skip navigation
Vol. LVIII, No. 7
April 7, 2006

previous story

next story
FIC, ORWH Host International Women's Day Celebration

The Fogarty International Center and the Office of Research on Women's Health cosponsored a celebration of International Women's Day in early March at the Lawton Chiles International House.

Three international researchers presented talks on the theme "Women in Science, Women in Health." They discussed the links between their research at NIH and the health of women around the world. A networking reception followed the event.

Three researchers (from l) Dr. Ofelia A. Olivero, Dr. Carolina Barillas Mury and Dr. Y. Peng Loh present talks on the theme “Women in Science, Women in Health” for a celebration of International Women’s Day.

Dr. Ofelia A. Olivero, staff scientist in the Laboratory of Cellular Carcinogenesis and Tumor Promotion, NCI, spoke on "Basic Science and Women's Health." Presenting her findings from the past 15 years of research, she discussed the genotoxic effects of anti-HIV therapies and the impact this knowledge has had on health practices. Research indicating increased rates of cancer in mice exposed to AZT in utero has heightened awareness of the potential drawbacks of anti-retroviral therapy in pregnant women, leading to long-term surveillance of the affected population.

Dr. Carolina Barillas Mury, an investigator in the Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research, NIAID, spoke about her research and career in a talk titled "A Tale of Female Mosquitoes, Malaria in the Tropics, and Women in Science." Discussing her research on the response of mosquitoes to invasion by malaria parasites, Barillas linked her analysis of biochemical reactions to the goal of disrupting transmission of malaria from mosquito to human. Originally from Guatemala, Barillas described her decision to study malaria in mosquitoes by saying, "I wanted to use my medical training and to make a difference, so it had to be a human disease. And if I couldn't live in Guatemala, I at least wanted to study a disease of the tropics."

Dr. Y. Peng Loh, chief of the section on cellular neurobiology, NICHD, spoke on "Asian Women Scientists' Contribution to Health." First focusing on her own work, she discussed the intracellular sorting of two hormones: CART and insulin. Mutations in CART and insulin genes leading to mis-sorting of these hormones have been linked to certain forms of obesity and diabetes. Loh is currently collaborating on the development of novel therapies for such disorders. She concluded her talk by highlighting the contributions of notable Asian women in science and health, and by sharing her "10 Golden Rules for Women in Science." The key element? Visibility, visibility, visibility.

back to top of page