Incorporating Sex and Gender as Research Variables to Advance Health

3:00 - 5:00 PM ET | Monday, May 9th, 2022

The symposium, sponsored by the Connors-BRI Center for Research on Women’s Health and Sex/Gender Medicine at the Brigham Research Institute, will host a variety of exciting talks by local researchers and will feature a keynote address by Dr. Donna L. Maney, Professor of Psychology, Emory University



Welcome Remarks

3:00 – 3:05 PM ET

Hadine Joffe, MD, MSc
Executive Director, Mary Horrigan Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology
Paula A. Johnson Professor of Psychiatry in the Field of Women’s Health
Vice Chair for Research, Department of Psychiatry
Brigham and Women’s Hospital / Harvard Medical School


Keynote Address

3:05 – 3:45 PM ET

Introduction by:
Laura M. Holsen, MS, PhD
Associate Psychologist
Associate Professor of Psychiatry
Brigham and Women’s Hospital / Harvard Medical School


What is a Sex Difference?
Donna L. Maney, PhD
Professor of Psychology, Emory University


Featured Short Talks

3:45 – 4:25 PM ET

Introduction by:
Kathryn Rexrode, MD, MPH
Chief, Division of Women’s Health, Department of Medicine
Associate Professor of Medicine
Brigham and Women’s Hospital / Harvard Medical School


Lightning Talks

4:25 – 4:55 PM ET

Introduction by:
Cynthia A. Lemere, PhD
Associate Professor of Neurology in the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases
Brigham and Women’s Hospital / Harvard Medical School


Closing Remarks

4:55 – 5:00 PM ET

Dawn L. DeMeo, MD, MPH
Associate Professor of Medicine
Brigham and Women’s Hospital / Harvard Medical School

About the Keynote

Donna L. Maney, PhD,
Professor of Psychology, Emory University

Donna L. Maney, PhD is a neuroscientist and behavioral neuroendocrinologist at Emory University. For the past 25 years, her research has focused broadly on hormonal and genetic influences on social behavior. Recently, she became interested in sex differences — how they are tested for and reported in biomedical research and how they impact education and public health. She believes that scientists have a responsibility not only to include females in all studies but also to minimize bias and sexism in the design and the reporting of research. It is therefore a major mission of Maney’s research group to promote both inclusivity and scientific rigor in the study of sex differences and women’s health. Maney is currently a core member of Neurogenderings, a network of scientists and scholars who critically evaluate how scientific knowledge about sex differences in the brain is produced. She also serves as a Councilor for the Organization for the Study of Sex Differences (OSSD), a group that seeks to promote understanding of sex differences by facilitating interdisciplinary collaborations.

Featured Short Talks

3:45 – 4:25 PM ET

Investigating a metabolic basis for sex differences in the immune system

Lydia Lynch, PhD


Menopause age and hormone therapy use moderate PET tau and amyloid association: findings from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer Prevention

Gillian Coughlan, PhD


Pre-pregnancy migraine, aura phenotype, and risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes: a prospective cohort study

Alexandra Purdue-Smithe, PhD

Lightning Talks

4:25 – 4:55 PM ET

In order of theme


Moderated by: Kathryn Rexrode, MD, MPH


Sex-specific lesion pattern of long-term functional outcome after stroke
Anna Katharina Bonkhoff, MD


Utilization of Electronic Health Record Gender Demographic Fields: A Metadata Analysis
Dinah Foer, MD


The Global Burden of Ischemic Heart Disease in Females: Data from the 10 Most Populous Low-and Middle-Income Countries
Tracy Makuvire, MD, MPH Candidate


Protein Biomarkers of Early Menopause and Incident Cardiovascular Disease
Mariana Ramirez, MD


An index measuring sociocultural gender-related exposures identifies non-biological effects on insomnia in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos
Natali Sorajja





Moderated by: Dawn L. DeMeo, MD, MPH


Impaired daytime sleepiness and neurobehavioral performance in premenopausal women following experimental sleep fragmentation and hypoestrogenism mimicking menopause
Leilah Grant, PhD


Sex-specific differential gene expression changes in human -iPS Cell-derived myoblasts
Nida Haider, PhD


The impact of a web-based behavioral intervention on early treatment adherence to anti-estrogen therapy in women with hormone-receptor positive early-stage breast cancer
Amanda Koire, MD, PhD


Exogenous Testosterone and Scarring in Gender-Affirming Chest Surgery: Analysis of Demographics, Hormone Profiles and Wound Healing in 146 Patients
Erik Reiche, MD


Sex As A Biological Variable In Alloimmunity Of Solid Organ Transplantation
Yao Xiao, MD


Moderated by: Laura M. Holsen, MS, PhD


Plasma glycated CD59 (pGCD59) as a novel biomarker for gestational diabetes (GDM)
Jose Halperin, MD


Longitudinal Impact of Midlife Metabolic Health on Memory Function: Role of Sex and Reproductive Aging
Kyoko Konishi, PhD


Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron has sex-specific effects on the intestinal mucosa and adiposity in Dietary Obese Mice
Jennifer Lee, PhD


Gender Disparities in Rejection of Statin Therapy and Delays in Achievement of LDL Control among Patients at High Cardiovascular Risk
Alexander Turchin, MD, MS


Early Metabolic and Androgenic Features of Genetic Risk Factors for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Jia Zhu, MD




Moderated by: Hadine Joffe, MD, MSc


Sex differences in the association between functional connectivity of reward neurocircuitry during food reward processing following acute psychosocial stress in MDD
Hyeonmin Ahn, PhD


BDNF is Inversely Associated with Mood in Perimenopausal Depression
Jessica Harder, MD


Impact of sleep fragmentation on perceived sleep quality and daytime sleepiness in an experimental model of menopausal sleep fragmentation with normative sleep duration
Shadab Rahman, PhD, MPH


Comorbidity of PTSD, depression, and immune system dysfunction in a large cohort of men and women
Primavera Spagnolo, MD, PhD


Differential alterations of amygdala nuclei volumes in acutely ill patients with anorexia nervosa and their clinical and neuroendocrine associations
Marie-Louis Wronski, PhD student

Video Showcase

Development and Usability of a Text Messaging Program for Women with Gestational Diabetes: Mixed Methods Study

Rachel Blair, MD


Sex Differences in the Association of Oxidative Stress with Leptin and Adiponectin     

Jessica Busler, PhD


Sex differences in T cell metabolism    

Jaclyn Kline


Sex Differences in Airway Mucus Plugs Among Patients with COPD  

Jose Orejas, MD


COVID-19 vaccine uptake, vaccine hesitancy and medical mistrust among reproductive-aged women in Jamaica

Jodian Pinkney, MD


Text 4 Success: A Text Messaging Program for Women with Gestational Diabetes

Jennifer Scott, MD, MPH