Biological sex, being female or male, is a fundamental characteristic of biological systems. Sex is a fundamental variable in preclinical biomedical research that underlies drug development research, clinical trials, and preven-tion approaches. Although the biomedical community has made major progress in human studies—women now account for roughly half of the participants in NIH-funded clinical trials—there has not been a similar pattern in preclinical research. Animal studies have focused primarily on males, and investigators studying cell models have often ignored the sex of the individual from which the cells were obtained. For the most part, considering sex as a biological variable has been a blind spot in biomedical research, leaving critical gaps in our knowledge.
- Session I addressed the basic concept of including female and male subjects in studies.
- Session II explored the impact of including or not including sex as a basic biological variable.
- Session III visited specific and practical methods to integrate sex as a variable in research plans and projects.
- Session IV discussed how to introduce a "sex matters" culture across multiple disciplines.
I've not digested this yet. I will, and will blog on it as I get excited, irritated or fall asleep.