School of Health and Human Sciences

Special interest groups are open to all University faculty and are designed to bring together faculty and community partners with common research interests central to women’s health and wellness. Our goals for these special interest groups are to foster networking, identify shared interest and complementary expertise, and build new interdisciplinary collaborations that result in high impact research programs and grant submissions.

Information on special interest group meeting dates and times are posted here.


Physical Activity Behavioral Interventions (PABI) SIG

The PABI-SIG is in direct response to NIH’s Notice of Special Intent (NOSI) on Developing and Testing Multilevel Physical Activity Interventions to Improve Health and Well-Being (NOT-OD-21-087). Physical activity is an important health behavior that is associated with numerous health outcomes and conditions. Yes, only 1 in 4 adults and 1 in 5 adolescents in the US meet activity guidelines.

The purpose of this PABI interest group is to encourage highly innovative and promising translational research to improve our understanding of how to increase and maintain health-enhancing physical activity in girls and women in our community. Multiple NIH institutes are participating in this funding mechanism, which means the research can focus on any developmental stages, across the lifespan, and diverse populations, particularly those at high risk for sedentary behavior, those at high risk for chronic diseases associated with inactivity, and those at risk for food insecurity is sought.

Child and Maternal Health SIG

The goal of this SIG is to provide a better understanding of the multilevel changes that occur regarding child and maternal health in the perinatal period. This SIG was created to engage faculty across different disciplines that want to better understand the complex ways in which maternal mental and physical health is impacted across this significant period of time. Many NIH agencies (e.g., All of Us Research Program, NICHD, NHLBI, NIMH) have interest in what impacts changes in child and maternal health in this developmental window, as well as identifying ways to ameliorate risk.

Hormone Actions in Health and Disease (HAHD) SIG

The HAHD SIG is intended to understand the complex role that hormones play in women’s health.  Present knowledge demonstrates that naturally occurring hormones such as estrogen can influence many aspects of females’ health and physiology including development of chronic diseases, cognitive function, and physical activity.  Interestingly, environmental exposures to compounds that mimic the effects of hormones through routes such as the diet may also impact the same physiological outcomes in women in either positive or negative ways.

The purpose of this SIG is to engage faculty across multiple disciplines that want to better understand the impact of hormones and hormone-like compounds in females at different life stages (e.g. pubertal development and menopause).  Numerous funding agencies at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have a committed interest in topics that will be relevant to this SIG.  In fact, several years ago NIH made it a fundamental requirement that preclinical and clinical studies are required to investigate gender differences in all proposed studies when such differences may be observed.  This was in direct response to the fact that many outcomes were being exclusively studied in males and substantial data has proven that, in many cases, key differences can be observed when comparing across genders which is often the result of hormonal effects.  This SIG will facilitate interdisciplinary approaches to exploring these types of questions with the ultimate goal to secure federal funds for original research and eventually graduate student training programs in this area.

The Center intends to initiate and support additional special interest groups in one or more of the following areas:

  • Pubertal development
  • Energy availability and resiliency to injury/illness
  • Interdisciplinary training in women’s health research

If you have an interest in being involved in one of these interest groups or leading a special interest group on a specific topic focused on women’s health and wellness, please contact Sandy Shultz.