September Monthly Update



Dear Friends and Colleagues,

In a time of uncertainty, we know our passion for our work gets us through these tough times to make a difference. I had the chance for reflection this past week in my culture as the seasons change. In seeing all of the wonderful gender work that our affiliates have done below, it brings me joy knowing how we are committed to ending gender inequity and inequality globally as we come to understand the fluidity of gender. I recently watched renowned Professor Judith Butler from Berkeley in a YouTube video discussing the evolution of our understanding of gender, language, and acceptance. This reminded me of the importance of being one in this journey. Half of RTI's portfolio contains gender work or components of gender in our research and evaluations and over time our language, our understanding of pronouns and our expanding breadth in instrumentation, training and populations we touch is impressive. We are on this road together, gaining wisdom as we go, and will continue to become our best selves together as we grow, even in our differences.

September was Sexual Health Month, including an excellent presentation from affiliate Katy Suellentrop on her work in adolescent sexual health at our latest Gender Center meeting. We are also excited for our upcoming October event on women and alcohol, so be on the lookout for an invitation coming soon to share with others!

As COVID-19 is on the rise again, I wish you and your loved ones health. Thank you for the impact in addressing gender issues around the world -- we are in this together.

In health,



 RTI Gender-related September Publications


  • Ahmed I, Ghanchi NK, Sunder Tikmani S, Hwang K, Zafar A, Saleem S, Uddin Z, Harakuni S, Somannavar MS, Kulkarni V, Guruprasad G, Goudar SS, Kim J, McClure EM, Goldenberg RL. Placental inflammation and pregnancy outcomes: A prospective, observational study in South Asia: The PURPOSe study. BJOG. 2023 Sep 6. doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.17643. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37671586.
  • Bank TC, Grasch JL, Chung J, Mercer BM, McNeil RB, Parry S, Saade G, Shanks A, Silver RM, Simhan H, Yee LM, Reddy U, Grobman WA, Frey HA. "Sodium intake and the development of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy". Am J Obstet Gynecol MFM. 2023 Sep 21:101166. doi: 10.1016/j.ajogmf.2023.101166. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37741626.
  • Borello-France D, Newman DK, Markland AD, Propst K, Jelovsek JE, Cichowski S, Gantz MG, Balgobin S, Jakus-Waldman S, Korbly N, Mazloomdoost D, Burgio KL; NICHD Pelvic Floor Disorders Network. Adherence to perioperative behavioral therapy with pelvic floor muscle training in women receiving vaginal reconstructive surgery for pelvic organ prolapse. Phys Ther. 2023 Sep 1;103(9):pzad059. doi: 10.1093/ptj/pzad059. PMID: 37318279; PMCID: PMC10476875.
  • Brero M, Meyer CL, Jackson-Morris A, Spencer G, Ludwig-Borycz E, Wu D, Espinosa De Candido AF, Ferre Eguiluz MI, Bonvecchio Arenas A, Jewell J, Nugent R. Investment case for the prevention and reduction of childhood and adolescent overweight and obesity in Mexico. Obes Rev. 2023 Sep;24(9):e13595. doi: 10.1111/obr.13595. PMID: 37464960.
  • Chock VY, Kirpalani H, Bell EF, Tan S, Hintz SR, Ball MB, Smith E, Das A, Loggins YC, Sood BG, Chalak LF, Wyckoff MH, Kicklighter SD, Kennedy KA, Patel RM, Carlo WA, Johnson KJ, Watterberg KL, Sánchez PJ, Laptook AR, Seabrook RB, Cotten CM, Mancini T, Sokol GM, Ohls RK, Hibbs AM, Poindexter BB, Reynolds AM, DeMauro SB, Chawla S, Baserga M, Walsh MC, Higgins RD, Van Meurs KP; Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network. Tissue oxygenation changes after transfusion and outcomes in preterm infants: a secondary near-infrared spectroscopy study of the transfusion of prematures randomized clinical trial (TOP NIRS). JAMA Netw Open. 2023 Sep 5;6(9):e2334889. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.34889. PMID: 37733345; PMCID: PMC10514737.
  • Djibo DA, Margulis AV, McMahill-Walraven CN, Saltus CW, Shuminski P, Kaye JA, Johannes CB, Libertin M, Graham S. Validation of an ICD-10 case-finding algorithm for endometrial cancer in US insurance claims. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2023 Sep 5. doi: 10.1002/pds.5690. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37669770.
  • Ehrenthal DB, McNeil RB, Crenshaw EG, Bairey Merz CN, Grobman WA, Parker CB, Greenland P, Pemberton VL, Zee PC, Scifres CM, Polito L, Saade G. Adverse pregnancy outcomes and future metabolic syndrome. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2023 Sep;32(9):932-941. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2023.0026. PMID: 37262199; PMCID: PMC10510681.
  • Fang F, Zhou L, Perng W, Marsit CJ, Knight AK, Cardenas A, Aung MT, Hivert MF, Aris IM, Goodrich JM, Smith AK, Gaylord A, Fry RC, Oken E, O'Connor G, Ruden DM, Trasande L, Herbstman JB, Camargo CA Jr, Bush NR, Dunlop AL, Dabelea DM, Karagas MR, Breton CV, Ober C, Everson TM, Page GP, Ladd-Acosta C; program collaborators for Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes. Evaluation of pediatric epigenetic clocks across multiple tissues. Clin Epigenetics. 2023 Sep 2;15(1):142. doi: 10.1186/s13148-023-01552-3. PMID: 37660147; PMCID: PMC10475199.
  • Fassett MJ, Reed SD, Rothman KJ, Pisa F, Schoendorf J, Wahdan Y, Peipert JF, Gatz J, Ritchey ME, Armstrong MA, Raine-Bennett T, Postlethwaite D, Getahun D, Shi JM, Xie F, Chiu VY, Im TM, Takhar HS, Wang J, Anthony MS. Risks of uterine perforation and expulsion associated with intrauterine devices. Obstet Gynecol. 2023 Sep 1;142(3):641-651. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000005299. PMID: 37535968; PMCID: PMC10424817.
  • Flax VL, Bose S, Escobar-DeMarco J, Frongillo EA. Changing maternal, infant and young child nutrition practices through social and behaviour change interventions implemented at scale: Lessons learned from Alive & Thrive. Matern Child Nutr. 2023 Sep 21:e13559. doi: 10.1111/mcn.13559. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37735818.
  • Harakuni SU, Somannavar MS, Ghanchi NK, Ahmed I, Zafar A, Kim J, Tikmani SS, Hwang K, Saleem S, Goudar SS, Dhaded S, Guruprasad G, Yasmin H, Yogeshkumar S, Aceituno A, Silver RM, McClure EM, Goldenberg RL; PURPOSe Investigators. Pathogens identified in the internal tissues and placentas of stillbirths: results from the prospective, observational PURPOSe study. BJOG. 2023 Sep;130(10):1238-1246. doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.17479. PMID: 37069731.
  • Hemberg J, Wickliffe J, Ramaswamy M. Decentering trust to connect with criminal legal system-involved women in research. J Commun Healthc. 2023 Sep 1:1-5. doi: 10.1080/17538068.2023.2252278. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37655725.
  • Margulis AV, Calingaert B, Kawai AT, Rivero-Ferrer E, Anthony MS. Distribution of gestational age at birth by maternal and infant characteristics in U.S. birth certificate data: Informing gestational age assumptions when clinical estimates are not available. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2023 Sep;32(9):1012-1020. doi: 10.1002/pds.5633. PMID: 37067897.
  • Morgan-López AA, Saavedra LM, Hien DA, Norman SB, Fitzpatrick SS, Ye A, Killeen TK, Ruglass LM, Blakey SM, Back SE. Differential symptom weighting in estimating empirical thresholds for underlying PTSD severity: Toward a "platinum" standard for diagnosis? Int J Methods Psychiatr Res. 2023 Sep;32(3):e1963. doi: 10.1002/mpr.1963. PMID: 36789653; PMCID: PMC10485310.
  • Naidoo K, Montgomery ET, Katz AWK, Garcia M, Naidoo S, Mansoor LE. Women's motivations for participating in the dapivirine vaginal ring open label extension study. AIDS Care. 2023 Sep 21:1-17. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2023.2260145. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37734338.
  • Nichols E, Petrosyan S, Khobragade P, Banerjee J, Angrisani M, Dey S, Bloom PDE, Schaner S, Dey AB, Lee J. Trajectories and correlates of poor mental health in India over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic: a nation-wide survey. medRxiv [Preprint]. 2023 Sep 14:2023.09.13.23295513. doi: 10.1101/2023.09.13.23295513. PMID: 37745425; PMCID: PMC10516061.
  • Patel A, Bann CM, Thorsten VR, Rao SR, Lokangaka A, Tshefu Kitoto A, Bauserman M, Figueroa L, Krebs NF, Esamai F, Bucher S, Saleem S, Goldenberg RL, Chomba E, Carlo WA, Goudar S, Derman R, Koso-Thomas M, McClure E, Hibberd PL. Can the date of last menstrual period be trusted in the first trimester? Comparisons of gestational age measures from a prospective cohort study in six low-income to middle-income countries. BMJ Open. 2023 Sep 20;13(9):e067470. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-067470. PMID: 37730415; PMCID: PMC10514667.
  • Serbin M, Marras C, Mansfield C, Leach C, Yonan C, Sheehan M, Donnelly A, Klepitskaya O. Patients' preferences for adjunctive Parkinson's Disease treatments: a discrete-choice experiment. Patient Prefer Adherence. 2023 Sep 13;17:2263-2277. doi: 10.2147/PPA.S420051. PMID: 37724313; PMCID: PMC10505378.
  • Varner MW, Thom EA, Cotten CM, Hintz SR, Page GP, Rouse DJ, Mercer BM, Costantine MM, Sorokin Y, Thorp JM Jr, Ramin SM, Carpenter MW, O'Sullivan MJ, Peaceman AM, Saade GR, Dudley DJ, Caritis SN; Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health Human Development Maternal-Fetal Medicine Units Network Neonatal Research Network. Genetic predisposition to adverse neurodevelopmental outcome of extremely low birth weight infants. Am J Perinatol. 2023 Sep 19. doi: 10.1055/s-0043-1774312. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37726016.
  • Wilson KL, Axelson S, Garney WR, Garcia KM, Suellentrop K, Esquivel CH. Addressing evaluation barriers with early innovation development for adolescent-focused sexual and reproductive health interventions. Prev Sci. 2023 Sep 1. doi: 10.1007/s11121-023-01578-2. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37653107.


