WHSDM Center

(Women's Health and Sex Differences in Medicine)

Welcome to the Stanford Women's Health and
Sex Differences in Medicine (WHSDM) Center

WHSDM Updates

Gendered Innovations: Time Specific Announcements

Courtesy of Londa Schiebinger, John L. Hinds Professor of History of Science, Stanford University 

AI ageism: a critical roadmap for studying age discrimination and exclusion in digitalized societies

J Stypinska - AI & SOCIETY, 2022

In the last few years, we have witnessed a surge in scholarly interest and scientific evidence of how algorithms can produce discriminatory outcomes, especially with regard to gender and race. However, the analysis of fairness and bias in AI …


Disparities in dermatology AI performance on a diverse, curated clinical image set

R DaneshjouK Vodrahalli, RA Novoa, M Jenkins… - Science …, 2022 - science.org An estimated 3 billion people lack access to dermatological care globally. Artificial intelligence (AI) may aid in triaging skin diseases and identifying malignancies. However, most AI models have not been assessed on images of diverse skin tones or uncommon diseases. Thus, we created the Diverse Dermatology Images (DDI) dataset—the first publicly available, expertly curated, and pathologically confirmed image dataset with diverse skin tones. We show that state-of-the-art dermatology AI models exhibit substantial limitations on …


Sustainability through a gender lens: The extent to which research on UN Sustainable Development Goals includes sex and gender consideration

R Herbert, HJ Falk-Krzesinski, K James, A Plume - PloS one, 2022

Through efforts of the Gender Summits and UN Women, it is evident that all United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets must be viewed from a gender perspective to ensure that the outcomes benefit women and men equally …


FYI – press release from Australian Govt:



For more articles of interest see Gendered Innovations.


WHSDM Webinar Series Event

Sex and Gender Matter in Medicine: Now What? Incorporating Sex and Gender in Biomedical Research

Sabine Oertelt-Prigione, MD, PhD, Msc of Radboud University, Netherlands, was featured speaker in the WHSDM Webinar Series. View her presentation on youtube here.


Professor Londa Schiebinger profiled in Nature

WHSDM Advisory Board member and John L. Hinds Professor of History of Science Londa Schiebinger was profiled in Nature recently as "The researcher fighting to embed analysis of sex and gender into science". Read the article here.


NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health Begins Release of E-Learning Courses on Sex and Gender

new section of the ORWH website features free online courses designed to give users a thorough and up-to-date understanding of sex and gender influences on health and disease and NIH requirements on factoring sex as a biological variable (SABV) into research design. Learners will be able to apply this knowledge  when designing and conducting research or interpreting evidence. The course material showcases examples from basic science through clinical trials and translation into practice to ensure learners understand the importance of considering the influence of sex and gender throughout the research spectrum and beyond.

The courses are open to the public, and registration is free. Learn more here.


WHSDM Seed Grant award recipients publish their research on sex differences in the blood transcriptome

Congratulations to authors and WHSDM seed grant award winners Erika Bongen, PhD, and co-Principal Investigators P.J. Utz and Purvesh Khatri on the recent publication of their research identifying a 144-gene immune sex expression signature (iSEXS) that is differentially expressed in the blood of healthy human males and females. Their article "Sex Differences in the Blood Transcriptome Identify Robust Changes in Immune Cell Proportions with Aging and Influenza Infection",  is based on research supported by a WHSDM Seed Grant award. Congratulations!


Female researchers pay more attention to sex and gender in medical research, Stanford researchers find

When women participate in a medical research paper, that research is more likely to take into account the differences between the way men and women react to diseases and treatments, according to a new study by Londa Schiebinger, professor of history of science and WHSDM Advisory Board member and recent Stanford postdoctoral scholar, Mathias Nielsen. Read the Stanford Report article here.

5 Questions: Marcia Stefanick on better medicine for women

Inside Stanford Medicine asks Dr. Stefanick 5 questions on better medicine for women and why giving consideration to sex and gender differences in research and treatment would improve medical care for everyone.

Stanford Medicine Magazine - Sex, gender and medicine

"Sex, Gender and Medicine" are the focus of this 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 WHSDM Advisory Board member Amy Braun, PhD, "Of Mice, Women, and Men- making research more inclusive" with commentary from WHSDM Center Faculty Director, Marcia Stefanick, and Advisory Board member Londa Schiebinger.


Not Just for Men

Dr. Stefanick's article "Not Just for Men" was featured in Scientific American magazine's Special Issue on the "new science" of sex and gender, "It's Not a Women's Issue". Read the article here.

Proposed Editorial Policies for Sex and Gender Analysis

Lancet published a commentary of Proposed Editorial Policies for Sex and Gender Analysis by WHSDM 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.

Lancet features profile of WHSDM Center Director Marcia Stefanick

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

The Importance of Sex Inclusion in Basic Research

In the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS), Dr. Stefanick, WHSDM 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.



A message from the director

The Stanford WHSDM Center (pronounced "wisdom") is a Stanford School of Medicine center that evolved from the former Women’s Health at Stanford Program. The WHSDM Center acknowledges the wisdom of conducting innovative, multi-disciplinary research on women’s health and sex differences in biology and medicine, from conception through the lifespan, in every medical discipline, from basic science to clinical and population health science.

The Stanford WHSDM Center also recognizes the value of educating scientists and bioengineers, medical researchers, physicians and other health care providers, and the public on the broad range of women’s health issues, as well as the spectrum of biological (and sociocultural) differences (and similarities) that may affect female and male health outcomes over the lifecourse.

Marcia Stefanick, PhD
Director, Stanford WHSDM Center

Follow us: