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The Women's Mental Health Research Program (WMHRP) at the University of Illinois at Chicago conducts research to understand factors that influence cognition and mental health across a woman's lifespan so that appropriate sex- and gender-based interventions can be developed and used to enhance women’s overall wellbeing.

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Our Mission:

To improve the lives of women through clinical studies aimed at understanding the sex specific and sex-related factors that contribute to women’s cognitive function and mental health.

To provide objective research findings to inform health practitioners, researchers, policy makers, and the public about factors that influence women’s cognitive function and mental health.

To foster undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty in research careers aimed at a better understanding of women’s cognitive function and mental health.

Current Research Areas for the WMHRP include:

  • The role of menopausal stage and menopausal symptoms on cognition, brain function and stress responsivity in women;
  • The effect of trauma, stress, other mental health factors, and substance dependence on cognition and brain function/structure in HIV-infected women;
  • The efficacy and mechanism of action of alternative treatments for vasomotor symptoms (e.g. stellate ganglion blockade and mobile health apps) and their potential secondary benefits to women’s mental health and cognitive function;
  • The feasibility of establishing an enduring database linking perinatal depression and anxiety diagnoses, medical records, and a biorepository of blood samples from routine perinatal clinic visits to advance understanding of the determinants of perinatal mood disorders in minority women;
  • Understanding sex differences in psychotic disorders through the exploration of hormonal modulators including sex steroid hormones, oxytocin and vasopressin.
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