Winnifred Cutler, Ph.D.
Founded Athena Institute in 1986
Dr. Winnifred Cutler, B.S. in Psychology cum laude from Ursinus College in 1973, earned her Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1979 followed by postdoctoral work in behavioral endocrinology at Stanford University. In 1985 she co-founded the Women's Wellness Program at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. She has published over 35 scientific papers, is co-inventor on 5 patents and author of eight books on women's health translated into 7 languages - including her newest book, Hormones and Your Health: The Smart Woman's Guide to Hormonal and Alternative Therapies for Menopause (April 2009) with essential information for women over age 35 to achieve their 'personal-best' health.
As a graduate student with Celso-Ramon Garcia, M.D.
My former mentor, Celso-Ramon Garcia, MD, died Feb. 1, 2004 at the age 82. His many obituaries chronicle his important role early in his career clinically investigating the first oral contraceptive, “The Pill”. Dr. Garcia was an incisive intellect and a peerless surgeon who trained many outstanding gynecologic surgeons. His impact on women's reproductive health was historic. His impact on my path as a scientist was profound. We were coauthors on many research papers and 3 books. In one of them, Menopause: A Guide for Women and the Men Who Love Them, the preface states:
"By 1975, Winnifred Cutler, then a graduate student in biology at the University of Pennsylvania, had completed an intriguing pilot study: it showed possible and striking relationships between the pattern of sexual behavior of young women and their pattern of menstruation;. Since she needed a mentor, her faculty in biology advised her to find a professor in gynecology to supervise her studies. Dr. Celso-Ramon Garcia, Professor of Gynecology, one of the “Fathers” of the oral contraceptive, a scholar and educator,was interested in the pilot work and agreed to become involved in its development. Throughout a seven year tutelage, Dr. Garcia helped Dr. Cutler locate the classic,often forgotten works that had laid the foundation for the development of modern reproductive endocrinology. He listened to her ideas and provided critical feedback that helped to direct and enhance the growth of her work."
December 1985, Dr. Cutler and Dr. Garcia co-founded the Women's Wellness Program at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
HUPDATE, the newsletter of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, p.11 stated:
Groundbreaking Research on Women's Health with her colleague and friend, the late Elizabeth Genovese, M.D.
Dr. Elizabeth Genovese, received her bachelor's degree Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard University, M.D. and MBA degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and was board certified in Internal Medicine.
" Her intellectual output was dazzling and she was an extraordinary colleague. Elizabeth was an astonishing force, a contributor to our work on women's wellness, a scholar, a physician, and a loving mother to her children. I do miss her."
Dr. Genovese co-authored many scientific papers with Dr. Cutler on kyphosis, stress urinary incontinence and sexuality. They wrote, Wellness in Women After 40: The Role of Sex Hormones and Pheormones in 2000., for Current Problems in OB/GYN, Mosby, Inc. (120pp, 250 refs).
Dr. Genovese, with Dr. Cutler, conceptualized a 'program' for overall health, a 'prescription for wellness' to include; an evaluation, health maintenance overview, and methods of incorporating nutritional and exercise habits to ensure well-being.
Research in the 1980's and the Pheromone Discovery
Pheromones Discovered in Humans
"Scientists in Philadelphia have established for the first time that the human body produces pheromones."
Pheromone Discovery -- Media Highlights
The Chemistry Between People: Are Our Bodies Affected by Another Person’s Scent?
Now two new studies are stirring up the pheromone debate with the boldest claims yet. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and the Monell Chemical Senses Center, a nonprofit research institute in Philadelphia, say that people produce underarm pheromones that can influence menstrual cycles.
The studies, done by chemist George Preti and biologist Winnifred B. Cutler, are not the first of their kind, but they are the first ones rigorous enough to be published in a respected scientific journal, Hormones and Behavior.
Studies find that male pheromones are good for women's health
USA Today, 11/19/86
The Real Chemical Reaction Between the Sexes
Chemicals in men's bodies can cause their female sex partners to be more fertile, have more regular menstrual cycles and milder menopause, landmark research shows. And women who have sex with men at least once a week benefit most from the chemicals, which apparently work through the sense of smell.
