Stanford WSDM Center

Women and Sex Differences in Medicine

A Message from the WSDM Faculty Director

WSDM has made great strides in the last several years to educate research scientists, physicians, students, and the general public about the importance of sex and gender differences in research and medical practice, and in the health of men and women through all stages of life.
We are proud to announce that WSDM has received funding from the Dean of the School of Medicine and the Chair of every department in the School of Medicine, to continue our educational programming and events for years to come.

Marcia Stefanick, PhD
Director, Stanford WSDM Center


Stanford Medicine magazine features Sex and Gender in Medicine

"Sex, Gender and Medicine" are the focus of the May issue of Stanford Medicine magazine, which highlights how sex and gender differences should be part of research, care, and medical school education. The issue includes a feature on the research of WSDM Advisory Board member Amy Braun, "Of Mice, Women, and Men- making research more inclusive" with commentary from WSDM Center Faculty Director, Marcia Stefanick, and Advisory Board member Londa Schiebinger.

Seed Grant Awards 2017

WSDM received many exciting and innovative proposals from across the School of Medicine and thanks all of the investigators who submitted proposals for the 2017 WSDM Seed Grants.  Congratulations to the investigators below whose proposals were selected for funding:



Investigating Sex Differences In Human Plasmacytoid Dentritic Cell Function And Regulation

Juliana Idoyaga, PhD, Asst Prof. (Microbiology & Immunology);              

Howard Chang, MD, PhD, Professor (Dermatology)

Sex Differences In Insulin Resistance: Probing The Contribution Of Hormones To The Endothelial Dysfunction Using Stem Cell-Derived Endothelial Cell

Ngan F. Huang, PhD, Asst Prof. (Cardiothoracic Surgery);                            

Patricia Nguyen MD, Asst Prof. (Med CV);

Joshua Knowles, MD, PhD, Asst Prof. (Med CV)

Profiling Sex Differences In The Healthy Human Immune System Through Transcriptomics

PJ Utz, Professor, Medicine (Immunology & Rheumatology);

Purvesh Khatri, Asst Prof., Biomed Data Science, Medicine (BMR)

The Effect Of Sex On Differences In Treatment Strategy And Decision-Making In Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Cindy Kin, MD, MS, Asst Prof. (Surgery);

Arden Morris, MD, MPH, Prof. (Surgery);

KT Park, MD, MS, Asst Prof. (Pediatrics);

M. Kate Bundorf, PhD, MBA, MPH Assoc Prof. (HRP)

Leveraging Aneuploidy To Examine Sex Chromosome Effects In Neurodevelopment

David S. Hong, MD, Asst Prof. (Psychiatry);

Alexander Urban, PhD, Asst Prof. (Psychiatry);

Wing Wong, PhD, Professor ( Biomed Data Science, Statistics)

Sex Differences In Hippocampal Physiology & Response To Circadian Dysfunction

Daniel V. Madison, PhD, Assoc Prof. (Molecular & Cellular Physiology);

H. Craig Heller, PhD Professor (Biology);

Norman F. Ruby, Sr Research Scientist (Biology)

The Impact of Eye Disease and Visual Function on Women’s Health: Defining A Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) Population for Study

Suzann Pershing, MD, MS, Asst Prof. (Ophthalmology);

Mark Hlatky, MD, Professor (HRP, Med-CV Med)

Sex Differences In The Neural Correlates of ADHD: the Role of the X-Chromosome

Tamar Green, MD, Instructor (Psych, Interdisc Brain Sciences);

Allan Reiss, MD, Professor (Psych, Interdisc Brain Sciences);

Stephen Montgomery, PhD, Asst Prof. (Pathology, Genetics)  

WSDM Seed Grant Workshop

The October 28 Seed Grant Workshop was a great success, with all departments and several Institutes in the School of Medicine contributing updates on their research in sex differences. Thank you to to all of the department and institute representatives for their attendance.

To view slides from the workshop click on the links below:

Dr. Stefanick's  introduction, outlining the need for the study of sex differences

Research updates on the study of sex differences from all of the departments in the School of Medicine

"Sex = Biology; Gender = Culture: Sex as a Biological Variable" presentation by Dr. Londa Schiebinger  


Basic & Translational Research Symposium on Sex Differences in Neuroscience

The Basic and Translational Research Symposium on Sex Differences in Neurosciences held on March 8 was a great success, with a capacity crowd attending. Videos of the speakers' presentations are on the WSDM at Stanford Youtube channel, and you can view the entire video playlist here.  Click here for the agenda and flyer.

WSDM Leadership in the News

Lancet published a commentary of Proposed Editorial Policies for Sex and Gender Analysis by WSDM Advisory Board Member Londa Schiebinger. The commentary includes concise definitions of sex and gender as well as guidelines for reporting on sex and gender in medical journals. Read the commentary here.

WSDM Advisory Board Member Mary Leonard, MD, MSCE, Professor of Pediatrics and of Medicine and Associate Dean of Maternal and Child Health Research, has been appointed as the next Chair of the Stanford University School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics. Congratulations to Professor Leonard.  More 

The August 22 issue of Lancet featured a profile of WSDM Director Maria Stefanick and her career promoting the study of sex differences. Read the article here.

In the April 28 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS), Dr. Stefanick, WSDM Advisory board member Londa Schiebinger, and other experts discuss the importance of sex inclusion in basic research and the implications of the NIH's May 2014 policy change to require a balance of male and female cells and animals in studies. Click here to read the article.

Associate Professor Michael Greicius, a WSDM Advisory Board member, was featured on National Public Radio's "Science Friday" discussing his research regarding women and Alzheimer's Disease. Listen to the audio here.


Donor Generosity

The WSDM Center would like to thank Graniterock for its generous support of the 5th Annual Women's Health Forum.