Women's Health Research Programs
The UCSF National Center of Excellence in Women's Health has a multidimensional and interrelating program that supports research in Women's Health through exemplary basic science, public policy, clinical, and translational research.
Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health
Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) is a collaborative research group at UCSF which conducts rigorous, innovative social science research on complex and controversial issues related to reproduction. ANSIRH envisions a world in which all people have the resources, support, and freedom to achieve reproductive wellbeing. ANSIRH is committed to challenging structures of inequity and uses a multi-disciplinary approach, often in collaboration with scientific, healthcare, community, legal, and policy partners, to achieve this mission.
Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health
The Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health at UCSF envisions a world in which sexual and reproductive health is attainable for all. It fosters rigorous and cutting-edge research and education that improves the health of women, men, and adolescents around the world. As an innovative academic research hub on global reproductive health, its investigators work in medicine, nursing, pharmacy, epidemiology, demography, sociology, anthropology, public health, and health services to address the complex and varied components of reproductive health, including abortion, adolescent sexual health, contraceptive research and services, HIV and sexually transmitted infections, and pregnancy and safe childbirth.
UCSF Comprehensive Fibroid Center
The UCSF Comprehensive Fibroid Center conducts research aimed towards improving care for women with uterine fibroids, so that they have increased options for care that can be tailored to individual symptoms and personal preferences. Current studies compare differentiated treatment plans and investigate new drugs and therapies.
Center for Reproductive Health
The Center for Reproductive Health researches many different aspects of reproductive health, including fertility, recurrent pregnancy loss, genetics, hormonal imbalances and the transition into menopause, in the pursuit of new treatments. Our patients make this possible by volunteering to participate in clinical research projects.
Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment
The Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment (PRHE) aims to create a healthier environment for human reproduction and development through advancing scientific inquiry, clinical care and health policies that prevent exposures to harmful chemicals in our environment. PRHE works at the intersection of science, medicine, policy and community, conducting targeted research and translating scientific findings in order to expand clinical practice and advance science-based policy solutions.
Women's Health Clinical Research Center
The Women's Health Clinical Research Center (WHCRC) is a unique multidisciplinary research group that conducts clinical studies which aim to provide critical information to support women in making fully informed decisions about their health. We believe that research should be driven by health questions that are important to women, their health care providers, and their caregivers. Our studies focus on preventing and alleviating common conditions that influence women’s ability to live full and satisfying lives. Current studies and publications of past studies have addressed urinary incontinence, uterine fibroids, menopausal symptoms, heart disease, prophylactic surgery, and the LGBTQ community.
Center of Expertise on Women's Health, Gender and Empowerment
The Center of Expertise on Women’s Health, Gender and Empowerment envisions a world in which equitable gender norms lead to healthy and empowered women. Grounded in human rights principles, it mission is to promotes justice and scientific advancement, education, and community engagement both locally and globally in order to reduce gender and health inequities. Grounded in human rights principles, the Center's approach is trans-disciplinary, action-oriented, and transformative. The Center's core activities include assuring safe motherhood, reducing violence against women, improving access to family planning and reproductive technologies, advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights, preventing HIV/AIDS, and reducing environmental threats to women’s health. The Center of Expertise is part of the UC Global Health Institute, which is established across the entire UC system.
ATHENA Breast Health Network
ATHENA Breast Health Network aims to save lives by transforming how we deliver care today by learning from our patients, creating life-changing science, and improving prevention and treatment options for tomorrow. Founded by UCSF physician Dr. Laura Esserman, this University of California-wide model and continuous learning system integrates clinical care and research and provides personalized prevention, screening, and treatment for all 150,000 women receiving breast care at UC medical centers and their affiliates. The Athena Network brings together hundreds of researchers and medical providers to study these data and discover new prevention and treatment strategies.
Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies
The Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies (PRL-IHPS) works to solve complex and challenging health policy problems through leadership in research, training, technical assistance, and public service. The Institute’s special competence lies in translating research across disciplines to inform health policy at the local, state, national, and international levels, with a focus on improving the health of vulnerable populations. The PRL-IHPS addresses issues critical public health issues across three domains: healthcare systems, population health and determinants, and clinical practice. Among its work in research and program evaluation and expanding access to care, the Institute has sought to improve sexual and reproductive health services for women and adolescents.
Women's Interagency HIV Study
The Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS, pronounced “Wise”) conducts research dedicated to the health of women living with HIV in the United States, and is the largest long-term observational study of the natural history of HIV in women. The Northern California WIHS location has been a part of the national network since it was first established in 1993 by founding PI Dr. Ruth Greenblatt. It has enrolled 680 Bay Area women at 4 clinical sites in San Francisco and Oakland.
Center for Maternal-Fetal Precision Medicine
The Center for Maternal-Fetal Precision Medicine is a trans-disciplinary program designed to improve our understanding and treatment of patients with congenital anomalies and pregnancy complications. The Center aims to integrate resources and talent between scientists and clinicians to accelerate research and clinical trials of fetal and neonatal interventions, create stronger bridges between basic research and clinical applications, and improve maternal, fetal, and neonatal care.
The Preterm Birth Initiative
The Preterm Birth Initiative (PTBi) at UCSF is founded on the belief that every child deserves a healthy start regardless of the circumstances into which he or she is born. The Initiative takes a cell-to-society approach that is geographically focused, composed of a domestic arm in California (PTBi-CA) and a global arm in East Africa (PTBi-EA). PTBi-CA unites communities, researchers, clinicians, and public health experts through place-based research partnerships which work to reduce the socioeconomic and racial disparities in preterm birth. PTBi-EA is working in selected sites in Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda to reduce morbidity and mortality from preterm birth by strengthening facility-based care from pregnancy through labor, delivery, and the immediate postnatal period.
The Center of Excellence for Transgender Health
The Center of Excellence for Transgender Health aims to increase access to comprehensive, effective, and affirming health care services for trans communities. There are currently no available interventions specifically developed to meet the unique needs of high-risk transgender women that have been carefully evaluated in randomized controlled trials. To address this gap, the Center is developing and evaluating innovative interventions, in collaboration with communities and providers, which address the unifying lived experiences of trans women at risk for contracting or living with HIV. Those community-based research projects can be found here.
Center for Reproductive Sciences
The Center for Reproductive Sciences (CRS) works to promote high-quality, cutting-edge research in the field of reproductive sciences, to facilitate the transfer of concepts developed in the laboratory to clinical applications, and to provide an integrated interdisciplinary training program for future leaders in the field of reproductive sciences. CRS research spans reproductive endocrinology, developmental and implantation biology, reproductive oncology, and fetal origins of adult disease. Although mammalian models are primarily and widely adopted for these research programs, model organisms such as yeast, Drosophila, zebra fish, and frog models of reproduction are also used to elucidate specific aspects of gamete development and function.
Women's HIV Program
The Women’s HIV Program (WHP) has provided sensitive, effective healthcare to women and girls living with HIV for over 20 years. WHP focuses its research on understanding and effectively addressing trauma – the key underlying cause of illness, death and disability among our patients and people across the country. Our researchers are among the nation’s leaders in health policy, advocating for a transformation of our healthcare system to one that is trauma-informed.