on a K award
  • United States citizen, non-citizen national, or permanent citizen with verification of legal admission
  • Individuals from under-represented backgrounds are encouraged to apply

Salary Support & Appointment

  • Appointments are for a minimum of two and maximum of five years
  • Salary support will be at the instructor/assistant professor level
  • Additional $25,000 annually for research support/course work


Currently Funded Scholars

  • Elizabeth Micks, MD, MPH, Family Planning (Mentor—Anna Wald, MD, MPH)
    Effects of endogenous progesterone and vaginal hormonal contraceptives on local cervicovaginal immunity (July 2015—Present)
  • Suchitra Chandrasekaran, MD, MSCE, Maternal-Fetal Medicine (Mentors—Ellen Schur, MD, MS, Hilary Gammill, MD)
    Pregnancy Outcomes in obesity and the role of visceral fat distribution (July 2015—Present)

Past Scholars

  • Barbara S Norquist, MD, Gynecologic Oncology (Mentor—Elizabeth M Swisher, MD) Identification of Germline Mutations in DNA-Repair Genes in Women with Ovarian Cancer (July 2012 to June 2014)
  • John Liao, MD, PhD, Gynecologic Oncology (Mentor—Mary Nora Disis, MD) Development of a Polyepitope DNA Vaccine for Ovarian Cancer Immunotherapy(September 2010 to July 2015)
  • Jennifer Unger, MD, PhD, Women's Health (Mentor—Grace C John-Stewart, MD, MPH, PhD) Health Technology to Improve Maternal and Neonatal Health in Resource Limited Settings (August 2007 to April 2009 and May 2011 to September 2014)
  • Hilary S Gammill, MD, Maternal-Fetal Medicine (Mentor—J Lee Nelson, MD) Immunologic Maladaptation and Microchimerism in Preeclampsia (January 2007 to December 2011)
  • Caroline M Mitchell, MD, MPH, Women's Health (Mentor—Lisa M Frenkel, MD) HIV-1 in the Female Genital Tract(August 2006 to April 2010)
  • Michael F Fialkow, MD, MPH, Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery (Mentor—Noel S Weiss, MD, DrPH) Epidemiology of Recurrent Pelvic Organ Prolapse (July 2004 to July 2007)
  • Kristina M Adams Waldorf, MD, Women's Health (Mentor—J Lee Nelson, MD) The Maternal-Fetal Immune Response to Preterm Labor (July 2002 to December 2006)
  • Jennifer L Melville, MD, MPH, Women's Health (Mentor—Edward A Walker, MD) Depression and Obstetric-Gynecologic Disorders (July 1999 to March 2004)
  • Elizabeth M Swisher, MD, Gynecologic Oncology (Mentor—Mary-Claire King, MD) Molecular Markers in Ovarian Cancer(July 1999 to September 2002)
  • Susan D Reed, MD, MPH, Women's Health (Mentor—Noel S Weiss, MD, DrPh) Steroid Hormones and Uterine Neoplasms (July 1999 to July 2001)
  • S Samuel Kim, MD, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (Mentor—Michael R Soules, MD) Ovarian Cryopreservation and Transplantation (July 1999 to July 2001) 

Scientific Mentors

Current Mentors

*Active mentors to current scholars

How to Apply

Contact Coordinator Sally Sneden by email, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., with your indication of interest and include:

  • Brief statement of research and career plans
  • Curriculum vitae or biosketch

Eligible candidates will be contacted and encouraged to send an application form. Minority candidates are encouraged to apply.

For further information, contact:

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Research Program Director)
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Scientific Advisor)
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Principal Investigator)
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Recruitment Director)