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Women’s Reproductive Health Research (WRHR)

Utah Women’s Reproductive Research Career Development Program (WRHR)

In 2015 the University of Utah Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology was one of 15 academic obstetrics and gynecology departments nationwide to be funded by the National Institutes of Health as a Women’s Reproductive Health Research (WRHR) Career Development Center.


The goal of the Utah WRHR Program is to increase the number and skills of investigators (scholars) from the University of Utah Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology through a mentored research and career development experience.

We strive to help researchers achieve independent scientific careers as principal investigators who:

  1. advance research on women’s reproductive health, and,
  2. produce meaningful improvements in women’s reproductive health for the benefit of the country as a whole.

The University of Utah Health Sciences Center (UUHSC) is committed to linking clinical operations to major research initiatives that include women’s health, cardiovascular disease, diabetes/metabolism, neurosciences, and oncology.

Other historic institutional strengths are genetics/genomics and the Utah Population Database (UPDB). The UPDB is one of the world’s richest sources of in-depth genealogic information that supports research on genetic, epidemiologic, demographic, and public health research. 

Career Development for Biomedical Researchers

The UUHSC is also committed at an institutional level to the career development of the next generation of biomedical researchers.

The Vice President’s Clinical & Translational Research Scholars Program (VP-CAT)

Besides the Workforce Development programs (MSCI, KL2, TL1) of the Utah Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS, the Utah CTSA), the Office of the Associate Vice President for Faculty and Academic Affairs coordinates the Vice-President’s Clinical and Translational Research Scholars Program (VP-CAT).

The VP-CAT Program is a two-year mentored program for junior faculty members, which provides essential research knowledge and practical skills to be an effective clinical or translational researcher.

The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology is also a 2015 recipient of a NIH BIRCWH (Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health) K12 award and will be utilizing the VP-CAT Program in that award as well.


In addition to NIH-funded research mentors from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Utah WRHR Scholars also have access to mentors in various disciplines, all of whom have been selected because of their track records of training physician-scientists in their clinical facilities or laboratories.

Contact Us

Michael Varner
Program Director

Robert Silver
Principal Investigator

For questions about the WRHR program, please contact

Leanne Johnston
Administrative Coordinator

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