Letter from the Editor
Our new journal, Gender and the Genome, has made an exciting and productive debut with its first three issues. Our new venture, dedicated to exploring the relevance of gender-specific medicine to the latest advances in 21st century biomedical investigation, is thriving. The whole landscape of health care has changed with the delineation of human genome structure and our newfound ability to modify it. This is a time of unimagined new vistas of biomedical research at the molecular level and Gender and the Genome is harvesting important examples of the emerging and innovative new science.
The theme and focus of the journal are reflected in our three roundtable discussions. We have investigated the relevance of chromosomal sex to gene editing in our first issue, which featured experts in genetic engineering like Dr. George Church of MIT and Dr. Henry Greely of Stanford, who commented on the legal and ethical aspects of the new methodology. Our second roundtable discussed the analysis of men and women’s fitness and training for space travel in our expanding effort to explore the universe. The most recent roundtable, led by Dr. Gillian Einstein of the University of Toronto, explores the impact of environment on gene expression which highlights our growing understanding of the epigenetic mechanisms involved in the formation of the phenotype.
Reviews and original investigation published in our first two issues have included topics as diverse as a discussion of the relationship between artificial intelligence and gender and a joint commentary on the importance and advantages of considering sex in biomedical investigation from the Office of Research on Women’s Health at the NIH and the US Food and Drug Administration. Original papers exploring the molecular mechanisms that underlie the Takotsubo syndrome and the genetic basis for the mechanisms of dyslipidemia in Filipino American women appear in the third issue.
We are enjoying a spectacular group of new submissions, most of which have been entered in our $25,000 Birch Award competition for the best original papers and/or reviews. The Birch Award is intended to accelerate the submission rate and the quality of papers, and to encourage the most expert investigators to send us their most provocative and useful observations. A significant exploration of topics of particular interest to us in 2018 will include the controversy about the impact of the environment on phenotype and whether or not we will soon be able to offer credible, evidence-based molecular mechanism for the transgenerational inheritance of acquired traits, papers that explore the factors that underlie human sexual behavior, and in the implications of the expanding development of artificial intelligence. Our new power to alter the genome demands scrutiny with regard to the implications of such alterations, which doubtless have sex-specific phenotypic consequences.
Our Editorial Board, without question a collection of world class authorities and luminaries, continues to build the content and guide the direction of Gender and the Genome. We are looking forward to 2018, which we anticipate will provide us with an exciting harvest of papers that will delineate with ever expanding expertise the relationship of biological sex to the explosion of scientific information the 21st century has offered since the description of the human genome. The science of this century has presented us with a new paradigm of how to define the factors that shape us as human, a new view of how the scaffolding of disease later in life is shaped during embryogenesis, and consequently of new methods to augment and improve men and women’s function throughout the life span. Gender and the Genome is at the forefront of 21st century biomedical investigation—it is an exciting place to be.
Dr. Marianne Legato, Professor Emerita of Clinical Medicine at Columbia University is an internationally known academic physician, author, lecturer, and specialist in gender-specific medicine. She is founding member of the International Society for Gender Medicine and also the founder and director of The Partnership for Gender-Specific Medicine at Columbia University and its next iteration, The Foundation for Gender-Specific Medicine. These enterprises are the first collaborations between academic medicine and the private sector focused solely on gender-specific medicine: the science of how normal human biology differs between men and women and of how the diagnosis and treatment of disease differs as a function of gender and sex. Her ground breaking textbook on Gender-and Sex Specific Medicine has been published in 2017 in the 3rd edition.
She has published extensively on Gender and Sex Specific Medicine, both scientifically and for the lay public. She is also the founding editor of the journal Gender Medicine, and the Journal Gender and Genome, published for the scientific community. In 1992, Dr. Legato won the American Heart Association’s Blakeslee Award for the best book written for the lay public on cardiovascular disease. She is a practicing internist in New York City and has been listed each year in New York Magazine’s “Best Doctors” since the feature’s inception in 1993.