Researching men and women

Sex Specific Research

ROCHESTER, Minn. – For many years medical researchers thought there was no need to look at men and women differently, but that is changing.

One Mayo Clinic doctor has spent her entire career trying to prove the importance of looking at each sex differently.

She said that biologically men and women are different, so studying one sex and applying it to the other is just poor science.

“A woman’s body is designed to undergo changes to sustain a pregnancy and be adaptable in ways that a man’s body is not, so the physiology and all the regulatory systems that allow those changes to take place are controlled differently than in men,” said Dr. Virginia Miller, Professor of Surgery and Physiology at Mayo.

She said making research gender specific will cut down on current problems.

“We really need to understand that if we’re going into personalized medicine, why? Because it will be efficient, it’ll be cost-effective and if you want improved outcomes, you want to be able to deliver the right procedure to the right person at the right time,” Miller said.

For her work, Miller recently received the “Bernadine Healy Award for Visionary Leadership in Women’s Health.”

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