Women’s Health Research Pilot Grant Program

The Purdue Women’s Global Health Institute (WGHI) and Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) are teaming up to fund translational research of women’s health issues focusing on prevention and early detection and from any discipline. 


Awarded Proposals 

Adam Kimbrough Adam Kimbrough

Adam Kimbrough, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Basic Medical Sciences

Project title: “Exploring sex differences in how the brain responds to oxycodone use.”    

There is evidence of significant sex differences in the way humans abuse oxycodone. Although males are more likely to overdose from opioids, females are more likely to abuse opioids and to use them to cope with negative affective states. This project will explore sex differences in how the brain responds to oxycodone use and identify key brain regions that may be responsible for the motivation for excessive drug use. These studies will help to design specialized treatment profiles for opioid use disorder in the future.

Andrea DeMaria Andrea DeMaria

Andrea DeMaria, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Public Health

Project title: “Improving Overall Quality of Life for Uterine Fibroid Patients”    

Uterine fibroids affect 26 million US reproductive-aged women, making it among the most common and costly reproductive health conditions. Although most women are asymptomatic, 25-30% experience symptoms that significantly reduce quality of life, including heavy menstrual bleeding, infertility, and limitations in work/school attendance. There is a significant gap in understanding how uterine fibroids education and care prioritizes the multidimensional aspects of health embedded in a larger socio-ecologic framework that considers individual, relational, communal, and societal factors influencing patient experiences. The goal of the proposed study is to examine the healthcare experiences of uterine fibroids patients across the continuum of care to imporve best practices for a holistic patient-centered approach to uterine fibroids care.

Jacqueline Linnes Jacqueline Linnes

Jacqueline Linnes, Ph.D.

Marta E. Gross Assistant Professor
Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering

Project title: “Lateral flow immunoassay for sensitive and specific cervical cancer detection”    

Cervical cancer incidence and mortality are five times higher in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) than in high-income countries. This wide disparity is attributed to both higher HPV infection rates and a lack of accessible screening and treatment. This project aims to create an integrated point-of-care test that can be used by healthcare providers in under-resourced settings to obtain relevant clinical insights, including cervical cancer risk stratification, and enable same-visit treatment of high risk cervical lesions.


Tzu-Wen Cross Tzu-Wen Cross

Tzu-Wen L. Cross, PhD., RD 

Assistant Professor
Department of Nutrition Science

Project title: “Gut microbiome and estrogen receptor signaling: potential implication on gastrointestinal-related disease”     

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is significantly more prevalent in women than in men. Gut microbial community significantly differs between IBD patients and non-IBD controls, with IBD patients having lower gut microbial biodiversity and greater pro-inflammatory bacterial taxa. This project describes the use of a translational approach to determine the causal relationship between gut microbial metabolism and estrogen receptor signaling that may pertain to the sex bias in IBD.