SWHR: Transforming Science

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About SWHR

Who We Are

The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) is the thought leader in research on biological differences in disease and is dedicated to transforming women’s health through science, advocacy, and education.

Founded in 1990 by a group of physicians, medical researchers and health advocates, SWHR aims to bring attention to the variety of diseases and conditions that uniquely affect women. Thanks to SWHR’s efforts, women are now routinely included in most major medical research studies and scientists are considering gender as a variable in their research.Read the full history.

Today, SWHR advocates for greater public and private funding for women’s health research and the study of biological differences that:

  • Affects the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease;
  • Encourages the appropriate inclusion of women and minorities in medical research studies;
  • Promotes the analysis of research data for biological and ethnic differences; and
  • Informs women, health care providers, and policy makers about contemporary women’s health issues through media outreach, congressional briefings, public education campaigns, conferences and special events.

What We Do


SWHR works with researchers and clinicians to advance the field of sex-based biology, and hosts scientific roundtables to encourage dialogue and research on biological differences between men and women.

SWHR has established a number of programs to advance its mission:

  • SWHR Networks – A series of networks comprised of researchers and clinicians to foster interdisciplinary basic and clinical research on sex and gender differences.


As the thought-leader in biological differences research, SWHR is often called upon to offer expert testimony before Congress and to provide guidance on legislative and regulatory matters on women’s health. Each year, SWHR holds educational briefings for members of Congress and their staff on timely topics.

SWHR created the Women’s Health Research Coalition (WHRC) in 1999. This grassroots advocacy network of more than 600 leaders at academic, medical, health and scientific institutions encourages coordination of and funding for women’s health research.

Thanks to SWHR’s advocacy and public policy efforts, women’s health issues are now a national priority.


SWHR runs numerous campaigns, conferences and media briefings to educate the public on women’s health issues.

SWHR’s website features information on conditions that affect women predominantly or differently from men. We promote the inclusion of women and minorities in clinical trials by educating the public about how to participate and what to expect if they do join a trial.

In January 2006, SWHR published its first book for consumers, The Savvy Woman Patient: How and Why Sex Differences Impact Your Health. This useful guide informs women about health conditions and treatments that are unique to women and focuses on how women’s health differs from men’s.


As a result of SWHR’s efforts, the study of sex differences has reached a wider audience with more women and minorities able to participate in clinical trials than ever before. During the past 20+ years, SWHR has successfully increased federal funding for biologically-based research, won the passage of notable legislative changes and put women’s health at the forefront of research. In 2013, we continue to identify gaps in health care that still exist, target those differences, and help close the gaps.

Crucial differences exist between men and women.
We are closing the gap through science, advocacy and education.
SWHR: Transforming Science

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Society for Women's Health Research | 1025 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 601, Washington, DC 20036
Phone: (202)223-8224 | Fax: (202)833-3472 | E-mail: info@swhr.org