The International Society for Gender Medicine: History and Highlights is about a major step in the improvement of quality in medicine, namely the long overdue understanding that women are different from men in every system of the body and may require different approaches in diagnosis and treatment. This is not a textbook, nor is it a scientific publication. It is the story of the International Society for Gender Medicine (IGM) as soon through the eyes of 12 pioneers of Gender and Sex Specific Medicine (GSSM) from seven countries, five of whom were the founds of IGM in 2006. It describes the development of this new science in the respective countries and academic environments of the authors, their very personal experience while promoting, and implementing their vision of GSSM, their frustrations, successes, and achievements.
The field of gender-specific medicine examines how normal human biology and physiology differ between men and women and how the diagnosis and treatment of disease differs as a function of gender and sex. Among the areas of greatest difference are cardiovascular disease, mood disorders, the immune system, cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, obesity, and infectious diseases.
This book is essential reading for all researchers, graduate students, practitioners, and anyone interested in this diverse and thriving field. From the early beginning, to the recent NIH mandate that females be included in pre-clinical as well as clinical research and that research results be reported by sex, the quick read will broaden your understanding of the history of the field and highlight where the future is headed.
- Illustrates how major universities and organizations around the world concentrated first on the unexplored world of women’s biology and then progressively adopted the larger view of the importance of investigating and comparing both sexes through all levels of biomedical research
- Notes the recent NIH statement that funding would depend on inclusion of two sexes in scientific protocols wherever possible as an important affirmation of the legitimacy of gender specific science
- Addresses challenges for the future: how to incorporate both sexes in investigative protocols in a scientifically valid way, and whether or not the cost of including two sexes in protocols will be prohibitively expensive
- Dispels the idea that gender-specific medicine is women’s medicine and how changing the name of most of the organizations currently advocating and developing gender specific medicine to include men and women (rather than just women) in their group name would help dispel this notion
Marianne J. Legato, MD, Ph. D. (hon. c.), FACP is an internationally renowned academic, physician, author, lecturer, and pioneer in the field of gender-specific medicine. She is a Professor Emerita of Clinical Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons and an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins Medical School. Dr. Legato is also the Director of the Foundation for Gender-Specific Medicine, which she founded in 2006 as a continuation of her work with The Partnership for Gender-Specific Medicine at Columbia University. She received an honorary PhD from the University of Panama in 2015 for her work on the differences between men and women.
At its core, gender-specific medicine is the science of how normal human biology differs between men and women and how the diagnosis and treatment of disease differs as a function of gender. Dr. Legato’s discoveries and those of her colleagues have led to a personalization of medicine that assists doctors worldwide in understanding the difference in normal function of men and women and in their sex-specific experiences of the same diseases.
She began her work in gender-specific medicine by authoring the first book on women and heart disease, The Female Heart: The Truth About Women and Coronary Artery Disease, which won the Blakeslee Award of the American Heart Association in 1992. Because of this research, the cardiovascular community began to include women in clinical trials affirming the fact that the risk factors, symptoms, and treatment of the same disease can be significantly different between the sexes. Convinced that the sex-specific differences in coronary artery disease were not unique, Dr. Legato began a wide-ranging survey of all medical specialties and in 2004, published the first textbook on gender-specific medicine, The Principles of Gender-Specific Medicine. The second edition appeared in 2010 and the third edition, dedicated to explaining how gender impacts biomedical investigation in the genomic era, won the PROSE Award in Clinical Medicine from the Association of American Publishers in 2018. A fourth edition is forthcoming.
She also founded the first scientific journals publishing new studies in the field, The Journal of Gender-Specific Medicine, and a newer version, Gender Medicine, both listed in the Index Medicus of the National Library of Medicine. She has founded a third peer-reviewed, open access journal, Gender and the Genome, which focuses on the impact of biological sex on technology and its effects on human life.
Dr. Legato is the author of multiple works, including: What Women Need to Know (Simon & Schuster, 1997), Eve’s Rib (Harmony Books, 2002), Why Men Never Remember and Women Never Forget (Rodale, 2005), Why Men Die First (Palgrave, 2008), The International Society for Gender Medicine: History and Highlights (Academic Press, 2017), and most recently, The Plasticity of Sex (Academic Press, 2020). Her books have been translated into 28 languages to date.
As an internationally respected authority on gender medicine, Dr. Legato has chaired symposia and made keynote addresses to world congresses in gender-specific medicine in Berlin, Israel, Italy, Japan, Panama, South Korea, Stockholm, and Vienna. In collaboration with the Menarini Foundation, she is co-chairing a symposium on epigenetics, Sex, Gender and Epigenetics: From Molecule to Bedside, to be held in Spring 2021 in Italy. She maintains one of the only gender-specific private practice in New York City, and she has earned recognition as one of the “Top Doctors in New York.”