One of the fundamental variables in preclinical biomedical research is sex: whether a cell, tissue, or animal is female or male. Biological sex is an important consideration for this research that underlies drug development, clinical trials, and prevention approaches.

Sex & Gender Influences on Health & Disease

Chloe Bird, Ph.D., Senior Advisor to the Director of the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH), talks about how increasing our understanding of sex and gender influences on health and disease is critical to advancing women’s health research and improving the health of everyone. 

Dr. Chloe Bird: Advancing Understanding of Sex & Gender Influences on Health & Disease

Expert Interviews

The NIH Office of Research on Women's Health talked with some of the leading experts on studying sex to strengthen science. Hear what they have to say about how to take sex into account in preclinical research.

Dr. Gillian Einstein: Importance of Sex as a Basic Biological Variable in Preclinical Research

Dr. Arthur Arnold: Understanding Disease in Males and Females

Dr. Larry Cahill: Challenging Assumptions About Sex in Preclinical Research

Dr. Londa Schiebinger: Understanding Gender in Research

October 20, 2014, Workshop

Learn how to incorporate sex to strengthen scientific design from leaders in the field through this recorded full-day meeting hosted by ORWH. Read the workshop summary  (PDF).

Workshop Presentations

Morning sessions
Learn more about the importance of reproducibility in biomedical research, the concept of including male and female subjects in studies, and the impact of including or not including sex as a basic biological variable.

Afternoon sessions
Learn about practical methods to integrate the biological variable sex into research projects and cultivating a culture of "Sex Matters" across multiple disciplines. This video concludes with recommendations and highlights.

Additional Information

The NIH Record, November 7, 2014
Females and Males: Same and Different? NIH Workshop Explores Question
How do you incorporate sex as a variable in research with animals and cells? This question was the focus of an October 20 workshop hosted by ORWH. The workshop was designed to help scientists understand why sex in preclinical research is important, as well as to provide practical guidance on experimental approaches.