We update our website regularly with all RTI Gender-related publications under resources. Please let us know if we missed any of yours. 



Publication Feature


In celebration of Latinx Heritage Month, we proudly spotlight the groundbreaking research conducted by RTI International researchers. Their mission to address inequalities in the Latinx population led to the A Crecer: the Salinas Teen Health Study, which involved in-depth interviews with Latina mothers, comparing their experiences in their communities to established frameworks for measuring Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). The research revealed a stark omission: the complex experiences of Latina mothers navigating immigrant life in the United States were largely absent from existing ACE frameworks. This critical finding underscores the urgent need for tailored, culturally sensitive interventions to advance health equity within this population, emphasizing the importance of recognizing and addressing the unique challenges faced by Latinx mothers for a more inclusive and equitable society

Read more

Parmar DD, Minnis AM, Caballero E, Zerofsky M, Comfort M, Raymond-Flesch M. Latina mothers' perspectives on adverse experiences and protection of Latinx youth in an agricultural community. BMC Public Health. 2023 Feb 2;23(1):223. doi: 10.1186/s12889-023-14993-5. PMID: 36732714; PMCID: PMC9893687.



 RTI Gender-related September Project Wins


Congratulations to:


  • Valerie Flax and team on their win, Alive & Thrive Nigeria maternal nutrition baseline analysis, from Family Health International (FHI 360)
  • Nivedita Bhushan and team on their win, Communication Strategies to Support Future HIV Vaccine Use, from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
  • Wayne Huggins and team on their win, PhenX Administrative Supplement - NIDA 2023, from NIH NHGRI
  • Katy Suellentrop and team on their win, Teen Pregnancy Prevention Tier 2 Adolescent Sexual Health Innovation Hubs, from the DHHS Office of Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH)
  • Elizabeth Montgomery and team on their win, Administrative Supplement to Acceptability of Implants for HIV Prevention, from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
  • Elizabeth Montgomery and team on their win, Mentoring and research to prepare oral PrEP delivery platforms for novel HIV prevention products, from the University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Benjamin Allaire and team on their win, Economic Evaluation of the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, from the CDC/NCCDPHP
  • Katherine Treiman and team on their win, Eval of MD HPV Vaccine - Year 3 Add On, from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Peyton Attaway and team on their win, NIJ FY23 R&E of Services for Victims of Crime Evaluation of Houston Police Department's Domestic Abuse Response Team, from the Department of Justice NIJ
  • Tania Brunn and team on their win, Enhancing Nutrition Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning in the Health Sector (NuMERAL), from USAID Washington (Central Headquarters)
  • Naomi Freedner and team on their win, 2022 YR3 Ohio Study of Associated Risks of Stillbirth (OH SOARS), from the Ohio State University 
  • Naomi Freedner and team on their win, 2023 YR2 Ohio Study of Associated Risks of Stillbirth (OH SOARS), from the Ohio State University
  • Lynn Langton and team on their win, Implementation and Expansion of the Trauma Recovery Center Model, from Arnold Ventures
  • Nani Grimmer and team on their win, BJA F23 Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Training and Technical Assistance (SAKI TTA) Program, from the Department of Justice BJA



 September Project Win Feature


Congratulations to Nivedita Bhushan and team on their win, Communication Strategies to Support Future HIV Vaccine Use, from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center! This project will evaluate methods for reaching marginalized populations who are disproportionately impacted by HIV for future HIV vaccine trial participation and to improve health equity in the United States. 



 September Event Recap


For our September Meeting, in honor of Sexual Health Month, affiliate Katy Suellentrop presented about her work in innovating solutions and ideas to address and improve adolescent sexual health in the United States. The project focused on using human-centered design for prioritizing empathy and lived experience and utilized a team and cohort-based approach to address innovation challenges. As noted above, this project win has been extended to continue the important work that Ms. Suellentrop and her team have been doing. Congratulations, all!



 Upcoming Event


Join us for an event about current research on the impact of alcohol on women of all ages on October 27th from 12:00 to 1:00 PM ET.
This event will feature presentation from Dr. Ibraheem Karaye (Hofstra University), Dr. Kate Karriker-Jaffe (RTI International), and Dr. Deidra Roach (NIAAA). Invitation to come.


 Gender Science News 


How education, work and motherhood shape women's life 'pathways'
Study finds significant chemical exposures in women with cancer
Job strain combined with high efforts and low reward doubled men's heart disease risk
Moms' ability to 'remember' prior pregnancies suggests new strategies for preventing complications
Women given new insight into blood clot risk

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