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Magee Chatter

By: Alexandra Papernick

Explore hot topics from around Magee-Womens, where cutting-edge research, premier patient care, and collaborative partnerships are shaping a healthier world for all.

What Makes Naked Mole-Rats Special?

Featured in National Geographic, a 2023 study led by MWRI Primary Investigator Dr. Miguel Brieño-Enríquez highlights processes that allow naked mole-rats to be fertile through old age. Researchers found evidence that could explain their long-lasting fertility: unlike most other mammals, female naked mole-rats are born with a high number of egg cells, fewer of these egg cells die, and they can produce egg cells after birth. Advances in naked mole-rat research could lead to developments in human health, including protecting ovary functioning and prolonging fertility.

Photo Credit: UPMC

To view the National Geographic article, visit https://www.nationalgeographic...

Girl Advocates Rally Behind MWRIF

Girl Advocates at Hendrickson High School in Pflugerville, Texas, is a club dedicated to uplifting girls, trans, and non-binary students through mentorship, volunteering, and philanthropy. With a focus on promoting healthy relationships, the club conducts campaigns during Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month in February to raise awareness. Each year, Girl Advocates fundraises for women-centric organizations, and after research and a club-wide vote, the group selected MWRIF to be awarded $300 as the 2023 club charity.

Research Day Shapes the Future

On May 5, Magee-Womens Research Institute celebrated advances in women’s health and reproductive sciences during Research Day 2023. The day-long event included a lineup of keynote talks and presentations from esteemed faculty and visiting professors on advances in family planning. This annual tradition embraces MWRI’s core values: mentoring and growing the next generation of tenacious, creative, and passionate scientists.

Safe & Secure Spaces to Breastfeed

Breastfeeding parents deserve a place that is safe and secure to express outside their home. Together, Magee-Womens Research Institute & Foundation, UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital, and the Pittsburgh Penguins installed a safe and comfortable space to breastfeed at PPG Paints Arena called a Mamava pod. The pod is located outside Section 117 near the GetGo Café.

Pictured: Annmarie Lyons, Vice President, UPMC Women’s Health Services, poses with Iceburgh, the official mascot of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

To download the Mamava app and find your nearest pod, visit

Ready, Set, Go!

The Pittsburgh marathon weekend on May 5-7 convened more than 20,000 attendees who ran, walked, relayed, and trotted their way across the finish line, including Run for a Reason Magee athletes, whose efforts raised funds for women's health research at MWRI.

For a full recap of marathon weekend, visit

Behind the Helmet, Ahead of the Curve

Of the 5.5 million football players in the U.S., only 10.9% are women, according to The New York Times. As the Official Women’s Health Partner of the Pittsburgh Passion, Pittsburgh’s only professional women’s football team, MWRIF is working to empower women on and off the field. The “Women Behind the Helmet” and Women’s Health Tip series, presented in collaboration by MWRIF and Pittsburgh Passion, aim to promote women in sports and women’s health. Pittsburgh Passion opened their 2023 season with a 41-15 victory.

To stay in the loop with Passion updates, visit

Celebrating the NIH Revitalization Act Anniversary

Magee-Womens Research Institute began with four scientists, and now we have more than 300 researchers working to shape the future of women’s health. We’ve come a long way since the '90s — but we’re just getting started. As we commemorate 30 years since the NIH Revitalization Act, which directed clinical research to include women and minorities as subjects, we are reminded that there is still much work to be done. We are changing the status quo here at Magee-Womens Research Institute & Foundation.

To see how MWRIF is changing the status quo, visit

Women are changing the world, starting right here in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Business Times selected 26 outstanding female leaders as the 2023 Women of Influence award winners. On March 22, Magee-Womens Research Institute investigator Dr. Sharon Hillier spoke to the honorees at the 2023 Women of Influence Breakfast.

Local Family Fundraiser Fuels Change

On May 18, Jan Rea and her family hosted a luncheon at Allegheny Country Club to share information about the life-changing research conducted at Magee-Womens Research Institute. Janice Devine, Vice President of Development, welcomed guests, and Michael Annichine, MWRI CEO, provided an overview of the history and impact of MWRI. Attendees were excited to learn more about the research being conducted through personal presentations by Dr. Ronald Buckanovich on ovarian cancer research as well as Dr. Jocelyn Fitzgerald’s research on chronic pelvic/bladder issues and outcomes in pelvic reconstructive surgery.

Read the full Winter 2024 MAGEE Magazine issue here.