Experts in genomics, psychology, cardiology, public health, epidemiology, pharmacy, bacteriology, nutrition, occupational health, and anaesthesia all came together at GenderBasic Network expert meeting in Maastricht earlier this month.
The meeting, attended by EMHF board member Professor Alan White, pictured right, was the culmination of a Framework 6 funded initiative on ‘promoting attention to sex and gender in biomedical and health related research’ through the GenderBasic Network. The conference featured commissioned papers on ten topics as varied as the role of sex/gender within basic life science research and sexually dimorphic gene expression in somatic tissue to its importance within mental health, osteoporosis, and other clinical research areas.
'The coming together of international participants from such diverse disciplines and from very varied research paradigms was enlightening and has to be repeated,’ said Professor White, who is based at Leeds Met University in the UK. ‘We were all surprised by the strength of the findings, as were the representatives from the European Commission Directorate General for Research. We all recognise that understanding the role that sex and gender play in research is more relevant than previously thought. With Framework 7 now upon us we must build on the success of this meeting to strengthen these collaborative networks to extend this work further.’