On August 31st, 2016, Northwestern University welcomed NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins and Illinois Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) to campus for a discussion of biomedical research funding in the United States. At a press conference following the discussion, Director Collins addressed an issue central to the Women’s Health Research Institute – the inclusion of women in biomedical research.
“The percent of participants in clinical trials across the board at NIH is about 54 percent women,” he said. “That’s very different than it was 30 years ago.”
Collins also addressed the “Consideration of Sex as a Biological Variable,” policy set for by the NIH in January of 2015 stating, “…We’ve also made a requirement on researchers who were studying animal models of human disease. They have to study males and females, which often times was not done in the past.”