BIH Excellence Award for Sex and Gender Aspects in Health Research
Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) announced the BIH Excellence Award for Sex and Gender Aspects in Health Research for the first time in 2017. The award aims to bring more visibility to sex and gender issues in translational research. It recognizes research excellence among renowned scientists working in the field of basic and/or clinical biomedical research with a focus on sex and gender aspects.
A patient’s biological sex and/or social gender is usually a neglected factor in biomedical research. Yet in order to understand differences in the emergence and progression of diseases and to develop suitable treatments, it is important for such research to take sex and gender differences into account. BIH therefore promotes top-level researchers who incorporate gender aspects into their basic and/or clinical research.
In early December, a jury of international experts selected two winners from the pool of internationally renowned applicants who stood out with their different research approaches. Berlin Institute of Health awards the 2017 BIH Excellence Award for Sex and Gender Aspects in Health Research to
Louise Pilote (McGill University and from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) in Montreal, Canada) and
Rhonda Voskuhl (University of California, USA).
Both scientists strongly incorporate gender aspects into their biomedical research. The researchers will share the €20,000 award and will come to Berlin for guest stays at BIH.
The jury consisted of the following professors:
- Prof. Margarethe Hochleitner, Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria, Professor of Gender Medicine, Director of the Women’s Health Office
- Prof. Karolina Kublickiene, Associate Professor Karolinska Institutet Institution for Clinical Science, Intervention & Technology, Head of the Doctoral Programme in Development and Regeneration (DEVREG) and Gendered Innovation Alliance
- Prof. Sabine Oertelt-Prigione, Radboud University Nimwegen, Netherlands, Professor of Gender in Primary and Transmural Care
- Prof. Vera Regitz-Zagrosek, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany, Director of the Institute of Gender in Medicine (GiM), Professor of Women’s Health Research with an emphasis on cardiovascular diseases
- Prof. Londa Schiebinger, Stanford University, USA, John L. Hinds Professor of History of Science, Director of Graduate Studies
- Prof. Alan White, Leeds Beckett University, United Kingdom, Emeritus Professor of Men’s Health
The award ceremony will take place on March 16, 2018 during the BIH Symposium 2018 in Berlin.
Louise Pilote | McGill University, Canada
Rhonda Voskuhl | University of California, USA
Dr. Voskuhl sees MS patients in her clinic, while her laboratory is focused on understanding the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS) through use of mouse models. She employs a “Bedside to Bench to Bedside” approach where research is based on clinical observations, molecular mechanisms are revealed, and lead findings are translated into novel clinical trials. A major clinical observation of focus is sex differences in disease. Dr. Voskuhl is a pioneer in sex differences research, examining effects of sex hormones and sex chromosomes in autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases. This has included being the Principle Investigator on four clinical trials in MS, two of which were multicenter trials at several sites across the United States.
Another clinical area of interest is the heterogeneity of disabilities in MS. This entails examining cell-specific and region-specific gene expression in the brain to discover disability-specific neuroprotective treatments as well as developing disability-specific biomarkers for use in clinical trials of novel treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. The Berlin Institute of Health Award in 2017 aligns with Dr. Voskuhl’s vision of developing neuroprotective treatments tailored for each disability in each sex.
Upcoming Events with the Award Winners
Talking Biography – a networking event for women scientists with Louise Pilote
March 13, 2018, 7:00–8:30 pm
BIH Head office, Anna-Louisa-Karsch-Str. 2, 10178 Berlin
Workshop with Rhonda Voskuhl for early and mid-career scientists
"How to approach sex differences research"
March 15, 2018, 2:00–4:00 pm
Charité Campus Mitte, Virchowweg 9, seminar room 2