December 21, 2020

Woman reviewing data from a research projectORWH recently expanded its e-learning course offerings with “Sex as a Biological Variable: A Primer” and the final two modules of the “Bench to Bedside: Integrating Sex and Gender to Improve Human Health” course.

The NIH Policy on Sex as a Biological Variable (SABV) articulates NIH’s expectation that sex, as a biological variable, will be factored into research designs, analyses, and reporting in vertebrate animal and human studies. The SABV primer consists of four independent, interactive modules designed to help the research community—including trainees and researchers at all career stages, NIH grant applicants, and those engaged in peer review—account for and appropriately integrate SABV across all phases of biomedical and biobehavioral research. 

  • Module 1: SABV and the Health of Women and Men
  • Module 2: SABV and Experimental Design
  • Module 3: SABV and Analyses
  • Module 4: SABV and Research Reporting

ORWH developed the SABV primer in partnership with the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS).

ORWH also recently released the final two modules of the “Bench to Bedside” course, developed in partnership with the Food and Drug Administration Office of Women’s Health. Module 5 focuses on endocrinology and presents information on sex and gender differences related to three health conditions: osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, and differentiated thyroid cancer. Course participants will learn to: 

  • Interpret the epidemiological data on endocrine and metabolic disorders and explain how prevalence and outcomes may differ based on sex
  • Describe preclinical evidence supporting sex differences in endocrine and metabolic disorders and the mechanisms involved
  • Explain the impact of sex differences on the clinical presentation and treatment of endocrine and metabolic disorders
  • Detail the knowledge gaps in endocrine and metabolic research and develop ideas for future preclinical or clinical research studies

Module 6, on mental health, explores two mental health disorders with pronounced sex differences: major depressive disorder and autism spectrum disorder. In this module, learners will discover how to: 

  • Identify sex and gender differences in the presentation, risk factors, and pathophysiology of mental health disorders
  • Characterize the epidemiology of mental health disorders, with a focus on sex as a relevant biological variable
  • Describe how preclinical models and clinical studies have provided greater understanding of pathology and mechanisms involved in mental health disorders and sex differences
  • Identify gaps in our understanding of sex differences in mental health disorders

The SABV primer, all six of the “Bench to Bedside” modules, and the previously released “Introduction: Sex- and Gender-Related Differences in Health” course are available, without cost, to all. Visit the ORWH e-learning webpage for more information and to take the courses.