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NIH Takes Steps to Address Sex Differences in Preclinical Research

May 14, 2014

Over the past two decades, we have learned a great deal about how men and women respond differently to medications. This knowledge came after a concerted effort in the early ’90s to increase the number of women in NIH-funded clinical research.  Today, just over half of NIH-funded clinical research participants are women.  Unfortunately, experimental design in cell and animal research has not always followed suit.  An over-reliance on male animals, and neglect of attention to the sex of cells, can lead to neglect of key sex differences that should be guiding clinical studies, and ultimately, clinical practice.  NIH is taking action to address this shortfall as outlined by Janine A. Clayton, M.D., Director of the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health, and me in the Nature Comment below.

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, National Institutes of Health

Nature Comment: NIH to balance sex in cell and animal studies
Reference: Clayton, J.A., Collins, F.S. NIH to balance sex in cell and animal studies. Nature. 509, 282-283 (2014)
This page last reviewed on May 14, 2014

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