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 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.


2015 WSDM Seed Grants Awarded


Congratulations to the following investigators whose proposals received $20,000 each in seed grant funds from WSDM on December 18, 2015:

"Feasibility of Detecting Changes in Bone Microarchitecture and Body Composition from Cross Sex Hormone Therapy (CSHT) in Transgender Youth" Tandy Aye, MD, Assistant Professor, Pediatrics; Mary Leonard, MD, Professor, Medicine

"Reducing Reactive Aldehyde Levels to Treat Endometriosis-associated Pain" Eric Gross, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Anesthesiology; Stacy McAllister, PhD, Post-doctoral Scholar, Anesthesiology; Daria Mochly-Rosen, PhD, Professor, Chemical Systems Biology

"Defining the Molecular Pathways Responsible for Female-biased Airway Disregulation in Chronic Asthma" Maya E. Kumar, PhD, Instructor, Medicine; Pehr Harbur, PhD, Professor, Biochemistry

"Examining Sex Differences in the Human and Mouse Placental Transcriptome During a Vulnerable Neurodevelopmental Window" Theo D. Palmer, PhD, Associate Professor, Neurosurgery; Virginia D. Winn, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Ob/Gyn; Amy Braun (Doctoral Student), Neurobiology

"Sex Differences in Macrophage Activation: Role of miR-204" Philip S. Tsao, PhD, Professor, Medicine (CV Med); Nicholas Leeper, MD, Associate Professor, Surgery

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Upcoming WSDM Events



SAVE THE DATE! May 14, 2016

The WSDM Women's Health Forum returns on Saturday, May 14, 2016. WSDM is partnering with Stanford Health Matters, and will be hosting speakers from the School of Medicine presenting on issues affecting women in cardiology, cancer, dermatology, sleep, and more. Registration will be limited and required. DETAILS TO FOLLOW!

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Recent WSDM Events


Basic & Translational Research Symposium on Sex Differences in Cardiovascular Health and Disease

February 24, 2016 WSDM hosted its 6th Annual Basic & Translational Research Symposium on Sex Differences. The focus was on Cardiovascular Health and Disease, and was very well received by a capacity crowd in LKSC Berg Hall. Experts from cohosts the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute and Women's Heart Health at Stanford presented their cutting edge research. Read the Stanford Medicine SCOPE blog on the symposium here. Slides from the event will be posted soon, and video will be available on the WSDM youtube channel-stay tuned.


WSDM Seed Grant Workshop

October 23, 2015 WSDM hosted its third seed grant workshop. The event featured updates from past seed grant award winners and representatives from every department in the School of Medicine. The group identified questions regarding sex/gender and women's health that need more study and facilitated collaborations across disciplines.


SPECIAL LECTURE Professor Gabe Garcia, MD: "Creating a Welcoming and Respectful Clinical Environment for LGBT patients"

Many LGBT patients are underserved by our healthcare system, often due to unfriendly clinical environments. On August 21, 2015 Professor Garcia, a member of the San Mateo LGBT Commission, shared ideas that San Mateo and Santa Clara County have been discussing and developing to create gender-friendly clinical services that clearly welcome individuals of all sexual orientations.

Articles discussed by Professor Garcia covered issues such as medical students' preparedness and comfort level with providing LGBT care, LGBT-related curriculum in undergraduate medical education, LGBT health disparities, and discrimination faced by sexual and gender minority (SGM) practitioners.


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.


2015 Annual Meeting of the Organization for the Study of Sex Differences

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!

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WSDM Leadership in the News

The August 22 issue of Lancet featured a profile of WSDM Director Maria Stefanick and her career promoting the study of sex differences. Read the article here.

In the April 28 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS), Dr. Stefanick, WSDM Advisory board member Londa Schiebinger, and other experts discuss the importance of sex inclusion in basic research and the implications of the NIH's May 2014 policy change to require a balance of male and female cells and animals in studies. Click here to read the article.

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.

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