Augusta University Embarks on Pioneering Women’s Cardiovascular Health Research Aligned with the Historic Investment in Women’s Health

ROAR researchers at symposium

In an unparalleled commitment to enhancing women’s health research, Augusta University is at the forefront of addressing one of the most pressing health issues of our time – cardiovascular disease (CVD) in women. Through its Specialized Center of Research Excellence in Sex Differences (SCORE), Augusta University is spearheading innovative research and community engagement initiatives aimed at bridging the significant gender gap in cardiovascular health research and outcomes.

In his recent State of the Union Address, President Joe Biden called upon Congress to authorize transformative investments in women’s health research, marking a historic moment in the nation’s approach to healthcare. This call to action builds on a series of significant announcements from the White House, including a groundbreaking initiative launched last November focused on women’s health research and the February 2024 announcement of a $100 million investment by the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) dedicated to this cause. Now, with a proposed $12 billion allocation towards women’s health research, the White House is taking decisive steps to ensure that women’s health research receives the attention and funding it desperately needs.

“Women represent more than half of our population, yet research in women’s health has been perennially underfunded,” President Biden remarked, highlighting the critical need for a shift in the research paradigm. The establishment of the first-ever White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research, spearheaded by First Lady Jill Biden, aims to revolutionize the funding landscape for women’s health research in the United States.

Aligned with the administration’s vision, Augusta University’s NIH-funded SCORE project is positioned to make a significant impact. With over one-third of women living with heart disease and many unaware of the risks, the urgency for focused research on cardiovascular health in women cannot be overstated. Augusta University’s SCORE aims to transform both academic and community understanding of sex as a biological variable (SABV) in hypertension and cardiovascular disease. The project is designed with four ambitious objectives: to advance research into sex-specific mechanisms that control blood pressure, to develop a diverse pipeline of biomedical scientists trained in SABV in CVD, to establish community outreach to increase awareness and promote optimal cardiovascular healthcare, and to empower communities to monitor their health and improve access to care.

“This investment from the White House is not just a win for women’s health research; it’s a pivotal moment for healthcare equality in our nation. Our SCORE project is ready to lead the way in closing the gender gap in cardiovascular health research, ensuring that women in Georgia across their health span are recognized and provided with the best possible care.”

  • Dr. Jennifer Sullivan, Dean of The Graduate School, Director of SCORE project

With its comprehensive approach to research, education, and community outreach, Augusta University’s SCORE is uniquely positioned to address the disparities in women’s cardiovascular health. This project promises not only to advance scientific understanding but also to increase awareness and education about the risks of CVD and hypertension in women, especially in high-risk populations in the Southeastern United States.

As the nation rallies behind the call for increased investment in women’s health research, Augusta University stands ready to contribute to this transformative journey towards equity and parity in health outcomes for women.

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Written by
Dr. Daria Ilatovskaya
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