Women's Health

“What excites me most about our work is the chance to answer questions and develop evidence that is helpful to patients—that includes before, during, and after pregnancy, and through menopause and aging.”

Sascha Dublin, MD, PhD
Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute Senior Investigator 
Physician, Washington Permanente Medical Group, Internal Medicine

Research overview

Women make up half of the world’s population, but for many years, much health research has focused on men. Women face unique health choices about birth control and pregnancy, cancer screening, preventing osteoporosis, and treating menopause symptoms. For many years, studies of new drugs have systematically excluded pregnant individuals, so when a drug is approved, little is known about its potential impact on a pregnancy or fetus. Studies by Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) investigators are helping women make the best decisions for a healthy pregnancy and a long and healthy life.

In addition to studying “equal-opportunity” conditions such as heart disease, which are common in many people, prior and current areas of study for Kaiser Permanente Washington investigators include:

An advantage of doing this research at KPWHRI is the large, diverse patient population available through connections to Kaiser Permanente Washington and collaborating research partners across the country. KPWHRI studies include participants of all racial and ethnic backgrounds, ages, genders, educational levels, and socioeconomic status.

“We work with big populations that resemble the real world,” says Sascha Dublin, MD, PhD, KPWHRI senior investigator. “And one reason I love doing research at Kaiser Permanente is that when we get data on how to make our patients’ health better, that research can help make clinical decisions and the clinical decisions then influence our research.”

Recent publications on Women's Health

Tchesnokova VL, Rechkina E, Chan D, Haile HG, Larson L, Ferrier K, Schroeder DW, Solyanik T, Shibuya S, Hansen K, Ralston JD, Riddell K, Scholes D, Sokurenko EV. Pandemic uropathogenic fluoroquinolone-resistant Escherichia coli have enhanced ability to persist in the gut and cause bacteriuria in healthy women. Clin Infect Dis. 2019 Jul 4. pii: ciz547. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciz547. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Kwan ML, Miglioretti DL, Marlow EC, Aiello Bowles EJ, Weinmann S, Cheng SY, Deosaransingh KA, Chavan P, Moy LM, Bolch WE, Duncan JR, Greenlee RT, Kushi LH, Pole JD, Rahm AK, Stout NK, Smith-Bindman R. Trends in medical imaging during pregnancy in the United States and Ontario, Canada, 1996 to 2016. JAMA Netw Open. 2019;2(7):e197249. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.7249. PubMed

Engmann NJ, Scott C, Jensen MR, Winham SJ, Ma L, Brandt KR, Mahmoudzadeh A, Whaley DH, Hruska CB, Wu FF, Norman AD, Hiatt RA, Heine J, Shepherd J, Pankratz VS, Miglioretti DL, Kerlikowski K, Vachon CM. Longitudinal changes in volumetric breast density in healthy women across the menopausal transition. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2019 Aug;28(8):1324-1330. Epub 2019 Jun 11. PubMed

Guthrie KA, Caan B, Diem S, Ensrud KE, Greaves SR, Larson JC, Newton KM, Reed SD, LaCroix AZ. Facebook advertising for recruitment of midlife women with bothersome vaginal symptoms: a pilot study. Clin Trials. 2019 May 6:1740774519846862. doi: 10.1177/1740774519846862. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Otte JL, Bakoyannis G, Rand KL, Ensrud KE, Guthrie KA, Joffe H, McCurry SM, Newton KM, Carpenter JS. Confirmatory factor analysis of the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) and invariance across race: a pooled analysis of MsFLASH data. Menopause. 2019 Apr 15. doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000001343. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Researchers in Women's Health

Diana S. Buist, PhD, MPH

Director of Research and Strategic Partnerships; Senior Investigator
206-287-2931
Diana.S.Buist@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Diana L. Miglioretti, PhD

Senior Investigator, KPWHRI; Dean’s Professor of Biostatistics, University of California, Davis
206-287-4266
dmiglioretti@ucdavis.edu

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Sascha Dublin, MD, PhD

Senior Investigator
206-287-2870
Sascha.Dublin@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Laura Harrington, PhD, MPH

Assistant Investigator
206-287-2066
Laura.B.Harrington@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Karen Wernli, PhD

Associate Investigator
206-287-2934
Karen.J.Wernli@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Erin J. Bowles, MPH

Research Associate
206-287-2708
Erin.A.Bowles@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Laura E. Ichikawa, MPH

Senior Biostatistician
206-287-2395
Laura.E.Ichikawa@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Jennifer F. Bobb, PhD

Assistant Investigator
206-287-2190
Jennifer.F.Bobb@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Gaia Pocobelli, PhD

Research Associate
206-287-2914
Gaia.S.Pocobelli@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Paige D. Wartko, Phd, MPH

Research Associate
206-442-5230
Paige.D.Wartko@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Andrea Z. LaCroix, PhD

Senior Investigator, KPWHRI; Professor and Chief of Epidemiology, Department of Family Medicine and Public Health, University of California, San Diego
858-822-1073
alacroix@ucsd.edu

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Mary A. Akosile, MS, MPH

Biostatistician I
206-287-2893
Mary.A.Akosile@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Denise M. Boudreau, PhD

Senior Investigator
206-287-2067
Denise.M.Boudreau@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Lu Chen, PhD, MPH

Assistant Investigator
206-287-2024
Lu.Chen@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Aruna Kamineni, PhD, MPH

Assistant Investigator
206-287-2922
Aruna.S.Kamineni@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Susan M. Shortreed, PhD

Senior Investigator
206-287-2088
Susan.M.Shortreed@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Onchee Yu, MS

Senior Biostatistician
206-287-2389
Onchee.Yu@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Weiwei Zhu, MS

Biostatistician III
206-442-5215
Weiwei.Zhu@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Karen J. Sherman, PhD

Senior Investigator
206-287-2426
Karen.J.Sherman@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Katherine M. Newton, PhD

Senior Investigator (Emeritus)
206-287-2973
Katherine.M.Newton@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Affiliate researchers

Amy Bonomi, PhD, MPH
Professor and Chair, Human Development and Family Studies
Michigan State University

Susan D. Reed, MD, MPH
Harborview Medical Center; UW Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Rachel Winer, PhD, MPH
Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology
University of Washington