Utrecht University will organize a one-day symposium on the importance of sex and gender in biomedical and translational research. The symposium is organised by the Diversity Committee of the Faculty of Science in collaboration with Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Animal Welfare Body Utrecht and Central Laboratory Animal Research Facility of Utrecht University. The aim of the symposium is to create awareness and to stimulate excellence in science and technology by integrating sex and gender analysis into research.
Importance of sex and gender considerations
In the last 10 years, there has been a growing recognition that the sex of cells, tissues, animals, and humans matter in biomedical and translational science. Every cell has a sex, with sex differences beginning at conception and varying along the lifecycle. When sex or gender is not taken into account, important effects may be missed. Failure to consider sex in biomedical or translational research has come at the cost of human lives. For example, between 1997 and 2000, 10 drugs were withdrawn from the market because of life-threatening health effects. Eight of these posed "greater health risks for women than for men" (U.S. GAO, 2001). Taking sex or gender into account improves the reproducibility and translational value of research findings.
Despite the importance of sex and gender considerations in biomedical research, many biomedical researchers have not yet fully explored the potential for discovery by taking sex and gender into account.