discoveries magazine

Research Highlights Sex-Related Health Differences

Cedars-Sinai investigators are working to advance scientific understanding of women's health

Cedars-Sinai investigators are working to advance scientific understanding of women's health.

Illustration: Juan Bernabeu

Medical research has long been based on studies performed in men alone, meaning many diagnoses, treatments and drugs are blindly applied to women—with sometimes-unsafe results. Last year, Cedars-Sinai's Center for Research in Women’s Health and Sex Differences (CREWHS) awarded its second round of grants to investigators whose work aims to advance scientific understanding of women’s health. 

Grantee: Alexandra Moser, PhD

Study: how females who carry the apolipoprotein E 4 gene variation—already known to increase the risk for Alzheimer’s and other neurogenerative diseases—may be further impacted by obesity and exposure to heavy metals through air pollution and water

Potential: understanding how genes, sex and lifestyle factors interact in order to mitigate a patient’s risk before Alzheimer’s develops

More on Alexandra Moser, PhD in the Svendsen lab.

Grantee: Eynav Accortt, PhD

Study: whether women who develop perinatal mood and anxiety disorders have elevated inflammation that can be detected in blood proteins

Potential: biomarkers that could eventually lead to screening tests that would enable earlier intervention

More on Eynav Accortt, PhD.

Grantee: Melodie Metzger, PhD

Study: whether oral contraceptives higher in progesterone may protect female athletes from common anterior cruciate ligament tears—injuries more frequent in women than men athletes

Potential: uncovering whether hormonal fluctuations responsible for relaxing ligaments and tendons result in increased injury, and whether birth control may stabilize such fluctuations

More on Melodie Metzger, PhD

Grantee: Gantsetseg Tumurkhuu, PhD

Study: examining the exacerbating effects of estrogen on lupus—specifically, how hormone levels correlate with flare-ups caused by exposure to sunlight

Potential: further insights into the debilitating autoimmune condition, which women are nine times more likely to suffer than men

More on Gantsetseg Tumurkhuu, PhD

Research funding is made possible by donations from the William H. Donner Foundation, Louis B. Mayer Foundation and Cedars-Sinai.