To those who have crossed the path to making sure that women’s health research is at the forefront of our efforts, thank you Howell Scholars (current and past), undergraduate students, mentors, CEI recipients, speakers and Board Members!
Healthy women — and men– ensure family health. However, a “one-size-fits-all” approach does not apply to medicine when diagnosing and treating women. Add the fact that women are still underrepresented in clinical trials –which can lead to misdiagnosis and treatment in women’s health– and you have THE recipe for illness disaster!
Personalized medicine needs to consider gender and sex, which ultimately starts with research at its most basic: the cellular level. By understanding the physiological, psychological and social differences between men and women:
- Researchers can keep discovering new cures for disease based on the differences between men and women.
- Doctors can establish the necessary guidelines to treat illness specific to gender and sex –vs. a ‘one size fits all’ approach.
- The pharmaceutical industry can develop targeted medications that effectively treat and cure illness in a specific sex-specific manner.
- Men and women can be informed and become advocates for their own health, and most importantly, their family’s health.
It is no secret that one of the Howell Foundation’s goals is to is to fund undergraduate students with women’s health research scholarships. The purpose of establishing the Howell scholarship program was two adress 2 basic things: making sure women’s health research got placed on the research map, and getting students excited about following a career in sciences. As for the results, we are pleased to see that, as of today, the Foundation has provided 224 scholarships and contributed over $608,475 towards boosting undergraduate student research efforts!
The Howell Scholars’ research areas range from the most basic of life sciences such as cell biology to creating vaccines and testing altered immune reactions. A good portion of the success of the program is that each student has a mentor professor who specifically guides the student. The mentor catapults the student’s knowledge and skills in ways that couldn’t be done otherwise. The students who are selected for scholarships are without exception, tops in their class. It is inspirational to see their passion and their growth.
A strict protocol is followed in the choice of the students, including review of the students’ scholarship applications, and quality of supervision during their research work. This supervision has become known as the “Mentor Program.” It is the lifeline to the program’s success. Each student must have a qualified mentor to direct and guide them. And it also gives them an insight into the processes they will have to follow throughout their career.
Often the results of the student’s research are presented at professional conferences or published in peer-reviewed journals. Thus, in addition to financial support, the student’s education and career goals are enhanced, the cutting edge of scientific knowledge is advanced, and a positive contribution is made to the community and the future of the nation.
After all, they are the embodiment of the promise of “Keeping the Women We Love Healthy.”
Interested in donating towards women’s health research?
About the Doris A. Howell Foundation:
The Doris A. Howell Foundation for Women’s Health Research is committed to keeping the women we love healthy, advancing women’s health through research and educating women to be catalysts for improving family health in the community. The organization does so by funding scholarships to scientists researching issues affecting women’s health; providing a forum for medical experts, scientists, doctors, researchers, and authors to convey the timely information on topics relevant to women’s health and the health of their families through its Lecture and Evening Series, and by funding research initiatives that will create women’s health awareness and advocacy in the community.
For more information about the Doris A. Howell Foundation, please visit www.howellfoundation.org.