Did you miss September's Women's Health Research Forum? Click to watch Dr. Melissa Brown present, "Why Sex Matters in Multiple Sclerosis and Other Autoimmune Diseases."
In the past, the research community assumed that beyond the reproductive system, differences between men and women simply did not exist or were not relevant. Some of the reasons researchers have preferred male subjects include: the cost of using both sexes, a sense of having to protect vulnerable women and/or a potential fetus, uniformity, avoiding the “complications” of the menstrual cycle, and perceived complexity of recruitment. However, the truth, as outlined in Dr. Teresa Woodruff's 2010 Nature editorial, is that sex-and gender-based approaches to research and medicine frame important questions about the differences and similarities in men’s and women’s normal biological, behavioral and social function in combination with their experience of the same diseases. Consequently, the Women's Health Research Institute established the Bench Research Integration Leadership Committee to ensure sex specific research tools and core services are available to all investigators throughout Northwestern University. Click here for resources designed to support investigators as they engage in sex specific research.