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Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH)

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Beyond the Fig Leaf: The Science of Sex and Gender Differences

A concurrent session presented by ORWH at the 26th Annual
NIH Research Festival, October 9-12, 2012

Beyond the Fig Leaf: The Science of Sex and Gender Differences

View session videocast:


Personalized medicine provides the promise of improved healthcare informed by research on the factors that makes each human unique. Sex and gender are basic variables used to categorize differences and similarities; these variables influence health, including the experience, treatment, and outcomes of disease. The integration of sex and gender in the design and analysis of basic and clinical research studies can enhance the rigor of investigative approaches, improve the quality of the science, and expand the applicability of the results, supporting a personalized medicine approach that can transform public health. This session will cover aspects of sex and gender factors in health and disease, from the development of biomedical devices and therapeutics to the personalization of treatment of cardiovascular disease. Discussion of the latest scientific advances in sex differences research and enhancements in study design to detect sex and gender differences will engage and inform the NIH scientific community.

ORWH Session Topics and Speakers:

  • Sex and Gender Differences in Cardiovascular Disease and Healthcare Delivery.
    Dr. Nakela Cook, Medical Officer in the Clinical Applications and Prevention Branch in the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences, NHLBI
  • Sex and Gender Considerations in Devices and Therapeutics.
    Dr. Belinda Seto, Deputy Director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, NIBIB
  • New Findings and Social/Policy Implications of Sex and Gender in Genetics and Genomics Basic/Clinical Research.
    Dr. Susan Taymans, Director for the Reproductive Genetics and Epigenetics Branch, NICHD
  • Sex and Gender Differences in Chronic Pain Research.
    Dr. Cora Lee Wetherington, Women and Sex/Gender Differences Research Coordinator and Health Scientist Administrator, NIDA
  • How to Power Studies to Conduct Sex and Gender Differences Research.
    Dr. Laura Johnson, Biostatistician, Office of Clinical and Regulatory Affairs, NCCAM
  • Obesity-related hormones and endometrial cancer risk among post-menopausal women: The BFIT cohort
    Dr. Cher Dallal, FARE Award winner and Cancer Prevention Fellow, NCI

Additional Information

For details about 2012 NIH Research Festival activities that highlight the scientific excellence of the Intramural Research Program, visit:
This page last reviewed on August 31, 2015