Durham, North Carolina

Thank you, Governor Cooper, for that introduction and for all you’re doing for the state of North Carolina.

I also want to thank Mayor Williams and Mayor Pro Tem Melton for welcoming me.

Good afternoon.

In the early 1970s, researchers in the U.S. studied estrogen’s effect in preventing heart attacks. You see, it was observed that women who had gone through menopause – therefore who had lower levels of estrogen – were more likely to have heart attacks.

So, a study was conducted asking whether estrogen prevents heart attacks.

8,341 people were selected for that study.

All of them men!

This is just how things were done.

And while we’ve made progress since that study over the last forty years – due to the work by some of you – women’s health research is overlooked and underfunded.

Medical studies have often left out women. And too many of our medications, treatments, and medical school textbooks are based on men.

So, in November, Joe and I launched the first-ever White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research, with a clear goal: to fundamentally change how our nation approaches and funds research on women’s health.

Because, if you ask any woman in America about her health care, she probably has a story to tell.

You know her.

She’s the woman who gets debilitating migraines, but doesn’t know why, and can’t find treatment options that work for her.

She’s the woman going through menopause who has more questions than answers because more research is needed to find solutions.

She’s the woman whose heart attack isn’t recognized because her symptoms don’t look like a man’s, even as heart disease is the leading cause of death among women.

So many of us – and so many of the women in our lives – suffer from health conditions for which we simply don’t have answers or solutions.

Think about it: even if you have the best doctors, or the best insurance…when it comes to Alzheimer’s…IBS…or terrible menopause symptoms, is that enough?


We simply don’t know enough about how to prevent, detect, and treat the conditions that only affect women, affect women more than men, or affect women differently than men.

President Biden is the first President to make women’s health research a top White House priority, investing resources into understanding the science behind the conditions that so many women experience.

Just a few weeks ago, ARPA-H, the new agency President Biden created to pursue breakthroughs in health research, launched its first-ever “sprint” for women’s health, putting $100 million into women’s health research and development this year!

During Joe’s State of the Union address, he called on Congress to invest $12 billion into women’s health research.

And just two days ago, he signed the most comprehensive executive order ever to expand and improve research on women’s health, and announced $200 million in new NIH funding for this work.

Joe is unlocking incredible resources for researchers, entrepreneurs, and life sciences companies to pioneer the next generation of great discoveries – this time, in women’s health.

That’s why I’m here in the Research Triangle today. Drawing on the might of your world-class universities, and led by visionary state, academic, and business leaders, you have created one of the world’s most powerful research and development ecosystems. 

From agricultural technology to the life sciences, you’ve proven there’s nothing that’s beyond your capacity when your universities, entrepreneurs, investors, companies, and city and state leaders come together to drive innovation.

As the Research Triangle continues to grow, I encourage you to harness that same spirit of discovery and ambition, to take on the next great health care challenge of our time – finding innovative solutions in women’s health.

It’s the right thing to do, and it could be the “next big thing” for your bottom line.

In 2021, the women’s health market was estimated to be $9 billion. The Boston Consulting Group estimates that, in just eight years, that number will grow to $29 billion.

Amazon’s Chief Technology Officer recently announced his top four predictions for 2024.

He predicted that “FemTech finally takes off… Women’s health care reaches an inflection point as FemTech investment surges.”

And, McKinsey and Company estimates that investments addressing the women’s health gap could boost the global economy by $1 trillion annually by the year 2040.

Women’s health is having a moment.

And with President Biden’s investments in women’s health research, I know the Research Triangle can lead the way. Not only will your universities, businesses, and community benefit from it – but so will millions of women across North Carolina and the United States.

This is only the beginning.

Together, we can write a new future for health care.

A future where women leave doctors’ offices with more answers than questions. Where no woman or girl has to hear that, “it’s all in your head,” or “it’s just stress.” Where women aren’t just an after-thought in a world designed for men, but the first thought in a world designed for everyone. We are building a world where women don’t just survive, they lead long, healthy, and happy lives.

Today is only the beginning.

Thank you.


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