DALLAS - Dr. Denise Park, director of the Center for Vital Longevity at The University of Texas at Dallas, has been appointed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to serve on the Observational Study Monitoring Board for the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI).
Launched by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 1991, the Women's Health Initiative was a 15-year, multimillion-dollar endeavor, and one of the largest U.S. studies of its kind. It was designed to gather critical data on diseases affecting women, including cardiovascular disease, cancer and osteoporosis. The WHI originally consisted of a set of clinical trials and an observational study, which together involved nearly 162,000 women across the U.S.
In 2010 the NIH extended the program through 2015, with some changes in focus. During this renewal period, researchers will continue to study many chronic diseases of aging, but they also will focus on age-related cardiovascular conditions, cognition and predictors of healthy aging.
Park, an expert on issues of aging and cognition, will work with the five other board members to monitor the WHI’s progress and make recommendations regarding the overall scientific directions of the study. Her appointment runs through 2015.
Park is the Distinguished University Chair in Brain and Behavioral Sciences and a Regents’ Research Scholar at UT Dallas.