Wednesday Aug 21st, 2019—4:00pm to 5:00pm
Sex and gender: Binaries or bimodal?
Understanding sex as a biological variable (SABV) is now considered one of the top priorities of the National Institutes of Health, spanning all institutes. This is because for most of clinical genetics, only one sex was studied, and now drugs, treatments, and therapies are failing at higher proportions in the unstudied (or understudied) sex, typically women. Layering on top of this, is the recognition that sex chromosomes, reproductive hormones, and gender identity all play unique rolls in both how disease manifests, and how patients are treated. Dr. Wilson leads the discussion on sex and gender in human health.
Melissa Wilson, PhD is a computational evolutionary biologist whose main research interests include sex-biased biology. She studies the evolution of sex chromosomes (X and Y in mammals), why mutation rates differ between males and females, and how changes in population history affect the sex chromosomes differently than the non-sex chromosomes. Generally she studies mammals and regularly engages the public in discussions about the difference between sex and gender, the importance (or not) of genetic inheritance, and understanding evolution.