WSDM (Women and Sex Differences in Medicine) Center

Welcome to the Stanford Women and
Sex Differences in Medicine (WSDM) Center

The Stanford WSDM Center (pronounced "wisdom") is a Stanford School of Medicine center that evolved from the former Women’s Health at Stanford Program. The WSDM 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 WSDM 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 WSDM Center

WSDM in the News

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 WSDM Advisory Board member and recent Stanford postdoctoral scholar, Mathias Nielsen. Read the Stanford Report article here.

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.

"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.

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.


WSDM Advisory Board Member Leslee Subak, MD, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, has been appointed as the next Chair of the Stanford University School of Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynelcology. Congratulations to Professor Subak.  

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.

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.