Educating and Impacting Lives Young and Old

Late last month, Magee-Womens Research Institute hosted 11 bright young women at the Carnegie Science Center. The purpose: To teach them the impact they can have in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) field—a field dominated by men but crucial to the health of women everywhere.

“Our Girls in STEM program creates a different level of awareness for these young women,” says MWRI CEO Michael Annichine. “Many think of a doctor as someone who treats patients, but they don’t always realize the number of research doctors that are out there. They don’t realize how many ways there are to impact society as a STEM professional.”

The high school students spent the day learning about reproductive health from MWRI researchers through hands-on exercises that included high-quality microscopes and 3-D printed models. Because the program was held in a small setting, the attendees were able to engage one-on-one with female Magee researchers. These presenter revealed the many ways women can have an impact through STEM—from doctor-patient relationships to positions in a lab.

“What many don’t realize is that it’s possible to help people you’ve never even met before,” Annichine points out. “Through lab research, you can impact a high number of people who might not even live in your community. Your efforts may be felt on a global scale.”

A Tradition of Excellence in Education

Next year marks MWRI’s 25th anniversary, and that means it will have spent the last 25 years making STEM its primary focus each and every day. As the country’s leader in women’s health research, MWRI continually seeks to make good on its promise to inform and educate the community any way it can. “Everybody is responsible for educating the next generation of scientists,” says Annichine. “Because of our size as a research institution, we need to get the message out and follow our own mandate. If we don’t do it, why should anyone else?”

In addition to programs like Girls in STEM, MWRI educates the next generation of scientists through college internships, fellowships, trainee grants, trainee awards, lab assistants, graduate assistants, and more. But that’s not the only way MWRI influences college- and graduate-level students. Thanks to MWRI’s 100 faculty members engaged with various research projects, MWRI also has an enormous daily influence on Pittsburgh’s giant student population, meaning no matter where graduates wind up in the world, a bit of MWRI’s drive and persistence travels with them.

Everyone who enters MWRI has incredible potential to improve women’s health. Each award and position, from internships to graduate assistants, is highly selective. Hiring for internships, for example, often requires vetting 80 candidates for only 10 open spots. Selecting the best and the brightest is crucial to MWRI’s mission, says Annichine. “We want to fund the best science.”

MWRI’s education efforts don’t stop there. Weekly “Work in Progress” seminars, open to the public and held every Tuesday, detail, among other things, STEM breakthroughs happening at MWRI and in other leading institutions. Featuring industry professionals, these seminars cover critical topics impacting women’s health, from pregnancy issues to the opioid crisis.

MWRI also holds regular events and research retreats throughout the year to disseminate the latest data and findings through selected presentations from the professionals at Magee and elsewhere, including institutions like Harvard and Brown University.

STEM at Magee’s 9-90™ Summit

MWRI is proud to hold a unique position as a global influencer. The Magee 9-90 Summit—named after Magee’s focus on the first nine months of life before birth and the 90+ years that come after it—will leverage that position to host an international celebration of STEM research focused on women’s health, shifting paradigms, accelerating cures, and disease prevention.

The 9-90™ Summit attracts 500 of the top scientists from around the world, and another 1,500 professionals from health care systems, government agencies, insurance companies, and other industries in an effort to align policy, advocacy, and clinical treatments. Together, these 2,000 professionals focus on the most cutting edge STEM advances in women’s health by engaging in conversations about developments and conversations on the biggest issues.

“This isn’t just about women,” Annichine remarks. “Women give birth to 100% of the population. By improving their health, we’re also improving the health of the entire population.” It’s by initiating conversations that real progress evolves, and the Summit seeks to be a space for professionals to discuss both research and the most pressing health issues today’s women are facing worldwide.

By connecting hundreds of brilliant minds and industry insiders, MWRI aims to be the catalyst that propels women’s health research not just within MWRI’s own labs, but also around the world.

In further pursuit of that goal, MWRI is offering the Magee Prize, an astounding $1 million award to ground-breaking research promising to have the profoundest impact on women’s health through the next 20 years. The award is destined for research that is absolutely unique and innovative. “It has to be a true game changer,” says Annichine.

A team of scientists from both in and out of MWRI will review entries to discuss factors like how many people will be impacted by the research, how quickly the research can reach the market, and how far the research goes against eradicating disease.

Support MWRI’s Mission

For the last 25 years, MWRI has been driven to improve the health of the source of human life, women, through our revolutionary 9-90 research. In studying breast cancer genomics and personalized therapies, HIV immunization and prevention, fertility preservation, and other pressing health issues, MWRI researchers aim to elevate the health of the entire world. Support MWRI’s mission by donating today! Every dollar goes to researching and eradicating disease and complications that impact women globally.