Madame Sophie Trudeau: Special Guest Appearance at the Second Annual Women’s Health Research Symposium!

Madame Sophie Trudeau kindly provided the Women’s Health Research Symposium with a video message thanking the WHRI for organizing such a successful event. Madame Trudeau discussed the positive impact on women’s health the symposium has had, and the importance of discussing intersecting issues such as marginalization and stigma – key topics at this year’s symposium. Moreover, Madame Trudeau congratulated Dr. Deborah Money on her receipt of the Career Contribution to Women’s Health Research Award for her outstanding research conducted with respect to women’s health in the province and globally throughout her academic career.

CIHR Funding Announcement: Delay of next Project Grant Competition

Recently, Stage 2 of the peer review for the current Project Grant Competition was concluded to be unsustainable on multilevels by Roderick McInnes, the Acting President of CIHR. Due to this there will be significant changes made to the process of grant completions. The Project Grant Competition registration that was to close on May 30, 2017 will be delayed until August 15, 2017, with an application deadline of September 15, 2017. To mitigate the impact of this delay on the research community, CIHR will financially extend all existing Open Operating and Project Grants scheduled to expire between September 30, 2017 and March 30, 2018 until March 31, 2018. Subsequent competition dates will be determined through the above-mentioned consultation process.

For original announcement please click here 

Dr. Jerilynn Prior – Recipient of the Knowledge Translation in Women’s Health Research Award

The Women’s Health Research Institute is very pleased to announce that Dr. Jerilynn Prior has been awarded our 2017 Knowledge Translation in Women’s Health Research Award.

The award is an opportunity to recognize excellence in knowledge translation from a women’s or newborn health researcher in British Columbia. Given Dr. Prior’s research conducted at the Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research (CeMCOR) focus on public education and the translation of research findings into changed in clinical practice, it is fitting she is receiving this honorable research award.

Dr. Jerilynn C. Prior BA, MD, FRCPC, ABIM, ABEM is a Professor of Endocrinology at the University of British Columbia. She has spent her career studying menstrual cycles and the effects of the cycle’s estrogen and progesterone hormones on women’s health. She is the founder (2002) and Scientific Director of the Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research (CeMCOR). CeMCOR is actively researching women’s health and has a very accessible, informative website that receives on average between 3500-5000 page views per day ( She is also Director of the BC Centre of the Canadian Multicentre Osteoporosis Study (CaMOS) that is studying osteoporosis, fractures and bone density and has followed over 9000 adult women and men across the country for over 16 years, plus about a 1000 youth ages 16-24 for two years.

She graduated with honours from Boston University School of Medicine 1969, is the author of Estrogen’s Storm Season—stories of perimenopause (Finalist in Health section, Independent Publisher’s Book Awards, 2006) and has co-authored The Estrogen Errors—Why Progesterone is better for Women’s Health (2009, Praeger, Conn).

Dr. Prior’s is internationally known for her research demonstrating the importance of progesterone as well as estrogen for women’s bone, heart and breast health and also that perimenopause is hormonally distinct from menopause, entailing higher rather than low or dropping estrogen levels. In randomized controlled trials, Dr. Prior has shown that progesterone is an effective therapy for menopausal hot flushes and has short-term cardiovascular safety.

Dr. Prior is also known for her avid stance against hormones as an ongoing “replacement” for menopause. Despite the advertisement of products or treatments claiming to “fix” menopause, Dr. Prior does not believe menopause is a medical condition that needs to be treated, but instead believes it is a natural stage of a woman’s life.

Dr. Joseph Ting – Recipient of the Early Career Investigator in Women’s Health Research Award

Dr. Joseph Ting – Recipient of the Early Career Investigator in Women’s Health Research Award

The Women’s Health Research Institute is very pleased to announce that Dr. Joseph Ting has been awarded our 2017 Early Career Investigator in Women’s Health Research Award.

This award is to recognize excellence in an early career investigator from British Columbia who has focused on women’s or newborn health research. The award was presented to Dr. Ting for his outstanding research in the first six years of his academic career who has made an outstanding contribution to scholarly or research endeavors in women’s or newborn health research.

Dr. Joseph Ting, MBBS, DRCOG, MRCPCH, FRCPC, MPH is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of British Columbia and a Staff Neonatologist at BC Women’s Hospital. He completed his Residency in Pediatrics at Queen Mary Hospital, University of Hong Kong and obtained his Postgraduate Diploma in Infectious Diseases and Master of Public Health from the University of Hong Kong. He received his fellowship training in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine in Vancouver, six months of which was spent at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto to receive further training in Targeted Neonatal Echocardiography.

Dr. Ting is currently a Clinical investigator at British Columbia Children’s Hospital Research Institute serving on the Antimicrobial Stewardship Committee of the hospital to carry out surveillance of neonatal infections and rational antibiotic utilization at local and national levels. Given neonatal infections currently being one of the biggest threats to premature infants, Dr. Ting, along with other neonatal centres,  are collaborating to uncover new research in order to reduce these infections. Moreover, since 2015 Dr. Ting has served as the co-site investigator of Canadian Neonatal Network (CNN) at British Columbia Women’s Hospital.

Dr. Deborah Money receives the Career Contribution to Women’s Health Research Award

The Women’s Health Research Institute is very pleased to announce that Dr. Deborah Money has been awarded our inaugural Career Contribution to Women’s Health Research Award.

This award is given annually to a British Columbian researcher who has made an outstanding and exemplary contribution to women’s health research in the province and globally during their career.

This award is an opportunity to recognize, honour, and most importantly, to thank an individual who has made exceptional and distinguished contributions to the health of women through their research and scholarly endeavours. It is, of course, fitting that Dr. Money would be the inaugural recipient, given her longstanding leadership and contributions to women’s health research in this province and the globe.

