The embrace of Big Data by astrophysics and genomics ushered in major discoveries for those fields. Neuroscience is poised to do the same. "Population neuroimaging" efforts are yielding unique insights into the human brain. These initiatives are a valuable resource for the global brain imaging community, yet few were designed with women’s health in mind. The Ann S. Bowers Women’s Brain Health Initiative is a University of California-wide brain imaging consortium designed to accelerate the pace of discovery for women’s health. The consortium includes UC Santa Barbara, UC Berkeley, and UC Irvine Brain Imaging Centers, with a planned expansion to UCSF and UC Davis. MRI and standardized health metrics are pooled across sites. The WBHI Data Coordinating Center at Stanford oversees the automation of data storage, processing, and sharing on OpenNeuro. Advancing women’s brain health will require sustained effort across sectors. The Bowers WBHI provides a path forward.

Positioning women’s health as equal to men’s health will require “a global shift in science culture.” 

-Shansky & Murphy, Nature Neuroscience 2021

Women's health factors are severely understudied in neuroimaging research

graph of Historical review of brain imaging literature



Less than 0.5% percent of brain imaging articles published over the last 25 years consider health factors specific to women.