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Johns Hopkins Pediatric

New Center to Explore the Influence of Sex and Gender on Health Care

Wendy Bennett, M.D., M.P.H.

Gender-specific medicine considers how human biology differs between men and women and how the diagnosis and treatment of diseases may differ regarding both biological sex and gender-specific lived experience. Many studies show sex and gender differences in how people respond to medications and experience a variety of health conditions, from infections such as COVID-19 to chronic illness like cardiovascular disease.

In a recent study published in a special issue of the Journal of Women’s Health, researchers describe how they established a center for research excellence at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health with funding from both the Foundation for Gender-Specific Medicine and the National Institutes of Health. One of the center’s goals is to promote the careers of early-stage investigators examining the influence of sex and gender on health and health care.

“This center is an example of a larger movement in science and medicine encouraging researchers to consider sex and gender in all aspects of their work — conceptualization, design, implementation, analysis and interpretation of findings — regardless of the health condition under study,” says Wendy Bennett, M.D., M.P.H.,co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Women’s Health, Sex and Gender Research and director of the career enhancement core of the Johns Hopkins Specialized Centers of Research Excellence on Sex Differences focused on Sex and Age Differences in Immunity to Influenza.

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