Women's Reproductive Health Research

As an Academic Medical Center, our focus is providing state-of-the-art patient care through a commitment to improving treatments through research advancements. 


What is WRHR?

The Women's Reproductive Health Research (WHRH) Career Development Center provides advanced basic, epidemiologic and translational research training and career development in women's reproductive health for obstetrician-gynecologists interested in becoming physician-scientists.

In 2010, the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at The University of Kansas School of Medicine became one of 17 sites recognized for funding by the National Institutes of Health to establish a Women's Reproductive Health Research Career Development Center. The current award is funded through 2015. 

WRHR Scholars receive research and salary support at the assistant professor level for a minimum of two years and up to five years. Individuals are expected to spend a minimum of 75% of their professional effort on career development and conducting research.

For more information on the WRHR Career Development Program, please visit their website.


The goal of the WRHR Career Development Center is to train junior faculty in obstetrics and gynecology to become successful epidemiological, translational, or basic physician scientists. By augmenting training along one of three program pathways, WRHR Scholars will develop the cutting-edge skills and knowledge to achieve an independent scientific careers.

Program Director and PI

Carl P Weiner MD, MBA
The K.E. Krantz Professor and Chair, Obstetrics and Gynecology
Professor, Molecular and Integrative Physiology

Application Process

WRHR Scholar candidates must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • MD, DO or MD/PhD with completed residency (completed fellowship optional)
  • No previous NIH independent research awards (R01, R03) or more than three years on a K award
  • United States citizen, non-citizen national, or permanent citizen with verification of legal admission

To apply, please contact the Program Administrator, Judy Grant, via e-mail at jgrant2@kumc.edu. Include the following:

  • A brief statement of research and career plans
  • Curriculum vitae or biosketch

If selected as a WRHR-CDC Scholar candidate, further application will include

  • Research plan, including hypothesis and specific aims
  • NIH biosketch
  • Three letters of recommendation: One letter must be from the candidate's current chairperson, two letters of reference may be from director of residency/fellowship training program, previous mentors or other physician and scientists familiar with the candidate's qualifications
  • Selected mentor's name and research focus
  • If mentor is not on the NIH approved list; a NIH biosketch, research summary, and list of current and past trainees will be required for review

The University of Kansas has a team of outstanding mentors and an extensive reproductive biology research infrastructure. The expertise of mentors spans placenta, fetus, pregnant mother, gestational diabetes, preterm labor, endometrium, implantation, endometriosis, endometrial cancer, myometrium, uterine leiomyomata, ovarian physiology, ovarian cancer, polycystic ovary syndrome, and reproductive functions of pituitary and hypothalamus. These mentors have maintained an excellent track record in training physician-scientists in their laboratories or clinical facilities and will provide a wide variety of research opportunities to the WRHR Scholars. WRHR Scholars will have an opportunity to choose between highly competitive teams conducting research related to reproductive endocrinology-infertility, maternal-fetal medicine, gynecologic oncology, and reproductive genetics.

The University has more than 30 funded investigators in reproductive biology whose interests include ovulation, implantation, placentation, placental transport, fetal chronic hypoxemia and growth restriction, sex hormone regulation of the cardiovascular system, myometrial regulation, and ovarian and breast cancers, each supported by proteomic and genomic efforts.  The campus has an active BIRCWH faculty development program and several program projects.  There is a new opportunity for drug development.  The recently established Institute for Reproductive Health and Regenerative Medicine will also work to facilitate investigator and especially multi-investigator research initiatives in basic, translational, and public health research directed toward reproductive health and regenerative medicine.

The University of Kansas is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and is strongly committed to diversity.  Minorities, females, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply.

