Women & Sex Differences in Medicine (WSDM)
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Marcia Stefanick, PhD

Director, WSDM

Sonoo Thadaney

Managing Director, WSDM

Terri Oppelt ("TO") Preising

Program Associate, WSDM

Marcia Stefanick, Susan Love, and Lynn Westphal

Women's Health Forum 2013

Welcome to the Stanford WSDM Center (“wisdom”), the Stanford Center for Health Research on Women and Sex Differences in Medicine

WSDM aims to expand our knowledge of women’s health and sex differences in biology and medicine, from conception through the lifespan, in every medical discipline, from basic science to clinical research and population health science.


2014 WSDM Seed Grant Awards

In December the WSDM Center awarded 4 seed grants of $22,000 each to promote research on sex differences across a variety of disciplines. The winning proposals:

William Fearon, MD, Associate Professor, Dominik Fleischmann, MD, Professor; Joseph Wu, MD PhD, Professor, and David Liang, Associate Professor: "Sex Differences in Ventricular Adaptation and Recovery in Patients with Aortic Stenosis Undergoing Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement"

Patricia K. Nguyen, MD, Assistant Professor, and Joseph Wu, MD, PhD, Professor: "Global Gene Expression Profiling of the Effects of Estrogen and Testosterone on Human Cardiomyoctes Derived from Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells"

Minang (Mintu) Turakhia, MD MAS, Assistant Professor, Jennifer Tremmel, MD, MD, Assistant Professor, and Maarten Lansberg, MD, PHD, Associate Professor: "Sex Differences in Stroke Prevention Therapy in Atrial Fibrillation"

Kevin Chun-Kai Wang, MD PhD, Assistant Professor, and Sharon Pitteri, PhD, Assistant Professor: "Integrated Proteomic and Transcriptomic Analysis of X and Y Sperm"


Recent WSDM Events

6th Annual Women's Health Forum- Screening and Prevention

May 18, 2015, WSDM and the Stanford Cancer Institute co-sponsored the 6th Annual Women's Health Forum in Li Ka Shing Berg Hall. The forum theme was Screening and Prevention with sessions featuring Stanford experts on cancer screening and prevention, bone health, cardiovascular health, and women's wellness. Watch the video. For a detailed program, click here. The Stanford Medicine Scopeblog profiled the successful event, including the highlights of WSDM Center Director Marcia Stefanick's keynote presentation on physical activity and weight management as key preventive actions for women to take. Read the blog here.

WSDM and Women's Heart Heart at Stanford co-hosted the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Organization for the Study of Sex Differences (OSSD) on April 21-23, 2015 at Berg Hall, Li Ka Shing Center. The meeting featured presentations and poster sessions from leading experts in the study of sex differences. Attendance was at full capacity for all three days of the event, with over 200 experts from all over the world. Click here for the detailed flyer.

WSDM and SCI Basic & Translational Research Symposium-Cancer

WSDM and the Stanford Cancer Institute (SCI) co-hosted the Basic & Translational Research Symposium on Sex Differences in Cancer on March 4, 2015 in Li Ka Shing Berg Hall.The event was well received and featured a keynote from Dr. Malcolm Pike of the Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as well as presentations from leading Stanford researchers. Read the detailed flyer and agenda. Watch the videos here!

Transgender Health Symposium

Cohosted by WSDM, the Weiland Health Initiative, Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and the Clayman Institute for Gender Research, on November 1, 2014. More than 200 people attended the well-received Symposium, which was designed for health providers as well as for transgender individuals, family members, and allies wanting to learn more about health and medical options. For the detailed program, click here.

Second WSDM Seed Grant Workshop

WSDM hosted its second Seed Grant Workshop on October 17, 2014.  Representatives from almost every department in the School of Medicine presented their departments' visions and missions to faciliate interdisciplinary collaborations of the study of sex differences. View the slides from the Workshop here.

Rethinking and Redesigning the Future: Honoring Philip A. Pizzo, MD

WSDM and the Stanford Center on Longevity honored former Dean of the School of Medicine Philip Pizzo at a reception on September 18, 2014. Speakers included WSDM Co-Founders and Co-Directors Marcia Stefanick and Lynn Westphal and Professor Laura Carstensen, PhD, Fairleigh Dickinson Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Stanford Center on Longevity. Click here to read the program.

Fifth Annual Women's Health Forum: Global Women's Health

It was an afternoon of engaging speakers, panels, and exhibits at WSDM's 5th Annual Women's Health Forum on May 21. Ruth Levine, PhD, Director of the Global Development and Population Program at The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, delivered the keynote "Girls Count: A Global Investment & Action Agenda (Start With a Girl)".

The Forum also included panel host Jesse Draper, creator, writer and producer of the Valley Girl Show.

Check out the videos of the presentations and exhibitors on the WSDM Youtube channel and read the Program Guide here.

Fourth Annual Basic & Translational Research Symposium Sex Differences in Immunology

Our fourth Annual Basic & Translational Research Symposium was held on Monday, March 10 at the Clark Center. The symposium featured leading researchers in immunology and sex differences, including Stanford experts, and was well received. Check out the video on the WSDM Youtube channel! Check out the program here.

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WSDM Leadership in the News

Congratulations to WSDM Co-Founder and former Co-Director, Lynn Westphal, MD on her promotion to full Professor in the School of Medicine!

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.

WSDM Director Marcia Stefanick, Stanford leader of the NIH funded Women's Health Initiative (WHI), discusses the October JAMA report on the WHI hormone trials. Read the Stanford blog here.

Dr. Stefanick discusses the impact that sex differences may have on diseases and their treatments in a recent interview with BeWell@Stanford. Read the article here.

Former WSDM Co-Director Lynn Westphal, a leading expert in reproductive techology, discusses Facebook and Apple's recent decisions to pay for female employees to freeze their eggs in a recent NBC News.com article. Egg freezing is an option for women seeking to extend their fertility. Dr. Westphal discusses random start ovarian stimulation as an option for cancer patients faced with time constraints in the harvesting of their eggs before cancer treatments. Read the article here.

Dr. Westphal spoke at Cystic Fibrosis Research Inc's 25th National Cystic Fibrosis Family Education Conference about women with cystic fibrosis who are having babies. Watch the video here.

Heart disease is is the number one killer of both women and men. WSDM Advisory Board Member Dr. Jennifer Tremmel, Clinical Director of Women's Heart Health at Stanford, highlights the differences between women and men when it comes to a heart attack in a recent interview with BeWell@Stanford. Learn more about those differences here.

WSDM Advisory Board Member Michael Greicius, MD and his team at the Stanford School of Medicine have found that gene variant ApoE4 puts women at substantially greater risk of developing Alzheimer's than it does men. Read the article here.

In a recent study, WSDM Advisory Board Member Mark Davis, MD and other scientists at the Stanford School of Medicine have shown that men with high testosterone levels benefit less after vaccination for influenza than do men with lower testosterone levels and women. Read about the study here.

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