BIRCWH Program Leaders

The BIRCWH Program Leaders include the Executive Leadership Team, the Interdisciplinary Advisory Committee (IAC), and mentors.

The Executive Leadership Team consists of the Principal Investigator, Program Director, and Research Director. The team is responsible for responsible for the vision, direction, and implementation of the UMN BIRCWH program. They provide direct oversight of the scholars, meeting with them every six months to evaluate their progress.

The Interdisciplinary Advisory Committee (IAC) is made up of the Executive Leadership Team and a multidisciplinary team of the University’s leading women’s health researchers and three external members. There is at least one representative from each of the six health sciences schools and from the College of Liberal Arts. The IAC provides guidance to the Executive Leadership Team on 1) scholar selection, 2) oversight of scholar progress and mentor team effectiveness, and (3) a formal annual review of the program.

A critical component of the BIRCWH Program is a strong, structured mentoring program involving successful scientists from a wide range of disciplines. The goals of our mentoring program are to: 1) enhance Scholars’ research career development and academic socialization; 2) facilitate research productivity and scientific dissemination; and 3) meet the psychosocial and career needs of the BIRCWH Scholars as they transition into independent scientists. In addition to the list of mentors below, members of the Executive Leadership Team and the IAC are all NIH-approved mentors.

Executive Leadership Team

  • Nancy Raymond, MD
    BIRCWH Principal Investigator

    612-624-5442 | raymo002@umn.edu

    Research Interests: eating disorders, particularly bulimia nervosa and binge eating, community engaged research

  • Jean Wyman, PhD, APRN, BC FAAN
    BIRCWH Program Director & Co-Research Director

    612-624-2132 | wyman002@umn.edu

    Research Interests: behavioral and exercise interventions to prevent falls, treat urinary incontinence, and manage the effects of chronic disease in older women

  • Bernard L. Harlow, PhD, MPH
    BIRCWH Research Director

    612-626-6527 | harlow@umn.edu

    Research Interests: malignant and borderline ovarian tumors, uterine sarcomas, adverse obstetrics outcomes, premature menopause, and gynecological complications arising in women suffering from a variety of mood disorders

Interdisciplinary Advisory Committee

  • Esam El-Fakahany, PhD
    Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology

    612-625-5696 | elfak001@umn.edu

    Research Interests: neuronal receptor modulation, mechanisms of receptor coupling to second messenger signal transduction pathways, and Alzheimer's disease

  • Patricia A. Frazier, PhD
    Professor, Department of Psychology

    612-625-6863 | pfraz@umn.edu

    Research Interests: Applied Social Psychology, Causal Attribution, Close Relationships, Gender Psychology, Health Psychology, Interpersonal Processes

  • Ann Garwick, PhD, RN, LP, LMFT, F
    Professor, School of Nursing; Senior Executive Associate Dean for Research, School of Nursing

    612-624-1141 | garwi001@umn.edu

    Research Interests: specialty areas including stress and coping, children with special needs and health care needs, cross-cultural health and culturally competent care, family health and care-giving

  • Richard King, MD, PhD
    Professor, Department of Medicine

    612-624-6657 | raking@umn.edu

    Research Interests: genetics and albinism and methods for mapping and identifying genes responsible for complex diseases

  • Alice A. Larson, PhD
    Professor, Departments of Veterinary Pathobiology, Neuroscience, and Pharmacology

    612-624-3650 | larso011@umn.edu

    Research Interests: central pain and neuroimmunological mechanisms, focusing on fibromyalgia

  • Russell V. Luepker, MD, MS
    Professor, Department of Medicine

    612-624-6362 | luepk001@umn.edu

    Research Interests: observational studies in large free-living and hospitalized populations to classical clinical and community trials

  • Claire Pomeroy, MD, MBA
    Chief Executive Officer, UC Davis Health System; Dean, School of Medicine, UC Davis

    Research Interests: host respones to viral infections and advocates for HIV/AIDS patients as a clinician

  • Elizabeth R. Seaquist, MD
    Professor, Department of Medicine

    612-626-4833 | seaqu001@umn.edu

    Research Interests: the effect of diabetes on brain metabolism, structure, and function

  • LaDora V. Thompson, PhD, BS PT
    Professor, Program in Physical Therapy

    612-626-5271 | thomp067@umn.edu

    Research Interests: skeletal muscle protein expression, post-translational chemical modifications of key muscle proteins, and the role of antioxidants

  • Douglas Yee, MD
    Director, Masonic Cancer Center; Professor, Department of Medicine

    612-626-8487 | yeexx006@umn.edu

    Research Interests: regulation of breast cancer cells by peptide growth factors


  • Sharon Allen, MD, PhD
    Professor, Family Medicine and Community Health

    612-624-2446 | allen001@umn.edu

    Research Interests: women's health and tobacco cessation

  • Gerald August, PhD, MPH
    Professor, Department of Psychiatry

    612-273-9727 | augus001@umn.edu

    Research Interests: prevention of antisocial behavior and drug abuse, ADHD

  • Melissa Avery, PhD, RN, CNM, FACNM,
    Professor & Chair, Child & Family Health Cooperative

    612-624-5933 | avery003@umn.edu

    Research Interests: vaginal birth after Cesarean section, exercise in pregnancy, exercise and gestational diabetes, breastfeeding, outcomes of nurse-midwifery care, technology enhanced learning

  • Linda H. Bearinger, PhD, MS, RN, FAAN, F
    Professor, School of Nursing; Director, Center for Adolescent Nursing

    612-624-5157 | beari001@umn.edu

    Research Interests: health promotion and youth development with vulnerable adolescents, substance abuse and violence involvement, youth development for American Indian children

  • Donna Z. Bliss, PhD, RN, FAAN, FGSA
    Professor, School of Nursing Foundation Research

    612-624-1425 | bliss@umn.edu

    Research Interests: fecal incontinence and tube feeding, perineal skin problems, risk identification, prevention, and management

  • Marilyn E. Carroll, PhD
    Professor, Department of Psychiatry

    612-626-6289 | mcarroll@umn.edu

    Research Interests: behavioral pharmacology, drug dependence, and behavioral economics in animal models

  • Timothy R. Church, PhD
    Professor, Division of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health

    612-625-9091 | trc@.cccs.umn.edu

    Research Interests: design, management, and analysis of clinical trials and environmental and occupational epidemiological studies

  • Scott Crow, MD, PhD
    Professor, Department of Psychiatry

    612-273-9807 | crowx002@umn.edu

    Research Interests: eating disorders

  • William Doherty, PhD
    Professor, Family Social Science

    612-625-4752 | bdoherty@umn.edu

    Research Interests: families dealing with chronic illnesses, marriage, fatherhood, ethics, citizen health care, community engaged parent education, democratic community building with families

  • Kristine Ensrud, MD, MPH
    Professor, Department of Medicine

    612-467-5841 | ensru001@umn.edu

    Research Interests: epidemiology and prevention of chronic diseases focusing on osteoporosis

  • Jean L. Forster, PhD, MPH
    Professor, School of Public Health

    612-626-8864 | forst001@umn.edu

    Research Interests: chronic disease risk education strategies, particularly community-level policy intervention studies in alcohol, tobacco control, and UV exposure

  • Jerry W. Froelich, MD
    Professor, Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Medical Phsyics

    612-626-2371 | froel005@umn.edu

    Research Interests: radionuclide therapies for the treatment of various cancers, development and use of new tools for qualitative SPEC/CT imaging, and clinical trials exploring new biomarkers of and response to disease

  • Jayne A. Fulkerson, PhD
    Associate Professor, School of Nursing

    612-624-4823 | fulke001@umn.edu

    Research Interests: family-based health promotion in community settings, child/adolescent obesity prevention, research methodology, program evaluation, measurement, and instrument development

  • Cynthia Gross, PhD
    Professor, College of Pharmacy

    612-624-8676 | gross002@umn.edu

    Research Interests: improving the quality of life and health outcomes of solid organ transplant candidates and recipients, and patients with diabetes or other medication-intensive chronic illnesses

  • Ashley Haase, MD
    Regent's Professor, Department of Microbiology

    612-624-4442 | haase001@umn.edu

    Research Interests: preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS

  • Dorothy Hatsukami, PhD
    Professor, Department of Psychiatry

    612-626-2121 | hatsu001@umn.edu

    Research Interests: tobacco research, nicotine addiction, drug abuse

  • Wendy Hellerstedt, PhD, MPH
    Professor, School of Public Health

    612-626-2077 | helle023@umn.edu

    Research Interests: birth outcomes for underserved women and adolescents, adolescent sexual risk-taking and pregnancy prevention, pregnancy intention, and the relation of social indicators and reproductive health

  • David R. Jacobs, PhD
    Professor, School of Public Health

    612-624-4196 | jacob004@umn.edu

    Research Interests: nutrition and cardiovascular disease and other diseases such as diabetes

  • Robert W. Jeffery, PhD
    Professor, School of Public Health

    612-626-8580 | jeffe001@umn.edu

    Research Interests: behavioral epidemiology, with emphasis on obesity and diet

  • Robert L. Kane, MD
    Professor and Minnesota Chair in Long-Term Care and Aging, School of Public Health

    612-624-1185 | kanex001@umn.edu

    Research Interests: health and long-term care of older persons, relationships between acute and chronic care, and quality of care

  • Shalini L. Kulasingam, PhD
    Associate Professor, School of Public Health

    612-624-7554 | kulas016@umn.edu

    Research Interests: HPV, cervical cancer, cancer screening, vaccines, and decision and cost-effectiveness modeling

  • Carol Lange, PhD, MPH
    Professor, Departments of Medicine and Pharmacology

    612-626-0621 | lange047@umn.edu

    Research Interests: molecular biology of breast cancer

  • DeAnn Lazovich, PhD, MPH
    Associate Professor, School of Public Health

    612-626-9099 | lazov001@umn.edu

    Research Interests: cancer epidemiology, prevention, and control

  • Chap T. Le, PhD
    Professor, School of Public Health

    612-624-9963 | chap@umn.edu

    Research Interests: epidemiological methods, cross-over designs, survival analysis, correlated binary data, ordered alternatives, ROC curves, and the design and analysis of In Vitro experiments

  • Frank Lederle, MD
    Professor, Department of Medicine

    612-467-2683 | leder002@umn.edu

    Research Interests: internal medicine

  • Allen Levine, PhD
    Dean, College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences

    612-626-7173 | aslevine@umn.edu

    Research Interests: neural regulation of food intake related to opioid peptides and Neuropeptide Y

  • Karen Margolis, MD, MPH
    Adjunct Associate Professor, School of Public Health


  • Heather H. Nelson, PhD, MPH
    Associate Professor, School of Public Health

    612-626-9887 | hhnelson@umn.edu

    Research Interests: immunogenetics, the role of viruses in cancer, and environmental influences on epigenetics

  • Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, PhD, MPH, RD
    Professor, School of Public Health

    612-624-0880 | neuma011@umn.edu

    Research Interests: nutrition, physical activity, and the prevention of weight-related problems including eating disorders, obesity, and body dissatisfaction

  • J. Michael Oakes, PhD
    Associate Professor, School of Public Health

    612-624-6855 | oakes007@umn.edu

    Research Interests: quantitative methodology, social epidemiology, and research ethics

  • William Oetting, PhD
    Professor, College of Pharmacy

    612-624-1139 | oetti001@umn.edu

    Research Interests: genetics of behavioral analysis, proteomic and metabolomic analysis of kidney disease, and genetic analysis of genes and gene polymorphisms associated with solid organ transplant outcome

  • James S. Pankow, PhD, MPH
    Professor, School of Public Health

    612-624-2883 | panko001@umn.edu

    Research Interests: genetic epidemiology of cardiovascular disease and its associated risk factors

  • Rory Remmel, PhD
    Professor, College of Pharmacy

    612-624-0472 | remme001@umn.edu

    Research Interests: drug metabolism, basic enzymology, hepatocytes, and clinical studies in AIDS patients

  • Renee Sieving, PhD, MSN, RN
    Associate Professor, School of Nursing

    612-626-4527 | sievi001@umn.edu

    Research Interests: youth health promotion, prevention of health risk behaviors among adolescents (sexual risks, violence involvement, school drop-out)

  • Mary Story, PhD, RD
    Professor, School of Public Health

    612-626-8801 | story001@umn.edu

    Research Interests: eating behaviors of children and adolescents and obesity prevention

  • Robert Straka, PhD, FCCP
    Professor, College of Pharmacy

    612-624-5663 | strak001@umn.edu

    Research Interests: cardiovascular pharmacotherapy, pharmacogenomics, pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics, and drug metabolism

  • Beth A. Virnig, PhD
    Professor and Associate Dean for Research, School of Public Health

    612-624-4426 | virni001@umn.edu

    Research Interests: use of healthcare by the elderly in the Medicare program, hospice use, cancer surveillance and care, and Medicare managed care