February 6, 2007 - (BRONX, NY) - Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University has received a $1.1 million grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health to study the impact of genetic and biological markers on common diseases affecting postmenopausal women. The lead investigator will be Gloria Ho, Ph.D., M.P.H., professor of epidemiology and population health at Einstein.
The study marks the beginning of a new phase in the NIH's landmark Women's Health Initiative (WHI), the largest study of women's health ever undertaken. Einstein is one of nine major institutions nationally selected to receive grants under this new program, and the only one in New York.
The new two-year research projects will apply innovative technologies to study factors affecting the major diseases most common in postmenopausal women - cancer, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. Investigators will conduct their research using blood, DNA and other biological samples and clinical data from the 161,808 postmenopausal women who participated in the Women's Health Initiative.
As the principal investigator at Einstein, Dr. Ho will lead a research team that will analyze the association of adipokines (physiologically active proteins from body fat cells) with cancer and stroke risk, and the role of these proteins in the association between obesity and the risk of cancer and stroke.
"We are very pleased to be taking part in this next phase of the Women's Health Initiative study" said Dr. Ho. "Obesity has become an increasingly serious health risk to people throughout the nation. Understanding the risks obesity poses to postmenopausal women will also, we hope, help to demonstrate how it impacts people of all ages."
In addition to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, other major institutions across the country taking part in this new study include: Harvard Medical School; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle; Ohio State University; Tufts University, Boston; University of California at Davis; University of Pittsburgh; Wake Forest University School of Medicine, North Carolina; and California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco.