by Will Grunewald
Nov 13, 2012

The award was given as part of the Institute’s fifth anniversary celebration.

“If you look back at her history, she has been a trailblazer in reporting,” said Teresa Woodruff, institute director  and a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. “She makes sure that women’s health is on the agenda.”

Marin is a political columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, an editor for NBC 5 News, and a contributor on WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight.” She has worked in Chicago news for more than 30 years, and has won Peabody and national Emmy awards. In the context of the past election, Marin wrote about abortion as it pertained to national and local politics, from vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan to now former Illinois congressman Joe Walsh.

“We’re still way behind the eight ball in terms of being as progressive as we might be about gender,” said Marin. “A lot of health issues are simplified. We don’t go into them deep enough.”

She said she was “deeply honored” by the award, which will become an annual tradition and is part of an effort to grow the Institute’s presence.

“We needed to become an even stronger voice for women’s health research and care,” said Woodruff. The institute will use the award to “identify individuals who already have a strong voice to make sure these health issues are reported.”

Katherine Wisner, Northwestern professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, pointed to rates of depression among women sometimes twice as high as among men. It is necessary to understand the sex-based factors involved in depression, she said in the keynote address for the fifth anniversary celebration.

“In the past, the research community assumed that beyond the reproductive system, differences between men and women simply did not exist or were not relevant,” read an institute handout presented at the event. Part of the institute’s mission is to promote “sex-based research” that will improve understanding of the way gender affects health and disease.

The institute additionally marked its anniversary by rolling out a new logo and slogan. The logo (featured above) shows a molecular model framed in the silhouette of a woman’s face, a symbolic reinforcement of the new slogan: “Science to Care.”

Woodruff told the audience of colleagues and students that the new aesthetic is meant to demonstrate “a refreshed vision for our institute.”

“We don’t just want to look to our history. We want to lay out our plans for the future as well,” Woodruff said.

The Women’s Health Research Institute formed in 2007 to address the need to account for sex-based differences in medical research. Encouraging gender-specific research and seeing that research through to clinical practice and public education will benefit health among women and entire populations, according to the institute.