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Expert: Good science needs both sexes

April 4, 2016 12:30 PM

Keith Brannon
kbrannon@tulane.edu

Women in clinical trials

Gender should be considered as a biological variable in research, says a leading health expert who will lecture at Tulane University Health Sciences Research Days on Wednesday (April 6). (Thinkstock image)


“By asking researchers to take sex into account when designing studies and evaluating and reporting results, NIH will ensure that the influence of sex is examined across the spectrum of biomedical research.”

Dr. Janine Austin Clayton

One of the nation’s leading advocates for gender parity in research will be a featured speaker Wednesday (April 6) at the 27th annual Tulane University Health Sciences Research Days, a two-day event showcasing medical research across the university.

Dr. Janine Austin Clayton, associate director for research on women’s health and director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will deliver a lecture: “Better With Both: Why Studying Both Sexes Is Good Science” at 1:30 p.m. in room 403 of the J. Bennett Johnston Health and Environmental Research Building, 1324 Tulane Ave. in downtown New Orleans.

Clayton is the architect of an NIH initiative to require scientists to consider sex as a biological variable in research. This includes making sure that basic science research includes cell lines from men and women and that scientists use both male and female animals in living model research. In January, NIH began evaluating all grant applications for how they account for sex as a biological variable in human and animal studies.

“By asking researchers to take sex into account when designing studies and evaluating and reporting results, NIH will ensure that the influence of sex is examined across the spectrum of biomedical research,” she said in a statement lauding the change.  

Clayton’s lecture is sponsored by Tulane Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health (BIRCWH), a program that provides mentored career development for junior faculty to increase the number of independent investigators in sex/gender differences and women's health. She also will meet with BIRCWH scholars and senior health sciences faculty and staff members.

Health Sciences Research Days, which concludes on Thursday (April 7), features more than 150 poster presentations from students, faculty and staff members in the lobby and room 111A of the J. Bennett Johnston building. The full schedule of lectures and events is available online.

 

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 website@tulane.edu