"The exciting part is the effect we have on each other. Men are important to women," says Dr. Winnifred B. Cutler of Philadelphia, whose studies show for the first time that chemicals called pheromones exist in humans. Pheromones have long been known to exist in animals, as scents that attract sex partners. Cutler's new studies...show women are affected by pheromones from men and women: for more details click here
While at UPenn and then Stanford University...
A third study Dr. Cutler completed while in graduate school was the first to bear out the conventional wisdom that some women's menstrual cycles are tied to the phases of the moon... all three studies were published. She went on to start the Stanford Menopause Study with Julian Davidson, where she found that regular heterosexual activity increased estrogen levels and reduced or eliminated hot flashes in menopausal women.
Dr. Cutler became a proponent of hormone replacement therapy as a result of her work at Stanford. Her studies of the biomedical research, primarily from Europe, suggested that hormone replacement therapy could prevent or halt osteoporosis, most cardiovascular disease to which women are subject to after menopause, hot flashes and other symptoms of 'the change'.
Athena Pheromone Products: Developed, Tested, and Launched
In 1993 Dr. Cutler formulated, tested and marketed a pheromone cosmetic fragrance additive for women, Athena Pheromone 10:13tm and in 1995, an aftershave additive for men, Athena Pheromone 10Xtm. A Message from Dr. Cutler,
" Athena Pheromone 10:13™ is the cosmetic fragrance additive for women I developed to enhance your sexual attractiveness to men. Based on my pheromone research that began in 1981, I have managed the synthesis of human pheromones into a cosmetic to be added to your favorite fragrance. Pheromones are airborne "messenger substances" that your body emits, triggering responses from men.
Athena Pheromone 10:13™ can enhance the "sexual attractiveness" of women who combine it with a favorite perfume or cologne as directed. Although 10:13 may not work for every woman, used as directed, it should work for most. Science's "gold standard" test of whether a product works is called a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. But 10:13 has two published 8 week studies demonstrating its effectiveness in increasing a women's sexual attractiveness to men.
And Athena Pheromone 10X™ for men has an 8 week double blind published study proving increased attractiveness to women. I am unaware of any cosmetic that boasts of ONE such double blind, placebo controlled 8 week study proving effectiveness published in a scientific peer reviewed journal. Athena Pheromones have THREE such gold standard published studies."
As a research author; Dr. Cutler's books on women's health
(please click on book titles for more details)
In 2009, after six years of research and writing, Dr. Cutler's most recent book on the hormonal health of women over 35 was published. "Hormones and Your Health: The Smart Woman's Guide to Hormonal and Alternative Therapies for Menopause" (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.) presents state of the art research, exciting medical breakthroughs, and current information on topics such as nutrition, hormone replacement therapy, bone preservation, breast cancer and mammography, and overall health for women and their physicians to help as an essential guide to better health practices.
"Winnifred Cutler's message is clear, precise and correct that women have choices as far as hormone therapy is concerned and they are in charge. "
In Menopause: A Guide for Women and Those Who Love Them (Norton) and in Hysterectomy: Before and After (HarperCollins), she helps women experiencing fundamental hormonal and physiological changes take charge of their well-being.
In one of her books, Love Cycles: The Science of Intimacy (Villard/Random House), she chronicles her discovery of human pheromones, and helps readers who are already in a relationship to enjoy greater intimacy and improve their sexual lives.
Scientific Presentations, Publications, and Awards Over the Years
(please click on titles for more details)
- Dr. Cutler published her papers marking the discovery of lunar and menstrual phase locking in 1980 in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and 1987 (with colleagues) in the journal, Human Biology,
- In 1992, Dr. Cutler was named U.S. Business Owner of the Year by the National Association of Women Business Owners.
- In 1996, Cheltenham High School (PA) elected her to its Alumni Hall of Fame for her personal and professional achievements.
- Upon invitation in May 1999, Dr. Cutler gave a seminar, Pheromones as Sex Attractants, to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for CME Credits
- With Dr. Elizabeth Genovese, she wrote a monograph titled Wellness in Women After 40: The Role of Sex Hormones and Pheromones (Mosby Inc, 2000, 120pp, 250 refs.)
