Exciting news! Yesterday, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that starting in 2016, all research studies approved through their institutes will be required to study both biological sexes in cell, animal, and human studies in order to account for the possible role of sex as a variable. In the past, the research community has focused on male animals and cells in basic science research, neglecting the examination of female cells and animals as variables. This exclusion of female animals and cells neglected the fact that there are differences in male and female biological processes, including how they experience disease, react to medications, and even behave in social functions. Now there will be equal consideration of both sexes in basic and preclinical biomedical research!
We here at the Women’s Health Research Institute are particularly thrilled about this announcement as our years of advocacy have finally yielded this formalized inclusion of both sexes in all scientific studies. Our policy publications, sex-inclusion research forums, our launch of the Illinois Women’s Health Registry in 2008, and most recently, our unveiling of the Illinois Men’s Health Registry earlier this year, have all been attempts to garner sex inclusion in all aspects of basic and clinical research. This announcement is a great success! If you are interested in learning more about sex inclusion, consider joining our Health Registries, as they serve as a gateway between the state community and researchers who are motivated to include both sexes in their studies.
To read the official announcement from the NIH, click here
To learn more about our Women's Health Registry, click here
To learn more about our Men’s Health Registry, click here