NIH Grantee to Receive White House Mentoring Award

Chicago program encourages high school girls to pursue science careers

A training program for high school girls co-founded by longtime NIH grantee Teresa K. Woodruff, Ph.D., will receive a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring, the White House announced in mid-November.

The Women’s Health Science Program for High School Girls and Beyond External Web Site Policy (WHSP) offers students from Chicago high schools the opportunity to learn about research and careers in science by working in Northwestern University laboratories for a summer or a series of weekends. Dr. Woodruff, of Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine, helped establish the program in 2007. Since then, 90 girls—primarily from area schools—have graduated from the program. About half of those now in college are pursuing a science major.

“We're delighted that President Obama recognized the impact of mentoring the next generation of female scientists and leaders and are humbled by the recognition of this award,” Dr. Woodruff said.

WHSP is one of many projects developed at Northwestern’s Center for Reproductive Research External Web Site Policy, funded by NIH. The center is part of the Specialized Cooperative Centers Program in Reproduction and Infertility Research (SCCPIR) supported by the NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). Dr. Woodruff has received funding from the institute continuously since 1996.


About the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

The NICHD sponsors research on development, before and after birth; maternal, child, and family health; reproductive biology and population issues; and medical rehabilitation. For more information, visit the Institute’s Web site at

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