- In 2001, Ursinus College presented Dr. Cutler its Alumni Award for outstanding professional achievement and service to the college.
- In June 2002, Dr. Cutler's invited article on pheromones and sexual attractiveness was published by Climacteric, the peer reviewed journal of the International Menopause Society.
In April 2002, at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Behavioral Medicine Dr. Cutler presented her poster on "Human Sex-Attractant Pheromones: Efficacy Studies..." and at the same meeting Dr. Joan Freibely of Harvard University presented a poster of the study led by Susan Rako, M.D. Journal of Sex Research (Pheromonal Influences on Sociosexual Behavior in Postmenopausal Women. Rako, Freibely 2004).
- In May 2004, the Annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in New York, Dr. Cutler presented her seminar, How Sexual Attractiveness, Pheromones, Fertility and Hysterectomy are Related.
- in October 16-19 2005, Dr. Cutler presented her poster to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine "Evidence that Sex Attractant Pheromone Effects Strengthen with continued use."
- In 2009, October, Dr. Cutler’s oral presentation was accepted for the 65th annual meeting of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), titled Breast Cancer in Postmenopausal Women: What is the Real Risk?
- In 2010, the International Menopause Society invited Dr. Cutler with Dr. Regula Burki, commentary on HRT was published for the IMS membership newsletter and later in the journal Climacteric.
- In April 2011, Climacteric subsequently published their commentary - Overdiagnosis may further diminish mammographic breast cancer benefits minimized by elegant study by Drs. Cutler and Burki
- In November 2011, the online newsletter Menopause Live, Mortality reduction by widespread screening: not quite as effective as we all hope? with coauthors Drs. Burki and Kolter
- In April 2012, Dr. Cutler presented to the Society for Behavioral Medicine; Logical Measurement Methods Yield Lower Breast Cancer Risk" co-authors by Regula Burki, M.D., James Kolter, M.D., and Cathy Chambliss, Ph.D.
- In February 2013, Drs. Cutler, Burki, Kolter, and Chambliss paper "Mammograms for Symptomless Women - Not So Wise?", InFocus newsletter and Climacteric 'short review'
Outreach and Mission of Athena Institute
- In June 2000, Athena Institute awarded a $25,000 research grant to Cindy Meston, Ph.D. of the University of Texas at Austin, published in Archives of Sexual Behavior (2004), 'The Effects of Hysterectomy on Sexual Arousal in Women With a History of Benign Uterine Fibroids.'
- In May 2006, additional grant funding from Athena Institute for the study of sexual deficits in post-hysterectomized women was awarded to Dr. Julia Heiman, Director of Kinsey Institute.
- In 2006 through 2008, the Athena Institute Hospice Project was launched -- awarding a research grant to local church organizations intended for a collaborative effort by pre-med students, college advisors, and hospice administrators to provide volunteer service to elderly hospice care recipients. This research project complements the guide to applying to medical school which is available for premed students on Athena Institute's website; conceived by Dr. Cutler and written by one of Athena Institute's valuable interns.
- In June 2011, Athena Institute and Dr. Cutler announced the updated hospice program (originally launched in 2007).The Athena Institute Pre-Med Hospice Volunteer Program is funded through 2014 with a grant from Athena Institute. The program aims to encourage area pre-med students to volunteer services to local hospice patients, with the continuing efforts and enthusiasm of the Rev. Dr. Charles Grant of Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church and the program's new director, Rev. Graham Robinson. Please read the 2013 graduates' Reflection Essays click here.
- The Athena Institute continues to offer paid internships to nearby college students in which they learn extensively from Dr. Cutler about the scientific method, office administration, communication skills, and small business operations management.
- Dr. Cutler is a member of, and has presented her research over the years to: the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the International Society of Psychoneuroendocrinology, the North American Menopause Society, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, and the Society for Behavioral Medicine.
- Dr. Cutler continues to conduct new research at the Athena Institute funded by the sales of her books and cosmetic pheromone products.