The University Record, May 20, 1997

Grants awarded for women's health research

By Deborah Gilbert
News and Information Services

The Michigan Initiative for Women's Health has awarded four research grants to interdisciplinary teams of researchers doing pilot studies on issues related to women's health. The 1997 grants, which are up to $4,000, are for one year.

The researchers are:

Gregory M. Christman, assistant professor and assistant research scientist in obstetrics/gynecology and the Reproductive Sciences Program, will work with Gary J. Nabel, professor of internal medicine and of biological chemistry, and Helen Niu, research fellow in the Reproductive Sciences Program, on "Testing the Efficacy of Herpes Simplex Virus Thymidine Kinase Mediated Gene Therapy on Uterine Leiomyomas in an InVivo Tumor Model." Uterine leiomyomas are benign smooth muscle tumors that cause abnormal bleeding, pelvic pain, reduced fertility and miscarriages. To date, treatment has included short-term use of anti-steroids and surgery. Gene therapy could provide a novel, nonsurgical treatment.

Bonnie M. Hagerty, assistant professor of nursing, will work with Reg Williams, associate professor of nursing, and Elizabeth Young, associate professor of psychiatry, to study "Interpersonal Behavior and Physiological Correlates in Depressed Women." The researchers will examine the effects of stress, coping style, lifestyle and interpersonal relatedness (attachment style, social support, sense of belonging, conflict and loneliness) on depression in women nursing students. They also will examine the relationship of stress, coping style, lifestyle and interpersonal relatedness to the reproductive hormonal system---the hypothalmic-pituitary-gonadal axis.

Dorrie E. Rosenblatt, assistant professor of internal medicine and faculty associate, will collaborate with Ruth Campbell, specialist, Hospitals Social Work Office and faculty associate, Institute of Gerontology, and Alison H. Climo, doctoral student in the School of Social Work and the Department of Psychology, to examine "Mother/Daughter Caregiving Dyads, Co-residency and Physical and Psychological Health." The researchers will examine the forces that bring mothers and daughters together in care-giving relationships and the impact on the physical well-being and mental health of both mothers and daughters. They also will develop a Medical Burden Scale.

Mieko Yoshihama, assistant professor of social work, will investigate the "Intersection of Gender, Race, and Class: An Examination of Domestic Violence Against Low Income Women of Color," with Lorraine M. Gutierrez, associate professor of social work and of psychology, and Edith Lewis, associate professor of social work and of women's studies. With "reflective focus groups," the researchers will explore how the dual oppressed status of race and gender affects the experience of victimization, maintains vulnerability, and shapes the responses of friends, family, and social institutions.