Funding from the NIH-sponsored (National Institutes of Health) BIRCWH program (Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health) supports career development of junior Ph.D. and M.D. faculty researchers interested in women’s health research. The program provides multidisciplinary training and mentoring to help such faculty establish independent biomedical research careers in areas relevant to women’s health and creates an environment that nurtures interdisciplinary collaborations in focused and interactive research areas that are essential to improving the health of women. UC Davis BIRCWH scholars will address the NIH/ORWH (Office of Research on Women's Health) crosscutting BIRCWH themes of lifespan, sex/gender determinants, health disparities/differences and diversity, and interdisciplinary research and employ one or more of the special emphasis areas of prevention, treatment, and biological and/or behavioral basis of sex and gender determinants.


The goal of the BIRCWH program is to create an academic environment for women’s health researchers at UC Davis that facilitates their career development and encourages paradigm-shifting, interdisciplinary collaboration and team-based research approaches across our campus and beyond to advance research on women’s health and sex differences. Scholars in the BIRCWH program must devote a minimum of 75% of their professional time to their BIRCWH research project with the hope that scholars will develop independent, federally-funded or externally funded research programs. The program will provide select scholars with a salary of up to $100,000 plus benefits at the UC Davis composite rate, as well as up to $25,000 for travel and research expenses each year.

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Dean's Scholar Women's Health Research (DSWHR) Program

Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health (BIRCWH) K12 Program

Scholar News

June 10, 2022

Victoria Lyo Named Women's Health Research Scholar for BIRCWH K12 Program

Image of Victoria LyoVictoria Lyo, assistant professor in the Foregut, Metabolic, and General Surgery division was appointed the Dean’s Scholar in Women’s Health Research by the UC Davis School of Medicine’s Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) program. Lyo joined the faculty three years ago after finishing a fellowship in Advanced GI Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery at Oregon Health & Sciences University. She is a San Francisco native, and after undergraduate school at Wellesley College, she completed medical school and general surgery training at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). As a medical student, she built her research foundation as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Medical scholar. As a resident, she received a Master of Translational Medicine investigating the use of silver microparticles with fibrin sealant to prevent hernia formation.

This five-year mentored K-type research award allows Lyo to further her research in Sex Differences in Response to Bariatric Surgery. She is studying how microbiome and metabolomic differences may contribute to sex-specific outcomes of surgery with the help of her mentor team Mohamed Ali, Sean Adams, Bethany Cummings, and Anne Schafer. This award builds upon her research grant from the Society of Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons and allows her to develop her other interests in obesity-related fatty liver disease and its response to bariatric surgery. Personally, she enjoys spending time with her family and indulging her young son’s obsession with cars.

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