March 29, 2019

SWHR to Honor VA Executive, Neuroscience Researcher, and Former Board Chair at Annual Awards Dinner

The Society for Women’s Health Research will celebrate advancements and innovations in women’s health by honoring three leaders for their contributions to the field at SWHR’s 29th Annual Awards Dinner on May 1 at the InterContinental Washington DC – The Wharf.

Health Public Service Visionary Award

Carolyn Clancy, MD
Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Discovery, Education and Affiliate Networks, Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

A highly experienced physician executive, Clancy has held several leadership positions at VHA, including Executive-in-Charge overseeing a health system delivering care to more than 9 million veterans. In her current role, Clancy works to foster collaboration among educators, researchers, and clinicians within VA, as well as between VA and its affiliates. Before coming to the VHA, she served as Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality for 10 years.

“As the fastest-growing segment within the U.S. veteran population, young female veterans have unique health care needs that must be recognized and addressed,” said SWHR President and CEO Amy M. Miller, PhD. “In her many influential roles at VHA, Dr. Clancy has enhanced access to and quality of care for women veterans by helping to identify and remove barriers to their participation and care in the health system.”

Health Industry Visionary Award

Cen Xu, PhD
Scientific Director, Neuroscience Discovery Research, Amgen

With 30+ years of neuroscience research experience, Xu joined Amgen in 2016 as a key contributor in building the company’s neuroscience strategy. She is a co-inventor for the first FDA-approved treatment designed to prevent migraine, which affects 18% of women in the U.S. She has also aided in the discovery and development of other therapeutics, including for schizophrenia and sleep disorders. Her areas of focus include neurodegeneration, psychiatry disorders, migraine, and analgesia.

“Migraine is three times more common in women than men, so the development of the first-ever class of drugs designed specifically to prevent migraine is remarkable news for millions of women,” Miller said. “SWHR is thrilled to honor a female researcher who has dedicated her life to finding therapeutics for neurological disorders like migraine. Dr. Xu’s work will ease the significant burden of this disease for many women and men.”

Health Communications Visionary Award

John J. Seng
Past SWHR Board Member and Founder of Spectrum Science Communications

Seng is a past SWHR Board member and a longtime supporter of the organization and its mission to eliminate imbalances in health care for women through science, policy, and education. A public relations veteran, he launched Spectrum Science Communications 22 years ago and led its development into a top-tier, award-winning health and life sciences communications firm. He also founded GLOBALHealthPR, the largest independent health and science communications agency partnership worldwide, and has earned numerous honors for his communications work.

“SWHR is so grateful for Mr. Seng’s leadership as our immediate past Board chair and his efforts to support our programs and partnerships,” Miller said. “With his communications expertise, he provided valuable insight for SWHR’s efforts to raise awareness around diverse women’s health issues.”

Proceeds from the Annual Awards Dinner will support SWHR’s science, policy, and education activities that advance its mission of eliminating imbalances in care for women. For more information, visit the SWHR website or contact the Development Team at For media interested in attending, contact