To use the study of gender to foster the development of new sciences and improve health care for all patients
The Foundation for Gender Specific-Medicine supports the investigation of the ways in which biological sex and gender affect normal human function and the experience of disease. One of the discipline’s pioneers, Marianne J. Legato, FACP, MD established the Foundation as a continuation of her work with The Partnership for Gender-Specific Medicine at Columbia University.
1. Support original scientific research in gender-specific medicine:
Each year, the Foundation provides fellowships to untenured, young faculty members with the goal of fostering their interest in gender-specific medicine at the beginning of their investigative careers. Currently, we award two-year research grants at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and one-year grants at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. However, we are always looking for new scholars.
2. Create an evidence-based set of protocols to guide physicians:
The Foundation is working to assemble a critical mass of evidence-based criteria for optimal gender-specific treatment within each specialty of medicine. We have finished recommendations for gender-specific care of diabetics and are currently working on cardiovascular disease.
Gender-specific care centers around the globe will receive our completed guidelines. We will then observe and summarize the impact of these guidelines based on the morbidity and mortality of patients treated according to our recommended protocols. Columbia University’s Office of Clinical Trials will collaborate with us in organizing and supervising our clinical studies on the impact of sex and gender on the efficacy of new drugs and medical devices.
3. Educate of the lay public and the scientific/medical community:
The Foundation understands that science does not operate outside of the rest of society, and we consider education a central part of our mission. The interests of the lay public drive medical research and practice. Rather than simply serving as an informational vehicle, the Foundation creates an open dialogue between patients and the medical community. In addition to the many books that Dr. Legato has written for the lay public, the Foundation promotes gender-specific medicine through lectures, symposia, and social media.
The Scientific and Medical Community
Internationally, the Foundation works within a well-organized network of gender-specific scientists and institutions around the world, under the umbrella of the International Society for Gender Medicine. We have important links with the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, the Rabin Hospital in Israel, and the Charité in Germany as well as centers in Vienna, Seoul, Tokyo, and Chiba Province, Japan. Dr. Legato was the honorary president of the Congresses on Gender-Specific Medicine of Vienna and Stockholm, as well as of the Foundation Meeting of the Israel Society for Gender Based Medicine in 2009 and the 5th International Congress of Gender Medicine in 2010, both in Tel Aviv. Most recently, she was the keynote speaker at a conference honoring the 10th Anniversary of the Center for Gender Medicine at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. She was also the keynote speaker at the Organization for the Study of Sex Differences’ Sixth Annual Meeting.