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World Health Organization appoints OHSU clinician-scientist to International Advisory Group for Sexual and Reproductive Health

Alison Edelman, M.D., M.P.H., will play critical role in helping identify, address priorities for research
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Alison Edelman stands on an outdoor patio near OHSU's Center for Women's Health.
Alison Edelman, M.D., M.P.H., joins a World Health Organization advisory group to improve sexual and reproductive health globally. (OHSU/Christine Torres Hicks) 

Alison Edelman, M.D., M.P.H., professor of obstetrics and gynecology and division director of Complex Family Planning in the Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine, is one of only two from the Americas appointed to an international advisory group coordinated by the World Health Organization that aims to identify and address priorities for research to improve sexual and reproductive health.

Initiated by the WHO in 1972, the Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction, or HRP, works collaboratively to promote, coordinate, support, conduct and evaluate research in human reproduction, with a particular focus on the needs of developing countries. The HRP operates within a broad framework of intergovernmental and interagency cooperation, including the United Nations, bringing together policy-makers, scientists, health care providers, clinicians, consumers and community representatives.

In this role, Edelman and other experts from around the globe will support HRP in various initiatives in the reproductive health space, including promoting and supporting research, identifying and evaluating health and safety problems, strengthening the training and research capability of developing countries in the field of human reproduction, and establishing a basis for collaboration with other programs engaged in research and development in reproductive health.

“I’m honored to be appointed to HRP,” Edelman said. “HRP provides key strategic guidance for sexual and reproductive health globally. It plays a critical role in protecting global programming around sensitive health care issues, including abortion, contraception, family planning and gender equity. Together, we’re working to create a world where all people have access to affordable, high-quality sexual and reproductive health information and services.”

Edelman is an active clinician-scientist with extensive expertise in the field of sexual and reproductive health. Her research focuses on novel contraceptive development, emergency contraception, contraceptive-induced menstrual changes and, most recently, COVID-19 vaccines and menstrual health.

For the last 20 years, Edelman has provided global technical expertise to developing countries in Asia, Africa and South America to design, introduce and maintain high-quality sustainable training and clinical services for sexual and reproductive health care. She also serves on clinical contraception guideline development groups for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the WHO.

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