ORWH Director Janine Austin Clayton, M.D., Accepts 2017 Red Dress Award

ORWH Director Janine Austin Clayton, M.D., Accepts 2017 Red Dress Award


[SUSAN SPENCER]
Now, on to the awards. Tonight’s first honoree, Dr. Janine Austin
Clayton, is responsible for a scientific approach that is incredibly important to all women. Dr. Clayton is leading the NIH’s policy
change initiative, which requires scientists to account for sex and gender in research. Although heart disease is the number one
killer of women, scientific findings have historically focused on men. Dr. Clayton is a renowned ophthalmologist
who has served as Deputy Clinical Director of the National Eye Institute. In her research, Dr. Clayton found a connection
between ocular surface disease and premature ovarian failure in young women. This discovery set the stage for her
commitment to rigorous exploration of the role of sex and gender in health. In 2012, Dr. Clayton was named Associate
Director for Research on Women’s Health and Director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health at the NIH. Since taking these national posts, Dr. Clayton
has addressed gaps in scientific knowledge of women’s health across their lifespan
and strengthened NIH support for research about female diseases and conditions. Dr. Clayton’s work will allow scientists
and medical professionals to make further discoveries that directly impact women’s
health, and thanks to her, women’s medical needs will be explored as
thoroughly as those of men. Yeah. [APPLAUSE] I am honored to present the 2017 Woman’s Day
Red Dress Award to Dr. Janine Austin Clayton. [APPLAUSE AND MUSIC] [DR. JANINE AUSTIN CLAYTON]
Thank you all very much. I’m honored to receive this award from Woman’s
Day magazine, a great advocate for women’s health. In fact, Woman’s Day was the first magazine
to champion the cause of women’s heart health, helping to spread critical information about
heart disease when there were few means available to women for distributing health information. Woman’s Day continues to show its
leadership in the area of women’s health, and it is wonderful to know that those who manage
the publication today recognize the importance of sex as a key biological factor that must
be considered at every stage of research, from the preclinical studies and beyond. The aim of the NIH policy on sex as a
biological variable is for us to understand the health differences between women and men to the fullest
extent possible so that we can optimize treatment for everyone. Sex matters in health, way beyond reproductive
matters, and nowhere is that more true than in heart health. But women are still underrepresented in heart
research, which is why NIH is ramping up efforts to encourage more women to join
clinical trials in disease-specific areas. I accept this award on behalf of NIH, its
partners and supporters, and, most of all, on behalf of all the women who have and
continue to take time out of their busy lives to participate in NIH research studies, for
without them, we could not do our work. Women’s health is the
foundation of the nation’s health. And for any structure to stand, it
needs the strongest foundation possible. For that reason, I call on everyone here,
whether a woman or not, to take up the cause of women’s health, if nothing more than
to help spread the word about important information, such as heart disease being the number one
killer of women, and to encourage our mothers, our grandmothers, our aunts, our wives,
our sisters, our daughters, and our friends to not take their own health lightly and to be
persistent when they know something is not right with their own body—and of course
to encourage more women to participate in research. We really do need all hands on deck to improve
women’s health and thereby improve the nation’s health. Thank you, Woman’s Day, for your
exceptional work in women’s health. It is an honor and privilege
to accept this award tonight. Thank you. [APPLAUSE AND MUSIC]

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