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 Proposals

WSDM plans to fund 4-5 seed grants of $20,000-$25,000 to enable researchers to collect pilot data, conduct feasibility studies, and/or demonstrate interdisciplinary collaborations that would enhance applications to the NIH and NSF for research on the role of the sex in genetics, of cells, tissues, organs, or organisms, interactions of sex and gender on biology and medical outcomes, e.g. diagnostic tests, treatments, procedures, etc. and/or in women's health. Applications are now closed and awards will be announced soon.

Upcoming WSDM Events

March 4, 2015- Save the Date! The WSDM Basic & Translational Research Symposium-Cancer will be held from 1:00-5:15 in Li Ka Shing Berg Hall. Details to follow!

WSDM will host the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Organization for the Study of Sex Differences (OSSD) on April 21-23, 2015. The annual meeting will feature presentations and poster sessions from leading experts in the study of sex differences. Symposia will include sex differences in sensory perception, cardiovascular disease, brain networks, and neurocognitive aging, among others. The event will be held at Berg Hall, Li Ka Shing Center, Stanford University. Click here for the detailed flyer. Early bird registration is available now- click here for registration details.

May 18, 2015- WSDM will host the 6th Annual Women's Health Forum in Li Ka Shing Berg Hall. Details for this popular annual event will be posted soon.

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Recent WSDM Events

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. The Seed Grant Awards will be announced by December 19, 2014. 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.

2013 WSDM Seed Grants Awarded

In December the WSDM Center awarded 5 seed grants of $20,000 each to promote research on sex differences across a variety of disciplines. The winning proposals:

Marion Buckwalter, M.D., Ph.D. and Rona Giffard, M.D., Ph.D.:"Sex-specific Recovery from Stroke: Differences in Clinical Trajectory"

Tracey McLaughlin, M.D., M.S. and Michael Snyder, Ph.D.:"Sex differences in adipocyte responses to experimentally-induced weight gain"

Michael D. Greicius, M.D. and Hua Tang, Ph.D.: "Elucidating the APOE-by-Gender Interaction in Alzheimer’s Disease"

Bertha Chen, M.D. and Jean Tang, M.D., Ph.D.: "Effect of cell sex on smooth muscle cells and fibroblasts derived from human embryonic stem cells" 

Zijie Sun, Ph.D., M.D. and Luis de Lecea, Ph.D.: "Androgen Signaling in Alcohol-Seeking Behavior between Genders"

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WSDM Leadership in the News

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.

Congratulations to WSDM Director Marcia Stefanick and WSDM Advisory Board Member Jennifer Tremmel, for their election to the Council of the Organization for the Study of Sex Differences (OSSD) in November. WSDM and Stanford Women's Heart Health will co-host the OSSD Annual Meeting at Stanford on April 21-23, 2015. Save the dates!

Heart disease is is the number one killer of both women and men. WSDM Advisory Board Member Dr. Jennifer Tremme, 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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Stanford WSDM Events Calendar
  • »The WSDM Center would like to thank Graniterock for its generous support of the 5th Annual Women's Health Forum.
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