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

Citronberg JS, Curtis KR, White E, Newcomb PA, Newton K, Atkinson C, Song X, Lampe JW, Hullar MA. Association of gut microbial communities with plasma lipopolysaccharide-binding protein (LBP) in premenopausal women. ISME J. 2018 Jun;12(7):1631-1641. doi: 10.1038/s41396-018-0064-6. Epub 2018 Feb 12. PubMed

Mitchell CM, Srinivasan S, Plantinga A, Wu MC, Reed SD, Guthrie KA, LaCroix AZ, Fiedler T, Munch M, Liu C, Hoffman NG, Blair IA, Newton K, Freeman EW, Joffe H, Cohen L, Fredricks DN. Associations between improvement in genitourinary symptoms of menopause and changes in the vaginal ecosystem. M Menopause. 2018 May;25(5):500-507. doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000001037. PubMed

Guthrie KA, Larson JC, Ensrud KE, Anderson GL, Carpenter JS, Freeman EW, Joffe H, LaCroix AZ, Manson JE, Morin CM, Newton KM, Otte J, Reed SD, McCurry SM. Effects of pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic interventions on insomnia symptoms and subjective sleep quality in women with hot flashes: a pooled analysis of individual participant data from 4 MsFLASH trials. Sleep. 2017 Nov 20. pii: 4642822. doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsx190. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Onega T, Weiss JE, Goodrich ME, Zhu W, DeMartini WB, Kerlikowske K, Ozanne E, Tosteson ANA, Henderson LM, Buist DSM, Wernli KJ, Herschorn SD, Hotaling E, O'Donoghue C, Hubbard R. Relationship between preoperative breast MRI and surgical treatment of non-metastatic breast cancer. J Surg Oncol. 2017 Dec;116(8):1008-1015. doi: 10.1002/jso.24796. Epub 2017 Nov 11. PubMed

Winer RL, Tiro JA, Miglioretti DL, Thayer C, Beatty T, Lin J, Gao G, Kimbel K, Buist DSM. Rationale and design of the HOME trial: a pragmatic randomized controlled trial of home-based human papillomavirus (HPV) self-sampling for increasing cervical cancer screening uptake and effectiveness in a U.S. healthcare system. Contemp Clin Trials. 2017 Nov 4. pii: S1551-7144(17)30453-6. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2017.11.004. [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)

Ellen O'Meara, PhD

Research Associate
206-287-2938
Ellen.S.O'Meara@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)

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)

Yu-Ru Su, PhD

Biostatistician
206-287-2948
yuru.su@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