Sex-Based Immunology the Focus of January Symposium

Women’s Health Research Institute to host thought leaders for daylong summit

By Roger AndersonDecember 18, 2017

Northwestern Medicine is hosting a January symposium and workshop to celebrate the two-year anniversary of the implementation of the National Institutes of Health’s landmark sex-inclusion policy. The policy revolutionized the future of medicine by mandating that research funding is contingent upon the inclusion of female cells or animals in scientists’ studies.

The Sex Inclusion in Biomedical Research Workshop and Symposium will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, January 25, at Prentice Women’s Hospital, 250 E. Superior Street in Chicago.

“Sex as a biological variable is finally on the national agenda and the 2018 Sex Cells symposium will highlight new science showing how biological sex informs immunological diseases,” says Teresa Woodruff, Director of the Women's Health Research Institute and dean of The Graduate School.

This year’s symposium theme is “A Spotlight on Autoimmunity,” and will feature plenary lectures from national experts in sex-based immunology:  Maureen Su, pediatrics at the University of North Carolina; Sabra Klein, molecular microbiology and immunology at Johns Hopkins; and Janyne Danska, immunology and medical biophysics at the University of Toronto.

“In addition to an outstanding lecture series, the symposium will feature a panel discussion on the state of sex-inclusive science, invited abstract presentations, and a poster session,” says Nicole Woitowich, director of science outreach and education for the Women's Health Research Institute

Abstract submissions are currently being accepted for both oral and poster presentations that highlight sex-inclusive or sex-based research. Submission guidelines and additional information can be found here.

The event is open to the public, but attendees must register ($30 for community members, students, residents and postdoctoral fellows; $75 for faculty and staff). Breakfast and lunch are included in the cost.

The Women’s Health Research Institute, in collaboration with the Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, is hosting the event.