Annual Symposium Brings Awareness to Women’s Health

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) Laura W. Bush institute for Women’s Health, the TTUHSC Office of the President, and the Office of the Executive Vice President, Provost and School of Medicine welcomed guest lecturers, award honorees and pioneers in the fields of gender-specific medicine and women’s health to its Lubbock campus for the 3rd Annual Gender-Specific Medicine and Women’s Health Symposium, Oct. 24.

TTUHSC President Tedd L. Mitchell, M.D., opened the event with a message emphasizing the importance of gender-specific research in medicine. Mitchell explained how recognizing physiological differences between men and women can lead to more efficient and logical research.

In his presentation, “Sexual Differentiation of the Brain; a Whole-Body Perspective,” keynote speaker Geert de Vries, Ph.D, professor of neuroscience in the Neuroscience Institute at Georgia State University discussed sex and gender differences and their relationship to the brain. The second keynote speaker, Gillian Einstein, Ph.D., psychology professor at Dalla Lana School of Public Health in Toronto presented, “When Does A Difference Make A Difference?,” which focused on the observable differences between men and women, their hormonal origin and their significance in medicine.

The event concluded with a research awards ceremony hosted by Mitchell. Lauren Swartz was recognized with the award for clinical and translational research for her project, “Gender Differences in Mental Health Screening and Depression Among Adolescents with Recurrent Diabetes Ketoacidosis”. Andrew Armstrong was awarded in the basic research category for his project, “Gender Disparity in the Inflammatory Response Following Burn Injury.” Submitted research projects were assessed according to their innovation in women’s health or gender-specific medicine.

Susan Bergeson, Ph.D. and associate professor in the TTUHSC Department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience also was given a special recognition and gift for her dedication to women’s health and gender-specific medical research by Marjorie Jenkins, M.D., FACP, professor and associate dean for women in science for the TTUHSC School of Medicine, regional director and chief scientific officer for the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health Amarillo Campus as well as co-chair and speaker for this year’s symposium.

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