A formal presentation of this award will take place during the Women’s Health Research Symposium on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at The Nest building at UBC.

Dr. Deborah Money, MD, FRCSC, is the Executive Vice‐Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at UBC and is a Professor in the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medicine, and the School of Population and Public Health. She is a subspecialist in Reproductive Infectious Diseases and immediate past‐Executive Director of the Women’s Health Research Institute (WHRI).

Dr. Money was trained with a BSc in Microbiology, and an MD at UBC followed by her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology, also at UBC. She did a clinical and research Fellowship in Infectious Diseases at the University of Washington, and returned to UBC in 1994, as the first individual in Canada with this combined training.

Dr. Money has developed a translational research program in Reproductive Infectious Diseases with research focused on three major areas: HIV in pregnancy, Human papilloma virus (HPV), and the prevention of cervical cancer; and is leading a Canadian (CIHR/Genome BC) human microbiome project to understand the role of the vaginal microbiome in health and disease. As such she has published over 150 peer reviewed publications and received over $23M in research funds.

She established the first training program in Reproductive Infectious Diseases in Canada, and she has trained/mentored 5 individuals who are now leaders in academic centres across Canada working as a network of experts supporting clinical care guidelines, education and research in this sub‐specialty.

She was honoured to be the first non‐US President (2010‐2012) of the Infectious Diseases Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology (IDSOG); a 43 year old US-based academic society. She has received several awards including the Crofton House School Alumni Achievement award, the Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology (SOGC) Western Regional Award for achievement, the YWCA (metro Vancouver) Woman of Distinction Award and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

WHRI Award Winners: UBC Department of OBGYN Academic Day

Congratulations to the WHRI’s Elizabeth McClymont and Dr. Chelsea Elwood for being awarded best Graduate Student and Best Fellow presentations at last Wednesday’s UBC Department of OBGYN Academic Day.

Elizabeth McClymont, a Master’s student in Reproductive Sciences working with supervisor Dr. Deborah Money, received the Best Graduate Student award for her presentation, “Two-Year Efficacy of the Quadrivalent HPV Vaccine in a Cohort of HIV-Positive Females.” Read more about Elizabeth here.

Dr. Chelsea Elwood, the Clinical Fellow in the Department’s Reproductive Infectious Disease Fellowship, received the Best Fellow award for her presentation, “Vaginal Exposures Connected to Regional Microbiomes (VECTOR): Understanding foreign body reactions to mesh implantation.” Read more about Chelsea here.

Congratulations to you both!

International Women’s Day Event #BeBoldForChange

Last Wednesday, March 8th, the Women’s Health Research Institute hosted an event to celebrate International Women’s Day.

This free event was open to the public with presentations from a panel of experts in women’s health who shared the latest recommendations for a variety of health topics. Events such as these are crucial in empowering women to be advocates for their own health and to be aware of health risks that may affect them or their loved ones.

Dr. Lori Brotto, Executive Director of WHRI, noted that up to 60% of Canadians suffer from health illiteracy, where they don’t have the capacity to obtain, process and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.

Discussion topics included breast and gynecologic cancer screening and prevention; mental health and wellness; and sexual desire/satisfaction in women.

To learn more about last night’s discussion search #WHRIBeBold on Twitter or watch video clips on our Facebook page.

New WHRI Grant Facilitation Services

The WHRI is excited to announce that we have partnered with the Research and Technology Development Office (RTDO) at the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute to now offer grant facilitation support to WHRI members.  Our new grant facilitator, Amber Hui, has a Masters degree in Social and Personality Psychology from the City University of New York, and strong training in quantitative and qualitative methods. She is passionate about women’s health, and interested in the intersections of race, class, and gender for women. Amber has been working with the RTDO for two years, and is available to liaise with WHRI members and their teams in all aspects of the strategic planning of grants, identifying sources of funding, helping to form collaborations, and proposal development.

Please note that, given time constraints, priority will be given to WHRI members whose planned research is taking place on the Oak Street campus, or to members who do not receive grant facilitation support through their other institutions. Amber will be available to support other asks as time permits.

If you are interested in receiving grant facilitation support, or to find out more, complete the ‘Request for grant facilitation support’ form and return it to Kathryn Dewar at


BC population-based study examines the link between diabetes medications and the risk of endometrial cancer

It is well recognized that women with type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of endometrial (uterine) cancer.  There are various pharmacotherapy options for diabetes, including metformin and thiazolidinediones, which reduce insulin levels (insulin-sensitizing drugs), and secretagogues, which increase circulating insulin levels.  As hyperinsulinemia is recognized as a risk factor for the development of endometrial cancer, it was hypothesized that metformin could be associated with a lower risk of endometrial cancer compared to other medication types among women with diabetes.  We conducted a population-based study linking prescription data from PharmaNet with endometrial cancer cases from the BC Cancer Agency.  We had data on over 150,000 women who had been prescribed at least one diabetic medication in British Columbia from 1996 to 2009, and 556 women diagnosed with endometrial cancer from 2000-2009.

This study found that those who were prescribed metformin alone or with other insulin-sensitizing drugs did not have a lower risk of endometrial cancer compared to other drug types.  The patients who had the highest risk were prescribed all four major classes of medications (metformin, thiazolidinediones, secretagogues, and insulin, odds ratio 1.9, 95% CI 1.1-3.3).  This prescription history is in keeping with the poorest glycemic control, or the highest extent of insulin resistance, and this is likely the reason for the highest endometrial cancer risk, rather than the effect of any medication. This observation underscores the need to reduce the risk of diabetes in the first place, in order to circumvent other health consequences including endometrial cancer.

The full article can be found here: