Public Release: 

Dr. Sharon Hillier to receive 2019 Women who Rock Award

Leading researcher in HIV/AIDS will receive award at 3rd annual Women who Rock Benefit Concert

Microbicide Trials Network


IMAGE: 'Across the globe, women and girls need tools and methods that are under their control to stay healthy. As women, we want and deserve to have control of our health,... view more 

Credit: Magee-Womens Research Institute

The 2019 Pittsburgh Women who Rock Award will be presented to Sharon L. Hillier, Ph.D., at the 3rd annual Women who Rock Benefit Concert Presented by UPMC Health Plan and UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital on Thursday, May 30, at Stage AE. Dr. Hillier is professor and vice chair of the department of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Magee-Womens Research Institute (MWRI). She is also principal investigator of the Microbicide Trials Network (MTN), a global research network based at MWRI that is focused on HIV prevention.

The Women who Rock Award is presented to one outstanding woman making a difference in her community. Dr. Hillier is working to empower women with agency over their bodies, health and safety - not just women residing in her community in Pittsburgh, but all over the world. There truly couldn't be a woman who embodies the spirit of the Women who Rock award more.

Dr. Hillier is an internationally recognized microbiologist whose work has influenced an entire field of research based on the intersection of women's health and HIV prevention. In her laboratory, she focuses on understanding microorganisms in the vagina that are linked to genital tract infections, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), pre-term birth and pelvic inflammatory disease. At the MTN, Dr. Hillier is working to address the urgency of the global HIV/AIDS epidemic by leading an international team of investigators and community and industry partners at clinical trial sites across Africa, Asia, South America and the U.S. This research is evaluating and testing microbicides - products, such as rings and films, applied inside the vagina to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV.

"Women and girls need tools and methods that are under their control to stay healthy throughout their lives," said Dr. Hillier. "Across the globe, women and girls have told us that being able to protect themselves from HIV and other STIs would be empowering, and that having a choice of products that they could use would be especially empowering. As women, we want and deserve to have control of our health, our lives and our destinies."

During national women's health week, May 12-18, Dr. Hillier will be giving the world an intimate look into her lab, through a social media campaign and takeover of the Women who Rock Instagram account @officialwomenwhorock.

Proceeds from the Women who Rock Benefit Concert support Magee-Womens Research Institute, the largest research institute in the U.S. focused solely on women's and infants' health. More than 100 nationally recognized physician-scientists are engaged in groundbreaking research spanning diverse aspects of women's health. Proceeds from Women Who Rock Pittsburgh will be used to support world class women's and infants' health research through Magee-Womens Research Institute & Foundation's campaign.


To learn more about Magee-Womens Research Institute, please visit:

To learn more about Women who Rock, please visit:

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