MentorsResearch Focus
Carl P. Weiner, M.D., MBA
K.E. Krantz Professor and Chair, Obstetrics and Gynecology Professor, Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Focus on the mechanisms of myometrial
quiescence and the impact of chronic hypoxia
on the developing fetus and the pharmacological
prevention of cerebral palsy.
David F. Albertini, Ph.D.
Hall Professor of Molecular
Medicine, KU Cancer Center,
Professor, Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Pathophysiology of the mammalian ovary. Identifying the role of signaling pathways in the regulation of oogenesis and early embryogenesis in the context of cell cycle regulation and the relationship between chromatin remodeling and the cytoskeleton.
Jeff Aubé, Ph.D.
Professor, Medicinal Chemistry University of Kansas, Lawrence
Organic synthetic methodology, total synthesis of biologically relevant natural products, chemical libraries and chemical biology. Current biological emphases of the group include the design of kappa opioid receptor binders, antiparasitic agents, and hepatitis C.
Kenneth L. Audus, Ph.D.
Dean, School of Pharmacy University of Kansas/Lawrence
Placental and central nervous system drug transporters
Nancy E.J. Berman, Ph.D.
Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology
Mechanism of migraine pathogenesis. Specific questions include the role of estrogen in exacerbating inflammatory pain.
Susan E. Carlson, Ph.D.
AJ Rice Professor of Nutrition
Role of maternal and infant nutrition in infant and child development.
Jeanne A. Drisko, M.D.
Riordan Professor of Orthomolecular Medicine Clinical Professor and Director Program in Integrative Medicine, Complementary and Alternative Therapies
Intravenous vitamin C in cancer care and
chelation therapy in cardiovascular disease
Edward F. Ellerbeck, M.D., MPH
Professor and Chair Preventive Medicine and Public Health
Focuses on translational research that brings new discoveries into clinical practice, particularly research on improving delivery of health care to underserved rural communities.
Carol J. Fabian, M.D.
Kansas Masonic Cancer Research Endowed Chair Director, Breast Cancer Survivorship Center Leader, Cancer Prevention and Survivorship Program
Breast cancer
Leslie L. Heckert, Ph.D.
Marion M. Osborn Professor for Reproductive Sciences, Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Focuses on understanding the transcriptional and cell-signaling processes that are important for gonadal development and sex determination, as well as those needed for postnatal testis function and endocrine regulation using approaches that include molecular biology and mouse models.
Roy A. Jensen, M.D.
University Distinguished
Professor of Anatomy
Vice Chancellor for Biomedical
Research Infrastructure
Focuses on breast cancer susceptibility gene 1 (BRCA1) and breast cancer for over 20 years.
William H. Kinsey, Ph.D.
Professor, Anatomy and Cell
Fertilization and activation of development and role of protein tyrosine kinase signaling in sperm function and male infertility.
Curtis D. Klaassen, Ph.D.
University Distinguished Professor and Chair Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Therapeutics
Toxicology, biliary drug excretion, transgenic
animals, gene expression, drug development to
prevent and treat liver disease.
Beth Levant, Ph.D.
Associate Professor Pharmacology, Toxicology, and
Focuses on the role of brain docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) content in the etiology of postpartum depression.
Brian K. Petroff, DVM, Ph.D.
Associate Professor BCPC Basic Science Lab
Focuses upon the prevention of these conditions through the characterization and antagonism of
promising targets in human and animal chemoprevention trials.
Margaret G. Petroff, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor Anatomy and Cell Biology
Understand the molecular and cellular actions that allow maternal immunological adaptation to pregnancy and harmonious coexistence of mother and fetus
Peter G. Smith, Ph.D.
Director, Institute for Neurological Disorders
Co-Director, Kansas Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities Research Center, Professor, Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Physiological and behavioral consequences of hormonally-induced alterations in innervation of rat & human organs of reproduction; mechanisms by which estrogen induces sensory hyperinnervation and increased pain in inflammation; roles of proNGF, BDNF and neurotrimin in promoting estrogen-induced physiological degeneration of sympathetic axons; roles of neurotrophic factors in sympathetic sprouting and presynaptic interactions between autonomic nerves following myocardial ischemia
Michael J. Soares, Ph.D.
University Distinguished Professor and Vice Chair of Research, Pathology & Lab Medicine; Professor, Obstetrics & Gynecology; Director, Div. of Cancer & Developmental Biology; Director, Institute of Maternal Fetal Biology
Understanding molecular mechanisms regulating placentation and species-specific reproductive adaptations to physiological stressors, including signaling events involved in the establishment and maintenance of pregnancy.
Paul F. Terranova, Ph.D.
Vice Chancellor for Research
Professor, Molecular and
Integrative Physiology
Professor, Obstetrics and
Investigate the molecular mechanisms by which tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibits follicle-stimulating induction of aromatase using human and mouse granulosa cells as models; investigate the role of Src tyrosine kinase in ovarian follicular development and steroidogenesis
Patricia A. Thomas, M.A., M.D.
Professor, Dept. of Pathology
Minority diseases
Yu-Jui Yvonne Wan, Ph.D.
Professor, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Therapeutics
Focuses on retinoic acid and its receptors in regulating liver function and disease process.
Michael W. Wolfe, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Molecular
and Integrative Physiology
Ovulation and gonadotropin regulation

Last modified: Dec 22, 2017