Interdisciplinary Advisory Committee & Mentors


Our BIRCWH pre-approved mentors are nationally recognized leaders with expertise in interdisciplinary women’s health and sex/gender differences research in the four areas that are the primary foci of our BIRCWH application: (1) cancer, (2) behavioral health, (3) aging women’s health, and (4) health equity and trauma-informed care. Our mentors cross the spectrum of basic, clinical, translational, and population science, and include experts in community-engaged research.

BIRCWH Scholar applicants may choose mentors from outside this pre-approved list.  The BIRCWH team will assist applicants in identifying qualified mentors in their research area of interest upon request.

Interdisciplinary Advisory Committee

The UMN BIRCWH Interdisciplinary Advisory Committee (IAC) includes 15 leading women’s
health and sex/gender differences researchers.The IAC meets semi-annually to review Center initiatives, Scholar applications,provide oversight of each Scholar’s progress and effectiveness of the mentoring team.

Internal IAC

  • Susan Everson-Rose, PhD, MPH, Professor, Associate Director for Research, General Internal Medicine; Associate Director of the Program in Health Disparities Research, and Director of the Health Equity Leadership and Mentoring (HELM). Research Expertise:Psychosocial stressors on cardiovascular disease risk, stroke and diabetes. Biobehavioral and physiological mechanisms that underlie associations in health disparities, sex differences, and vulnerable population.
  • Jayne Fulkerson, PhD, Professor, Children and Family Health Cooperative; School of Nursing; Cora Meidl Siehl Chair in Nursing Research for Improved Patient Care. Research Expertise: Family-based health promotion in community settings; Child and adolescent obesity prevention. Research methodology, Program evaluation, Measurement, and Instrument development
  • Rahel Ghebre, MD, MPH, Professor, OB/GYN & Women’s Health, Medical School; BIRCWH Alumni. Research Expertise: Cancer prevention in women; women’s global health; clinical trials; cancer care.
  • Melissa Geller, MD, MS, FACOG, Associate Professor, OB/GYN & Women’s Health, Medical School; University of Minnesota Women’s Cancer Center. Research Expertise: Ovarian cancer; immunotherapy; quality of life; natural killer cells; clinical trials, phase 1 clinical trials.
  • David Ingbar, MD, Professor, and Division Director, Medicine; Director, CTSI-Ed. Research Expertise: Lung injury & repair - related to lung development; Critical illness (maternal & other).
  • Carol Lange, PhD, Professor, Division of Hematology, Oncology& Transplantation; Pharmacology. Research Expertise: Breast cancer, ovarian cancer, hormone action, signal transduction, gene regulation.
  • Ling Li, PhD, Professor, Pharmacy; Associate Department Head, Dept. of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology.    Research Expertise: Pathogenesis of lipid disorders and Alzheimer’s disease. Sex differences in Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Susan Mason, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health; BIRCWH Alumni.    Research Expertise: Social determinants of health; child maltreatment; adverse childhood experiences; social marginalization;psychosocial stress; health equity; women's health; reproductive health; disordered eating.
  • Kristen Mark, PhD, Associate Professor, Joycelyn Elders Chair in Sexual Health Education, Program in Human Sexuality (PHS). Research Expertise:Sexual well-being, specifically the maintenance of sexual and relationship satisfaction and sexual desire in long-term relationships, sexual function and dysfunction, sexual trauma, and sex differences in sexual health.
  • Sheila Riggs, DDS,MS, DMSc, Associate Professor, Dentistry; Chair, Department of Primary Dental Care; CTSI- Community Engagement team. Research Expertise:Outcomes-based research, women’s dental health, small area analysis, and claims data analysis.
  • Alexander Rothman, PhD, Professor, College of Liberal Arts; Psychology; Co-Chair, Cognitive, Affective and Social Processes Workgroup (NCI). Research Expertise: Message framing, Initiation and Maintenance of Behavior Change, interventions to promote healthy behavior, health judgment and decision making, health behavior theory, sex differences in health behavior, environmental behavior change and research methodology.
  • Pamela Skinner, PhD, Professor, Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences. Research Expertise: HIV, T cells, CAR T cell therapies, pre-clinical animal studies, prion diseases, translational research.
  • LaDora Thompson,PhD, BS, PT, Professor, Center for Clinical Movement Science at the College of Education and Human Development. Research Expertise: Age- and sex-related changes in muscle health at the cellular level; understanding the underlying cellular mechanisms that explain muscle weakness and dysfunction in order to develop appropriate therapies that will prevent, reduce and reverse these age- and sex-related declines.

External IAC