Q:What happens when sex and gender are factored into clinical research and trials, and – equally important – the analysis of outcomes?
A:It changes our understanding about women’s health.
Dr. Carolyn Mazure’s interest in the influence of sex and gender on health outcomes has fueled her career. It was her own research on depression and addictive behaviors, and finding higher rates for women than men, that led her to develop models with a special emphasis on the effects of stress and the role of sex and gender. In 1998, she founded Women’s Health Research at Yale to address disparities in medical research by supporting groundbreaking studies on gender-specific aspects of disease.
Under Dr. Mazure’s leadership, the interdisciplinary research center has been recognized as a national model for launching innovative biomedical research studies to advance the health of women and translate findings into practice. Dr. Mazure shares credit for WHRY’s tremendous success with an outstanding team of researchers: Yale faculty, scientists, post docs, and medical and undergraduate students.
On December 7th, YaleWomen hosted a webinar with Dr. Mazure, director of WHRY, and Elisa Spungen Bildner ’75, YaleWomen Council member and member of the WHRY Advisory Council, in a thought provoking conversation, You’ve Got Male. Now What About Women? Sex and Gender Equity in Health Research. Produced by Council members Ursula Burton ’88, Jen Devore ’87, and Eli Gerard ’79, the discussion covered topics including why it took so long to bring women into the national research enterprise; how to understand whether the medical research reported in the media applies to women; and how the feasibility data drawn from WHRY-funded pilot projects has led to comprehensive research grants that have broadened our knowledge about health outcomes for both women and men.
How can we help to continue to move WHRY’s pioneering work forward? Be informed. Talk with family and friends. Watch YaleWomen’s webinar. Read WHRY’s case studies and research findings. Watch WHRY’s videos. Sign up for and read WHRY’s newsletter. And support efforts to secure research funding that will develop the pipeline of scientists and researchers, from WHRY to the National Institutes for Health. As Dr. Mazure said in closing the webinar, regardless of where science goes, sex and gender will always play a role.
Photo courtesy of Rick Harrison, WHRY.