Iris Cantor Awardees 2023

In partnership with the Iris Cantor-UCLA Women's Health Center, CTSI has selected five projects to receive the 2023-2024 CTSI and Iris Cantor Women's Health Center Awards. The awarded projects will address health disparities in traditionally underserved populations of women (e.g. racial/ethnic minorities, low socioeconomic status, rural residence, disabled etc.) by promoting exploration of sex and gender-based differences and women’s health research.

CTSI and Iris Cantor Women's Health Center Pilot and Augmentation Awards provide researchers with a one-year award worth up to $30,000; fellows are awarded a one-year fellowship for $20,000. 


  • Laura Cortes, PhD, postdoctoral scholar, Stephanie Correa, PhD, Associate  Professor of Integrative Biology and Physiology, "Neural control of thermoregulatory changes in accompanying pregnancy"
  • Risa Hoffman, MD, MPH, Clinical Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases), Sherika Hanley, MD, PhD, Lecturer, Department of Family Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa, "Reducing cardiovascular risk in women living with HIV in Durban, South Africa"
  • Sonal Srikanth, PhD, Associate Professor of Physiology, Ram Raj Singh, MD, Professor of Medicine (Rheumatology), "Innate Immune Mechanisms in Female Sex Bias in Autoimmunity"
  • Marmar Vaseghi, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine (Cardiology), "The role of estrogen in parasympathetic remodeling after myocardial infarction"
  • Wenlin Zhang, MD, PhD, Assistant Project Scientist, Department of Ophthalmology, "Elucidating the Sex Differences in Therapeutic Window of AAV Gene Therapy and the Therapeutic Potential of Ovarian Hormones for Congenital Hereditary Endothelial Dystrophy"

Congratulations to the outstanding awardees! Visit the Iris Cantor RFA page for more information and to stay informed on when the next application cycle is available. 

Image caption: (top left to bottom right) Laura Cortes, PhD, Risa Hoffman, MD, MPH, Sonal Srikanth, PhD, Marmar Vaseghi, MD, PhD, Wenlin Zhang, MD, PhD

Image source: UCLA Health